PNM Sponsorship for Wilderwood!

Wow! What an amazing morning. Wilderwood has received sponsorship funding from the wonderful PNM community. The funding means availability of scholarships for Wilderwood’s new therapy program for autistic children, starting in March, as well as a children’s saddle and helmets!

We are enormously grateful to PNM, a very much community-minded organization that steps up to support the efforts of nonprofits like Wilderwood and make a difference for those in our community. Thank you so much, PNM, for your support!

Reducing Our Use!

Wilderwood is absolutely delighted to announce that we have been selected as a 2022 recipient of a PNM Reduce Your Use grant! We are extremely appreciative and grateful to the PNM Fund, a division of PNMR Foundation, for this amazing support.

With the funding, Wilderwood will be able to integrate solar lighting, saving us significant energy costs and reducing our environmental footprint.

Hautism and Joy Win “Winnie” Awards

So proud and excited to announce that Hautism and Wilderwood, the New Mexico-made documentary about Wilderwood has won a prestigious “Winnie” award at the EQUUS Film Festival.

What made an incredible honor even more amazing is that Rebecca’s memoir Joy: The Journey of an Autistic from the Lost Generation, a book that highlights the amazing horses who helped her on that journey, also won a “Winnie” in the literary section of the Festival.

The link to the Awards announcements (held virtually due to COVID) are below.

Before and After

As Wilderwood’s program year comes to a close and we move into our winter recess, we thought it might be good to look back on the improvements Wilderwood has made between 2019 and 2021 with some “before” and “after” images.

These images really illustrate how far we have come and is a promising outlook for what’s in the pipeline for 2022!

Open Day!

What an amazing Open Day, Auction, and Graduation we had on October 30. Ode was painted as a skeleton horse, we had Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Bear make an appearance, the ribbon cutting of our beautiful new stables building, and two beautiful folkorico dance demonstrations from the very talented Adriela Lopez. The day was very kindly sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Of course, the highlight of the day was the graduation of Wilderwood’s first cohort. These remarkable graduates achieved the goals they set at the start of the program and are well set on their post-Wilderwood path.

The horses were their usual friendly, curious selves, but it was Ode who stole the day. He was in his element, walking around the attendees accompanied by Wradiance. A big thank you to Giggles the Clown who painted Ode for the day. Thank you as well to local artists Eddie and Yolanda Ramirez, who not only donated items for the raffle, but presented a beautiful hand-made Wilderwood sign that now hangs very proudly in Wilderwood’s classroom.

And, a very special thank you to everyone who attended, volunteered, donated, and were part of this wonderful day.

We raised enough funds to well-support our scholarship fund. This fund is so important for those who want to attend, but who do not have the finances to pay for the program, whether in full or in part.

We are also proud to announce the Craig Gonzales Memorial Scholarship in honor of our graduate Alexis Gonzales in memory of her father who was tragically lost in 2021.

Finally, a HUGE thank you to EquiSeq in Albuquerque and the Haw Creek Animal Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina for their incredibly generous support of Wilderwood. As many of you know, three of Wilderwood’s horses — Lady Faith, Desperado, and Vivaldi — all have (or have tested positive for) the equine genetic degenerative muscular disease PSSM2 (polysaccharide storage myopathy). The donations, combined totalling $10,000, made by EquiSeq and Haw Creek Animal Hospital will help enormously in providing proper care for Faith, Des, and Viv as well as supporting the program in which these horses are such an integral part.

Take a look at some of the photos from the event below, most of them taken by our very talented Volunteer Coordinator Lindsey Lopez.

Thank you and love to everybody!


We are so enormously grateful to EquiSeq and Haw Creek Animal Hospital for their support of Wilderwood. Last month, EquiSeq and Haw Creek Animal Hospital staged a joint fundraiser that has raised $10,000 for Wilderwood.

Many of you know that Wilderwood adopted the beautiful palomino mare, Lady Faith, from EquiSeq. Faith has the condition PSSM2 n1/K1 and is the mare in which the K1 allele of COL6A3 was discovered through whole-genome sequencing.

Faith is an amazing addition to our home and program, and has fit in well with her new stablemates (two of whom also have PSSM2). Perhaps understandably, Wilderwood as part of its mission is committed to raising awareness about PSSM. Faith has a lifelong home with us, and we are honored to have her here.

At our Open Day on Saturday (more pictures to come soon), Faith permitted Odie, who had been dressed up as a Halloween skeleton for the occasion, to wear her recently won 6th place rosette ribbon. Faith placed in a photo competition held by the PSSM Awareness Foundation based in the UK!


Congratulations to our President!

Congratulations to our President, Amanda Marie Garcia on her recognition as a Marquis Who’s Who for Excellence in Executive Legal Administration. Noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, position, and prominence in a field are factors that contribute to selection for this award.

With 27 years in the legal profession, Amanda brings exceptional integrity, skill, and breadth of knowledge to her work, along with a radiating exuberance and joy that lights up and encourages all those around her. It is no surprise to us here at Wilderwood that Amanda’s service, dedication, and professionalism are being recognized and celebrated.

We are so proud that Amanda serves as Wilderwood’s Board President!

Horses in Harmony Clinic

Part of Wilderwood’s mission is to educate people about horses, and what better way to do so than hosting a “Horses in Harmony” Clinic with the enormously talented Kristin Darnell. Wilderwood’s brand new arena was the setting for Kristin’s enjoyable and informative session, with amazing riders and six beautiful equids.

Thank you, Kristin, for your generosity in sharing your wisdom and knowledge — and thank you to the participants for taking part in what was a wonderful afternoon.

Here are just some of the images from the Clinic.

BCBS, Home Depot, and Blue Bear!

So excited to announce that Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico is generously sponsoring Wilderwood’s Halloween and Horses Open Day Fundraiser and Graduation.

Not only did BCBS donate generously to offset the cost of holding the event, but Blue Bear is going to be making an appearance! Wonder what Desmond will think of that!

Home Depot Los Lunas has also very generously donated a door for the renovation to the Office and Classroom.

We are so grateful and appreciative for the community support extended to Wilderwood and are excited to share our Open Day and graduation ceremony for our first cohort on October 30.

Fun in the Sun

At Wilderwood, we have incredible volunteers who, among other activities, help with the exercising and riding of the horses, both on the ground and mounted. It’s great exercise and something different for the horses. And, in the case of Lady Faith, regular exercise — along with a diet appropriate for her condition — is an integral part of her therapy plan.

Today, we were lucky enough to have Bailey riding Faith and Karen riding Rae. It’s also really beautiful to see these amazing riders start to build, step by step, a gentle, trusting partnership with the horses.

Bailey and Lady Faith
Karen and Rae