Flying Changes Center
for Therapeutic Riding

Winter 2005 Newsletter

January, 2005

Quote—”Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world… indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Meade.

From the Director:
And so it has been throughout the challenge of developing Flying Changes Center. Each year as I begin to think about writing this article for the Donor Newsletter issue, I am reminded that the contributions of a relatively small group of sincerely dedicated people have driven our mission forward since 1992. Sometimes those contributions flowed into Flying Changes as cash, securities, in-kind donations, planned giving and grants. The range of gifts here varies significantly but each gift, from the largest to the smallest, is valued not only for its worth but also for the genuine intent to help that underlies that gift. At other times we were gifted with the enthusiastic sharing of talents and energies. Always, people were as generous with their resources as possible.

I’ve chosen a few examples of volunteer “giving” in an effort to convey the spectrum of involvement both past and present:
*The Occupational Therapist who donates professional services as a therapeutic riding instructor one afternoon each week.
*Parents of special needs children who also shoulder the responsibility of Board Directorship where members chart and implement a multiple year course for FCC.
*Teenagers who prefer to spend their free time at the barn taking care of horses (now that’s different!)
*A Health Care Professional who mends horse blankets, and who leapt many steps beyond to create a cloth insulating wall between the downstairs and upstairs offices (much warmer and spending less money on fuel, too!)
*A School Teacher who constructed and now manages our very effective website
*Another Teacher whose volunteer service with FCC extends over a 12 year period, to include equine care, direct service with our special needs clients, and Board Chairmanship too!
*The Engineer who learned to take care of the horses with his daughter, for over 10 years!
*The Architect who arrives at 5 a.m. to drive the truck and horse trailer (heavily laden with sleepy students, tons of tack and horses) to the summer events.
*The remarkable 70 year old former horse owner who serves as an equine care worker, therapy horse leader, teacher assistant, and mentor for new volunteers (should she ever retire from her volunteer post, we’ll need 3 people to replace her!)
*The BIW worker who feeds our horses and closes the barn at night.
*The Columbia University Professor of Business who wishes to help FCC further develop resources
*The retired social worker who enters data, addresses envelopes, helps with barn care and leads therapy horses in sessions.
These are just a few of the extraordinary people who care enough to guarantee, by their own efforts, that Flying Changes Center continues to be visible and accessible to the community. Their contributions have been instrumental in changing the lives of 100’s of special needs youngsters and adults.
To each and every one of you… we send our most sincere thanks and congratulations for choosing to make such a wonderful difference!

Did you know? You can DESIGNATE your United Way and Combined Federal Campaign donations to Flying Changes Center. Simply use the proper ID number on the
contribution form you fill out for payroll deduction. What a great way to give to Flying Changes Center! United Way #15781 and CFC #3019

A surprise visit from Barbara Bush!

This past summer during one of our Summer Camp weeks, we enjoyed a surprise visit from Barbara Bush. She came to Flying Changes Center to watch her granddaughter vault on Phia. That sure added some excitement at FCC! easy way to help Flying Changes raise funding for its programs! Washington Post and UNUM/Provid

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world…

Volunteers come from many places and through a variety of events. Brunswick Naval Air Station, Bowdoin College’s Common Good Day, Bowdoin College students, LL Bean, Freeport Town Square, Independence Association’s Learning Center, Volunteers of America. Topsham Junior High School students: Fred & Jimmy, Amy Madsen, Karen Bartlet. Kents Hill students: Katie Bunten-Wren ’05, Jessica Schnell ’05, Jana Hampel ’06, Spencer Cook ’07 Samantha Allen ’08 and many thanks to our Nov/Dec ‘04 volunteers: Karen Bartlet, Ken Boyington, Joan Butterer, Samantha Cherbonneau, Noreen Delorey, Tess Demers, Aria Eee, Tristan French, Gillian Garratt-Reed, Emily Glinick, Brittany Guay, Daniel Haggerty, Stephanie Hancock, Megan Jacobs, Maureen Kenney, Betsy Kipp, Haley La Pointe, Lorraine Latour, Zofia Lamprecht, Katie Liscovitz, Fred Louese, Sandra Lulay, Margaret MacDougal, Amy Madsen, Allyson Miller, Jessica Miller, Joyce Morin, Gerry Orem, Whitney Rauschenbach, Wendy Reed, Karen Rice, Jimmy Rogers, David Sargent, Sara Shute, Lyn Steeves, Derril Webber.

“I return week after week because of the amazing transformations I see as a volunteer.”
Many, many THANKS to our Volunteer Staff!

