Desmond has graduated!

Desmond, at age 4, has now graduated. He is considered what is colloquially known as being “green broke”; that is, he is ready to start the next phase of his schooling — now under saddle. He chose some unique, Desmond-like ways to celebrate!

A Little Joy

Excited to announce that Joy has arrived and is available! All proceeds from this memoir will be donated to Wilderwood Equine Therapy to help develop and deliver its programs for — and with — autistic adults.

Like everyone, we are doing our best to keep the joy at Wilderwood during the corona quarantine and stay-at-home time. We are working hard, continuing to prepare and ready Wilderwood for our Pilot participants (June) and first participant intake (later this year). The arena letters arrived this week! — and we were pretty impressed that they spelled “Becca” right out of the box.

A little joy arrives!
Arena letters spell out “Becca” right out of the box!

Step by Step

step by step

It’s a case of step by step, little by little for Wilderwood. Though we have been somewhat sidelined with the (necessary) restrictions wrought by the Coronavirus — resulting in our Pilot and Volunteers program being shifted to a later date — we’ve nonetheless been hard at work, continuing the projects that need doing.

Recently completed, or well-on-the-way to being completed, are the new arena, the walkway to the roundyard, the viewing bench, and very much-needed sound/barrier fencing. 



Our major Mud Project is now completed! Below are pictures showing our completed MUD project: Before, During, and After. This was a major undertaking to solve a perennial and major problem at Wilderwood — and we did it!

We have also completed our Tack Room project, with before and after pictures below to share with you, also.

So much work is being completed in preparation of our opening. We are excited and very thankful!

Mud Project: Before
Mud Project: During
Mud Project: After

Autistic Strong

Autistic Strong

Autistic adults are disadvantaged in our community on multiple social, economic, and cultural fronts.

There is a general misunderstanding about autism in terms of it being perceived as an “invisible”  disability. It’s often said that autistic people look “normal” or are told “you don’t look autistic” (whatever autistic is supposed to look like). This, of course, changes when autistic people are placed in high stress situations and experience a meltdown. If this occurs in public, autistic people are viewed very differently — and not “normal” at all. This can have a devastating social, psychological, and even economic impact.

For these reasons, and especially for those who are so-called “high functioning” (note that most autistic adults don’t care for this term), autistics often feel compelled to work hard masking their disability in public. The effort of masking in public, however, has a significant downside in terms of psychological and emotional cost, and many autistics suffer significant consequences in private.

There is also a misconception that autism is an issue of childhood only — as if autistic children magically never grow up! Further, there is the perception, sadly often championed by organizations claiming to support autistics, that it is a tragic and negative burden on society. There is some truth to the latter. The depression and suicide rate for autistics is at least double that of the general population, and autistic adults are also 83 percent more likely to be unemployed or under-employed. As a result of all of this, many autistic people feel detached and alienated from their communities.

Autistic people, however, can and do flourish — enjoying their lives and actively contributing to their communities. It takes understanding, education, leadership, and advocacy to change negative perceptions, both from the general population and autistic adults themselves, to help achieve this. Given the right supports, autistic people can flourish in a neurotypical society to enhance not only their own lives, but the lives of others around them.

Raised Gardens Volunteer Day!

Raised Gardens Volunteer Day!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! — to our WONDERFUL volunteers at Wilderwood’s recent Volunteer Day to Build the Raised Gardens! By name, we’d especially like to thank Jayme, Joe, and Lee Anne.

Thank you also to RockIt Stonescapes in Peralta for much appreciated discount and help with the gravel and your expert delivery! Thanks for your continued support of Wilderwood and belief in our mission.

Thank you, too, for those who signed up as interested, but were unable to come on the day. We didn’t quite get finished what we’d planned, so may be having another day soon to finish off. We’re getting so close now to opening for the pilot it’s very exciting! … but there are still some things to be done.

The Raised Gardens are an important part of Wilderwood’s curriculum, particularly the Preceptorship. We’re so excited to see another vision and dream become a reality!

For now, here’s to another successful Volunteer Day and our heartfelt thanks to our amazing volunteers. Here are some pictures to show the “Before” and “After” of the Raised Gardens.

Before and After images of the Raised Gardens

Getting Ready …

Getting Ready …

We’ve been busy at Wilderwood getting ready! Our next Volunteer Day is Saturday, November 2 on a “drop-in” basis. We’ll be working from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on building the Raised Gardens! We’ll also ask our amazing volunteers to help us with the last remnants of clean up (moving branches to the bonfire, hauling building materials to the truck).

Below are pictures of things we’ve been doing in the last month. The solar lights on the Wilderwood sign look amazing at night! The utility area (now chained/cordoned off) is a safe place to put needed tools and equipment to maintain the Wilderwood grounds. And, take a look at the video showing the horses checking out the new Round Yard. Desmond, of course, steals the show!

In other exciting news, we’ve been preparing our sign-up and informational materials for the upcoming Wilderwood Therapy Curriculum Pilot Program! This program is to help us test the curriculum as a “trial run” before we open officially in September 2020. There will be no fees involved for participants and the information and feedback we receive will be crucial to help make sure the curriculum is sound and ready to go!

Interested in the Pilot Program? Check out our Application Form on the homepage. Once we’ve received the form, we will contact you to discuss the program, your goals, and the ways in which Wilderwood may be able to help you.

The horses check out their new round yard. Desmond, of course, steals the show!

Second Volunteer Day!

Second Volunteer Day!

Volunteers from our first Volunteer Day

Getting ready for our Second Volunteer Day! Please help! Wilderwood needs YOU on Saturday, August 31, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to noon.

Activities include:

* Marking the arena with gabions
* Painting the planter underneath the Wilderwood sign
* Laying weedcloth and rocks in the Meditation Garden
* Lining the roundyard with latilla panels

and, of course … hanging out with the horses and dogs!

We really need you! Please show your support and sign up today at the Wilderwood Equine Therapy facebook page.

Desmond, The Baby, and Sand!

Desmond, The Baby, and Sand!

Excited! Took delivery of our Industrial Bin (rental) for our upcoming Volunteer Clean-Up Days and had the round-yard sand delivered.

Desmond and The Baby (Viv) immediately set to work “helping” to spread the sand for us.

Desmond and The Baby help prepare for Volunteer Day!