Ironwood Maine Web Update

“We rise by lifting others.”

Robert Ingersoll

This week’s update comes to you from one of our level 4 students, who elected to focus on a single area of our program, providing a detailed look at how it impacts our students on campus. Have a wonderful weekend!

This week, I am excited to spend time writing about Ironwood’s equine program and each of the staff and horses that play an important role here on campus. There has been a lot of emphasis on taking care of the horses that has allowed for a greater understanding of acknowledging healthy environments for our herd. We have recently re-homed one of our long-standing stable members to provide a retirement type setting, following many years of faithful service. Students have also re-arranged their daily responsibilities to better care for the horses in the summer heat. We make sure that cold baths are available, fresh water always at the ready and grazing times also adapted based on the temperature. Each of us take great pride in our efforts to provide a healthy and happy environment for our horses. 

While thinking about how this part of the Ironwood’s program is beneficial to students, staff, and families, I am confident that EAP’s, horsemanship, and daily barn chores help to create relationships and connections with the many people around us. The horses are a constant reminder that relationships take time, patience, effort, have challenging moments, and also opportunities to grow stronger. It is very interesting to see the constantly changing dynamics of relationships between the horses and the always changing student groups. 

In the coming weeks, we hope to add to our herd by introducing a new horse to our team. We are looking forward to helping him/her to become comfortable in these new surroundings and supporting a new daily routine. It will be exciting to watch the new horse build relationships with its herd and each of the students on campus.

The skills and knowledge that we obtain through the equine program can be used, or adapted to each of our lives outside of Ironwood because we will always have to work on the relationships around us, becoming comfortable with changing dynamics and circumstances that are outside of our control.  It will always be important that we stay positive and adapt to whatever challenge we are faced with. I look forward to taking what I’ve learned from the horses at Ironwood to help me navigate relationships after my program ends.