New Corporate Sponsor

Chapman Associates Insurance of Kennebunk, ME has enthusiastically agreed to become a corporate sponsor of Flying Changes Center. Chapman Associates is currently meeting the insurance needs for FCC and wishes to underwrite the annual cost of care for our Norwegian Fjord horse Phia (NARHA’s 2001 honoree for Best Therapy Horse in New England). Established in 1994 by Tom Osborn, Chapman Associates offers a wide variety of insurance coverage plans which include: personal and commercial liability, farm and ranch packages, specialty liability coverage, equine mortality and major medical surgery. Coverage is also available to therapeutic riding schools, riding clubs and associations, boarding facilities, and shows or events.

On a cold weekend late in October 2004, I attended a two-day workshop at Flying Changes for people interested in becoming NARHA registered instructors. Our first day was long and so packed with information that I felt mentally exhausted and overwhelmed. The next morning I was relieved to find that we were beginning with a video. It turned into the highlight of the weekend and was a perfect reminder of why I was there! The video began with about five individuals with physical disabilities filmed as they were walked toward the camera. Many of them had a gait that was noticeably affected by a disability. Their movements were jerky and rigid or loose and exaggerated. The scene changed to show these same people riding horses, feet in stirrups, hands on reins, and heads held straight and proud! The horse as an extension of the rider was fluid, smooth, and strong. Someone who just a moment ago was a person with a disability was now a rider; confident, independent, relaxed and in control!
Most of the kids that I interact with as a volunteer at Flying Changes do not have severe developmental disabilities. That does not mean that their progress, growth and pride is unremarkable. Some of these kids have learning disabilities, some have ADD, some have trouble at home and at school, while some have delays in development.
How empowering it must feel to sit on a horse and with a nudge move ahead gracefully and efficiently. How important it is to give that child trust and the opportunity to see the world from a different perspective, to enable the child to succeed.

There are many things I have done as a volunteer at Flying Changes. From cleaning stalls to cleaning windows, leading horses to licking envelopes; they are all important. There is satisfaction in knowing that in some way I contribute to FCC. I return week after week because of the amazing transformations I see as a volunteer.

Adopt-a-Horse Program: Help us love and care for our very special therapy horses.

By pledging a monthly or annual contribution, you can sponsor one of our very special therapy horses.

· Skipper is adopted by Anna Bigelow.

· Soleil is adopted by Lyn Traver

· Phia is adopted by both Chapman Assoc. and Anna Bigelow

Your contribution helps support the care needed to keep your equine friend in optimal condition for work with special needs students here at Flying Changes Center.
Joan Harrigan has arranged for a contribution to United Way to be deducted from her paycheck as her way of adopting our thoroughbred/quarter horse Spring. We are asking for your help as these horses still need adopting: Ty, Tai Pan, Quinn, Lily, Erwin, Abby, Mystery, Juliet and Max
To learn more about Adopt-a-Horse visit our website at: or call #729-0168.

Max became the star participant in a three-day workshop featuring Gene Ovnicek, Natural Balance Farrier. Max had suffered from a series of hoof problems, until Gene Ovnicek was able to restore sufficient soundness so that Max could be ridden at the walk… for the first time in over two years!

From a Parent
It never occurred to me 12 years ago when I started Flying Changes that the power and wisdom of the horse would become essential to the healing of a child of my own, nor did I ever expect to be writing an article from the perspective of a parent.

In October of 2003, my daughter, Emily, was in a serious car accident – she was rear ended at high speed while sitting at a traffic light. She sustained neck and back injuries and head trauma. For two months we didn’t know how much functionality she would regain. At that point it didn’t look as if Emily would ever again ride competitively with grand prix trained therapy horse, Tai Pan, or even ride at all. It appeared that the accident might also have claimed a life dream as well.

In April 2004, Emily began coming around the barn again, visiting her best equine buddy, and gradually Tai Pan convinced her to try riding a bit. The extraordinary power of his influence in the bond between the two was clear and evident as he stuck with her even when the pain for her was too much. Long story short – against all odds and the prognosis of her specialists, Emily did compete this summer and was unstoppable. Tai Pan gave her back a part of her life she couldn’t live without, and my gratitude to this handsome, wise, loving, occasionally aristocratic (with purpose) but always thoroughly sensitive equine is immeasurable.

