Reducing Our Use!

Excited to provide an interim update on the PNM Reduce Your Use grant Wilderwood received to install solar lights on the arena! The project is now half-complete, with the 2,500 Kelvin (soft, yellow light spectrum) solar lights in place.

Second phase is to place solar lights down the center of the arena once the cover is completed. This will ensure a safely lit arena and the light contained within the parameters of the arena itself.

Wilderwood is extremely grateful to PNM for this opportunity. It is a cost-effective and environmentally-responsible way to provide safe, soft lighting that will facilitate riding and use of our arena into the evening hours as well as during inclement weather.

Hautism at Wilderwood this Summer and Fall

Wilderwood’s flagship program Hautism is a unique equine-assisted immersive, strengths-based program designed and led by autistic adults for autistic adults.

Full scholarships are available to offset fees, and assistance is provided with accommodation in area B&Bs.

Come join us in Summer or Fall in beautiful New Mexico, and take an opportunity that could change your life.

Wild Innovations!

Wilderwood is delighted to announce that we have been awarded a $25,000 NEXT For Autism Color the Spectrum grant for our Wild Innovations: A Ribbon of Rainbows proposal. Wilderwood will use the grant to fund scholarships for autistic women to attend our innovative Hautism program, looking specifically to support women of color, women from disadvantaged economic backgrounds, and the LGBTQ community.

The grant is also funding the training of more instructors so we can expand the program and the creation of a program curriculum handbook so others can adopt/adapt Wilderwood’s unique curriculum to their own programs.

Wilderwood is enormously grateful to the NEXT for Autism Board and those involved in the Color the Spectrum grant. The funding will make an enormous difference for autistic adults across New Mexico and, with our new compressed and residential program for Hautism, the United States.

For Don Vivaldi

A video to celebrate his upcoming 5th birthday on April 11, this beautiful and amazing horse with the purest, most beautiful soul is — along with my husband — the most precious thing in the world to me.

Love and adore you forever, Vivaldi.

Now that’s “cool” art!

Some of the best days are when lovely, unexpected, and surprising things happen! — and yesterday was no exception. We received a lovely handwritten note with a donation to Wilderwood. Thank you, Jessie, it was a beautiful and thoughtful gesture, and we appreciate you very much!

We will be sending Jessie a thank you note via a card created by the talented autistic artist, Marcus Mason-Williams, who works under the name of Cool Art (and whose artwork features amazing animals, wildlife, and birds). We chose his New Forest Pony card collection to support his work and to also showcase our love for horses. Check out the beautiful card created by Marcus below.

To see more of Marcus’ work and support an autistic artist, take a look at his website:
Marcus Mason-Williams at Cool Art.

A New Friend

The Wilderwood horses had a visitor today! A new friend came to visit for the afternoon. Vivi, of course, was sweet and welcoming. Rae was cordial and pleasant. Faith was interested, then largely indifferent. Desmond was bold, but friendly. And Ode? Well, he was a bit concerned about the dynamics of his herd security blanket.

All up, they had a lovely visit with some happy back and forth across the fence. Here are some photos.

An Ode to Ode

At Wilderwood, we are incredibly blessed to have the support of amazing corporations, foundations, businesses, and individuals who believe in Wilderwood and the autistic people whom we serve.

Today, though, we’d like to specially recognize those who support our incredible horses: the ones who give money to buy the feed and supplements and provide the veterinary and farrier care. These horses are the bedrock of Wilderwood: without them, there would be no Wilderwood.

And, there’s one horse in particular, and several people in particular, we’d like to honor today. That horse is Odysseus.

Many of you know that Ode came to us from a kill pen. Skeletal, barely able to walk, mangy, and dejected, Ode had been thrown away, rejected as worthless and unwanted. But we wanted him. We saw something in him and wanted to make that shine. It’s been three years of dedication, love, commitment, and belief, the working at his diet and balancing his supplements and medications, the careful exercise program and constant adjustments to it, the ongoing veterinary and farrier care, the work he’s had at the expert and experienced hands of Masterson and massage therapy … and yesterday I realized something: Ode has and continues to become the best horse he can be.

I rode Ode yesterday. He had a spring in his step. He walked out as though he were on promenade. His head was high, his ears were alert and yet also relaxed, he nuzzled and nickered as he stepped out in the arena with his friend and companion Rae, and he just looked and felt great. His muscle tone is the best its ever been, his ribs no longer show, his rump is almost round!

We especially want to thank the individuals who have contributed to Ode’s amazing progress: Karen Evans, who has worked her Masterson therapy magic especially on Ode, Bailey Dreitz, who has come out to exercise Ode (and the other horses) on a regular basis, Ellen Santistevan, who has performed equine massage, Dr. Donny MacDougall from Los Lunas Animal Clinic who regularly checks on Ode and monitors his heart murmur and PPID (pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction), and to the many individuals who donate $5, $10, $20, or even $50 towards Ode’s care. This horse is alive and thriving because of you all.

Ode, you will never have to worry about a trailer coming for you to take you to some unknown place. You will never have to worry about being abandoned. You have people who love you and care about you and want you to thrive. The things that you do and the ways that you innately connect with our participants is incredible and beautiful and makes a difference in the lives of others.

Your life absolutely matters and you are loved.

Odie, shortly after he arrived at Wilderwood.
Ode today.
Photo courtesy of Cheyenne Chavez Photography.