Some shameless plugging ahead, but it's relevant to our interests. I swear!
In July 2016, I had the chance to upend my entire life and move to freakin' Vermont (after 6 years of intending to move to Los Angeles) to intern with a thoroughbred aftercare organization. It's small and scrappy and I love every minute. I believe very strongly in what we do! There are a lot of ways to take care of OTTBs and help facilitate happy, healthy homes for them -- all aftercare organizations do something amazing. Our method is the long, slow way, spending multiple years with each horse while developing their minds and bodies into great partners for amateurs and junior riders. We have horses out there as trail buddies, hunter/jumpers, winning eventers, and more.
We JUST received our accreditation from the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, an organization partnered with the Jockey Club to certify that these programs are taking great care of their horses, utilizing funds well, and overall doing a great job serving OTTB population. We are one of only 64 TAA orgs in the US & Canada, and the only one in New England. We're over the moon that they have recognized us as having a high caliber program that strives to do good work.
In addition to direct aftercare, one thing that we put a lot of effort into is our educational outreach program. We have hosted a bevy of high school and college interns, volunteer groups, 4-H and Pony Club visitors, and college classes, all with a goal of helping others reproduce our efforts. The OTTB is so often a misunderstood athlete, and a HUGE part of our mission is to provide education and resources for OTTB owners, trainers, riders, and other interested parties to help them get the best out of their four-legged buddy. This is a big undertaking, but we're expanding it every year and it's something I'm super passionate about. Our Executive Director is a 40 year career educator, so it comes naturally to her and she really makes an impact.
All of that said -- today is Giving Tuesday, and in an organization as small as ours, every dollar counts! If you're looking for somewhere to contribute your gift today, please check us out and see if we're something you're interested in. I have resisted giving the "pitch" to you fine folks for a year and a half, but I'm just so excited about where we are and what is in store. I would love for some of you to be a part of that! We're also a 501(c)(3), so all donations are tax-deductible.
Learn more about us at http://www.afterthetrack.org, and you can donate at http://www.afterthetrack.org/donate.
I mean, really...can you resist this face? (Aquila, aka Sugar Princess, the love of my life!)
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