As an added gift, Emily and Tai Pan appeared on the September 2004 cover of the equine publication, the Horses Maine. The photo was taken at the USEA Combined Training Event at Snowfields, where Emily finished a half point out of first place in her division .
In Kind Donors/Professional Services:
Geri Valentine-Negy – trees to break the wind

Harraseeket Inn – donated meeting room, FCC Board

Kirchner Family – leather harness for Skipper

Kirchner Children (Davie & Deen) – office supplies

Peter Karonis, Fairwinds Farm – flower baskets raffle

Peter Griffy, Griff’s Pizza – 2 Pizzas for horse show

Joan Butterer – laundering large winter horse blankets

Carol Burrill – 2 pairs of leather riding boots, wraps

Amy Watson – Crosby saddle

Gerry Orem – ongoing donation of paper products

Kristin Benoit – Riding clothes & boots

Anne Morong – Western Saddle.

Melanie Steane – A book about Horse Care

Jim Hurlburt – Natural Balance Clog for Max

John Trafton – One year of Select supplements

Wild Oats (Rebecca) $250 line of credit

Doris Bonneau – grant writing

Elizabeth Fossett – newsletter layout/publishing

Donna Smith – webmaster

Will Dale Press– printing

Maureen Kenney – Heat conservation project

Jean Rice – Applied Kinesiologist

George Doughty – Master Plumber

Monetary donations over $5,000:
Anonymous Donor

Doree Taylor

Monetary donations $1000—$5000:
Walter & Helen Norton

Morris & Lin Peyton

Bath Savings Institution

Gerry Orem

Joan Harrigan

Davenport Trustees

Doree Taylor

Monetary donations $500—$1000:
Gardiner Saving Bank/Topsham

Tom & Kathleen Reed

St. Andrews Church

Barbara & George Doughty

Dixie Dawkins

Uwe and Kerstin Kirchner

Brunswick Knight of Columbus

Combined Federal Campaign:

Barbara Bauer, Dan Dolan, Pam and Fred Dorcus, Randall Zalubski

Monetary donations $100—$500:
Bragdon-Finley Funeral Home

Ed & Ruth Benedikt

John Boylston

Chris & Jim Cornish

Betsy Dawkins

Mildred Jones

Peter Ladner

Bruce and Margi MacDougal

Allyson Miller

Jim & Alice Miller

RJ Pelletier

Susan & John Saunders

Melanie S. Steane

Carol & Joel Stinson

Michael Thompson

Maine Artificial Limb/Orthodics

Beth Phinney

Joan Tilney

Anna Bigelow

Dorothy Baker

Lucy Ellis

UNUM Provident

Deb Wright

Karen Barstis

Joan Butterer

Brunswick Hannaford

Ann Hillis

Audrey Hobbs

Carol & Steve Liscovitz

Maine Equine Assoc.

Robert & Betty Massee

O’Connor GMC

Downeast Energy

Betsy & Daryl Kipp

Lyn Traver

Ken & Sharon Wing

First National Bank

Washington Post

Paul & Carlene Wentland

Nancy & Lawrence Sirois

Donations under $99

Jennifer & James Appleby

Carol & Burton Buzelli

Don and Pauline Cloutier

Donna & Andrew Cooper

Janet & John Courant

William & Shirley Hatch

Natalie Jones

Richard, Lori, Haley LaPointe

Janice & Roy Mace

Jane & Kenneth Wheeler

Mary & Karen Bergeron

Susan & Roger Bisson

Laura Paise

Pauline & Roland Poussand

Linda & Del Temple

Rose Horowitz

John Fogg

Laurel & Kenneth Footer

Nicole Irvin

Sheryl & Daniel McWilliams

Don and Patricia Pratt

Bruce Stahl

Topsham Hannaford

Sharon & Nelson Beaudoin

Macky Bennett

Gordon & Rosemary Brigham

Janet & David Bubier

Alan & Brenda Buonaiuto

Connie Cummings

Erin & Michael Foglietta

Charlene & James Gilley

Lorraine & Albert Gondeck

Marilyn Greenwood

Chake & Peyton Higgison

Alicia & Barry Johnson

Barbara Sewell MacDonald

Marilyn Mahoney-Lightman

Maine Feldenkrais Physical Thpy

Harriet Hinckley

Maxine Roberts

Mary McAdoo

Bob Melaragno

Harriet Richards

Rosamund Richmond

Patricia Robinson

George & Susan Sergeant

Eileen & Lawrence Stevens

Jaqueline & Richard Strong

Lindys Auto Repair

Greene Central School

Harriet Richards

Barbara Dubin

Lynn Marcotte

David Mitchell

Aria Eee

Joyce Jenkins

Mary-Jo & Lauriston Day

LC VanSavage

Jeff Bolduc

Mark Jenkins

Joan Brewer

Jolene & Gary Brooks

Mary & Edward Butler

Central Maine Power/Brunswick

Chilton Paint Co.

Beth Clark

Greater Brunswick Physical Thpy

David Hammond

Louis Johnson

Lorraine Latour

Loose Shoes 4 H

Kim & Zach Mazone

David Mitchell

Patsy O’Brien

Arlene & George Rheaume

Seri Rudolph

Barbara Shirey

Sandra Weiss

Skowhegan Savings Bank

Judith Jones

Joan Brewer

Phyllis & Walter Coombs

Tim Vail

MSAS#52—Adult Ed.

Oliver Baker


A Special Gift from Wild Oats Eatery & Bakery

Rebecca Shepard, owner of Wild Oats Eatery and Bakery, has long been an enthusiast of our programs at Flying Changes. This year, in an effort to support us, she devised a plan allowing FCC to now have a $250 “line of credit” for product (yummy!) or gift certificates that can be used for fundraising or for recognizing volunteers, etc. This is a terrific idea! Thank you Wild Oats, and we appreciate Rebecca’s creativity and generosity! Please visit Wild Oats Eatery & Bakery, located in the Tontine Mall in Brunswick.

The NARHA Workshop Certification was a success!

In October 2004, Flying Changes Center hosted a NARHA Registered instructor workshop and certification course. The 2-day comprehensive workshop enhanced the knowledge base of therapeutic riding instructors. It is also a pre-requisite for Registered Instructor Certification with the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association.
The workshop was also useful for individuals seeking to learn more about the field but who were not yet ready to complete the certification process. Topics covered through lecture, hands-on opportunities and role-play included disabilities, teaching techniques, task analysis, class structure, lesson plans, horse analysis, equipment, and volunteer management.

Wish List:
A Volunteer to do data entry on Apple/MacIntosh computer system

Gardeners to regularly tend our memorial and reflection gardens.

Donations of perennials (drop off in the spring please)

English Bridles

New saddle pads and bounce pads to protect our horses’ backs

A volunteer who is handy with carpentry for minor facility repairs

Equine Consumables – shampoo, leather cleaner, Lexol, carrots, laundry detergent

A gallon of Arena Clear – a non-petroleum product that keeps the dust down in the arena

We wish that every horse had its own sponsor!

Tackmeister – someone to routinely clean and check tack

Wheelbarrow and Straw Brooms

First aid supplies – band aids, gauze, beta dine

New ASTM/SEI helmets in a variety of sizes

People Consumables – cups, snacks

Stall Notes: April Leeman, Barn Manager

My name is April Leeman and I am the Barn Manager at Flying Changes. Thanks

for your interest in volunteering! Volunteers are the heart of our organization and are essential to the delivery of therapeutic riding services. Volunteers assist with the care of our 15 horses – barn work involves cleaning stalls, feeding, watering, and grooming. Equine care volunteers are the people who keep our horses healthy and happily working with our special needs children and adults. Sometimes we have lessons that require a leader or a side-walker for safety or emotional support so there are opportunities to be directly involved as part of the therapeutic team. Volunteers also assist with basic housekeeping chores, administrative tasks (fundraising, newsletter collating/mailing, etc.), facility maintenance, gardening, and any other need that comes up. We mostly need help from about 8 am until 4 or 5 pm. We can work around most schedules to find a time that would work best for both you and us. You can come all day, a couple of hours, or even just 20-30 minutes that you have free. All we ask is that if you do sign up to work at a certain time (and if you can’t make it, just give us a call and let us know). If you have any further questions or would like to schedule a time to come volunteer, please call us at 729-0168.

Welcome… new staff at Flying Changes Center

Flying Changes Center has spent the past 6 months restructuring and subsequently has added several terrific new staff members!

April Leeman – Barn Manager. April came on board in August but was a full day volunteer for three years prior and is uniquely familiar with our equine facility needs.

Barbara Dubin MSW – Certified therapeutic riding instructor. Barbara brings with her previous experience in the therapeutic riding and mental health fields, and is a comfortable fit into our programming goals and methods.

Julie Steen OT – Julie also participated as a FCC volunteer and adds her expertise in pediatric occupational therapy to therapeutic riding work.

Zoe Howell-Martin – Instructor intern. Zoe is well known at FCC for her volunteer work during her teenage years and also for her ability to create and maintain rapport with our young clients. Top that off with excellent horsemanship skills, and you have the makings of a future certified instructor.

New Board Members: Aria Eee, Kerstin Kirchner, Jean Rice and Seth Doughty

Aria Eee has served as an Assistant Attorney General representing Maine DHHS since 1996. She is a graduate of Maine Law School. Prior to her appointment with the Dept. of the Attorney General, Aria worked for Pine Tree Legal, as a sole-practitioner and in house counsel for the Passama Quoddy Tribe’s Housing Authority. She remains an active volunteer in the legal community. Aria and her family live in Brunswick and although both of her daughters enjoyed “horse camp” in their youth, Aria is the only one still mucking stalls! Kerstin Kirchner is a parent to Deen (12) and Dewie (5) who take lessons at FCC, because she wanted to know more about how therapeutic horseback riding helps children with ADD, ADHD and developmental delays. Kerstin is a licensed massage therapist and owns a business in Scarborough called REFRESH-REBUILD-RELAX. She grew up in Germany, and lived for 8 years in Belgium before moving her family to Maine six years ago. Jean Rice is a Health Kinesiologist who began volunteering at the Center to help maintain the physical health, mental health, and overall well being of the horses in the therapy program. She has worked as a Behavior Specialist in the Bath School system. One of her three daughters is enrolled for services at Flying Changes, and the youngest is an avid youth volunteer. Seth Doughty is the eldest son of program founder, Barbara Doughty. The development of Flying Changes has always been a family project, and Seth has participated directly with special needs clients as a leader and side walker, as a fund raiser in his role as master of ceremonies for the Critterthon pet walk, and as a construction worker for the Community Barn Raising of the indoor arena. Seth has been successfully involved in sales and marketing, and currently works for his father’s plumbing business. He is married and has two daughters, ages three and one.

Farewell to our “Buddy”

On July 29, we peacefully released our good friend Buddy, who had been part of the FCC program as a rescue since September of 2001. At the time, we had hoped to rehabilitate him as a therapeutic riding horse but the effects of the starvation he had endured were too severe. Instead he became a therapeutic companion, and was particularly loved by volunteers who found themselves emotionally in need of a “Buddy”. He had several sponsors and was well loved by his many friends. Buddy’s gift to us was to manifest the power of co-nurturance between equines and humans, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share our lives with him.


Miniature horse Lily did not produce the much anticipated foals last July. She apparently reabsorbed the fetuses (a somewhat common occurrence) and continued with a false pregnancy. She will be back to work in the Outreach Visitation Program this spring. Read about Lily in the Bowdoin College “e-news”.

Norway Savings Bank’s new promotion could directly benefit FCC… wow!
The new “Reality Checking Campaign” at Norway Savings Bank offers new customers an opportunity to select a Maine based non-profit organization to receive a $50 donation on their behalf. Please consider choosing Flying Changes Center as a recipient of your $50 donation. It would be greatly appreciated by all of us at FCC!

Senters Trust awards a grant for outdoor “therapy garden”

Earlier in the spring of 2004, FCCTR received a grant award of $1,000 from Senters Trust for the purpose of creating an outdoor “therapy garden” that would be both comforting and relaxing as well as safe and secure. Many of the clients with whom we work frequently benefit from spending time outdoors with an instructor for the purpose of calming, reflecting, or reorganizing prior to structured time with the horses.

Over the summer, we stripped, renovated, added plenty of humus and planted that garden with the help of the community. The design and coordination of the project was carried out by a Master Gardener from the community, and involved volunteers from other organizations such as the Bath Garden Club, Bowdoin College (“Common Good” Day), BNAS, and UNUM (Day of Caring). Also a beautiful eucalyptus bench was donated by Chilton Paint Company.

The “therapy garden” space has been in use consistently since the beginning of September as a quiet place to where instructors may take young clients. We find the addition of the garden to be a successful one, as it enhances our ability to deliver services to our disabled youngsters.

Therapy Corner:
Noreen Delaney, PT

Volunteering at Flying Changes has been a terrific experience and as a physical therapist, I highly recommend this program to other therapists. It has been a great learning opportunity—the horse acts as a superb treatment modality to help the client improve strength, balance, trunk control and sensory input to name a few. Don’t forget to look up at the beaming face on top of the horse… who may or may not know that this is a therapeutic activity… as well as a lot of fun!

Did you forget to participate in our annual appeal this year? For your convenience, print this donation form. Thank you for your interest in helping people with special needs, and for supporting our work at Flying Changes Center.

WITH YOUR HELP… Persons with special needs can receive the proven benefits of equine facilitated therapy.

I have enclosed my tax deductible contribution of $__________________

(Please make checks payable to: Flying Changes Center for Therapeutic Riding, Inc.)

Membership Levels

Lipizzaner $1000

Thoroughbred $ 500

Morgan $ 250

Palomino $ 100

Clydesdale $ 50

Haflinger $49 or less