This week is the last week of our Farming For Resilience program for the school year.
No doubt, I will miss it.
The creek on the farm holds ALL kinds of charm. And we have all kinds of ways to access it.
Among the many hidden treasures on Dusty Dog Farm is "Dusty's Beach". This beach, mind you, is NOT what most think of as a beach. For me, it has all the qualifications : sand, water, the sound that water makes when it moves, a "unique to water" smell and maybe best of all, a natural source of clay. Said beach was the grand adventure destination that the Farming For Resilience kids had last Wednesday.
Short paths wander all around the farm.
One path is particularly intriguing as it follows the wanderings of a full and bubbling creek on the farm. We call it "Dusty's Detour", and it leads me again, now to this blog post. I have placed signs on either end of the detour to alert all of the path’s choices.
We hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! We finally had the weather we deserved!
We held our first Farming for Resilience Open House this weekend. We invited the children who attend and their caregivers to experience the farm together, giving the children the opportunity to showcase what this program has offered. I will do an entire blog post about it next week as I put together my notes and thoughts over these next few days.
While I've done my best to to articulate just what our Farming for Resilience initiative provides everyone fortunate enough to be involved, our partners at Sau29 put together this beautiful film that captures the spirit, goals, and achievements of the program. We hope it moves you as much as it moved us.
Meet a Cooper's Crossroad Ambassador and read what her experience has been!
At the beginning of the school year, we selected a group of people who had desire and interest in assisting with the Farming For Resilience program. This group of people has really done the "behind the scenes" work.... them and the horses.
I am proud to introduce 10 year old Abella Trombley, one of the team. An avid horseback rider, effervesent and a gifted teacher, she has come every Wednesday with the Children from Synonds school to be one of the horse handlers. For those who do not know our equine staff, we have one miniture pony, Velvet, who she rides and handles regularly. Abella has been instramental in taking fear and doubt in the students and turning it to excitement and confidance. Sunday I asked her for an interview about her experience as a Farming For Resilience volunteer. The following are quotes and exerpts from the interview.
To me, orginally, it sounded like nothing I had ever heard of. That "orginally" was at Sierra Tucson, an inpatient treatment center for PTSD and trauma in Tucson, Arizona...and I was grabbing on to every rope that was being offered for healing.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy was one of the therapy modalities used in my one month treatment plan. I saw an EMDR therapist daily during treatment, five days a week, for one month. In other words, I got "comfortable" with it.
Cooper's Crossroad blog May (I almost wrote April as it has felt so much like it) 8, 2019.
With great gratitude I write that the organization continues to shine, even if the sun has not.
This week has been filled with the beauty of spring..... and at long last the sun joined us in New England on Monday. Cows calving, grass growing, horses shedding, life moving towards growth. Cooper's Crossroad is the same, minus the shedding and calving. Growth is happening!
1) Farming For Resilience - The children joined us this week for a wonderful combination of riding lessons, brave breath work and expressing gratitude. The smiles on their faces say it all. We will be hosting an open house at Dusty Dog Farm for the parents, families and caregivers of the children involved in the program. This event will be held May 26, 2019, 11-1. The volunteers and staff will offer the kids an opportunity to show off what they have learned on horseback, a farm tour will be given and lunch of burgers and dogs will be served!
I have been asked for an interview May 9. A teacher is putting together a presentation of what the program is doing for the kids ...to present to the school board. I am thrilled. Always I push towards melting the myth of trauma. The more that hear it, and the work we are doing to move toward action, the better. We will be offering scholarships to the children in the Farming For Resilience program to our summer farm camp programs. I have faith that this opportunity will appeal to all, and be real for several.
I ran in to one of the teachers at Symonds tonight at 100+ Women Who Care. She shared that the impact the program is having on the students is remarkable. It made my heart warm to hear that.
2) SAVE THE DATES : Miles Towards Melting The Myth of Trauma 5K July 21, 2019 and Miles Towards Melting The Myth of Trauma 5K Pleasure Ride July 28, 2019....Our fliers are currently getting printed. And we are getting ready to bring word out to the public!!! Thank you to those who helped so much with putting together beautiful fliers.
3) This week I attended the 100+ Women Who Care event in Keene. this powerful and progressive group of women come together quarterly to support non-profits in the area. The meeting is inspiring. I would encourage any woman to explore what a cool community this is!! It is a big organization.....nationwide. So look it up, and attend a meeting if you are able. You will not be let down.
4) May 23, 2019 Dr. Catheriine Cauthorine will be speaking on EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing ....how does it treat trauma? This type of treatment is widely used for treatment of trauma. Personally it has helped me to make big shifts in my own healing journey. I will be going in to more details on what this treatment is, and what it is like ,next week!
In the meantime, please mark your calendars for this date. Thursday, May 23 7-8 pm Keene Public Libaray.
Enjoy every second of sun!
Until next week,
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.
And I welcome spring to New Hampshire! The warmth has been so welcome. I rode Cooper today and thought "If I could write a blog on horseback, it would be perfect." Unfortunately that is a bit unrealistic. So I write from my table overlooking the farm. Not a bad second choice. For those of you who do not know, Cooper came in to my life at a crossroad... just proir to the founding of "Cooper's Crossroad". He holds a speacial place in my heart, for many reasons. The organization comes form good grounding...all around. horses help that grounding, and help make the road clear. Go Cooper.
And for those in New England, welcome steadily warming weather. I know we all look forward to the green glow on the fields and trees.
Cooper's Crossroad has had another busy week. And we are grateful to add more ears on the subject! Thank you for taking the time to help raise awareness of adverse childhood experiences and trauma by reading this post.
The week was high lighted by several moving moments.
1) Farming For Resilience - notable was the work once aagin done by Stacy Linton. She led the "field" by having a clear lesson plan for the children surrounding how horses express emotion. (Side note...would it not be nice to have that clarity in our life...a wonderful teacher telling us how to read emotion in others!). This was all done with illustration and drawing, on paper and with horses. She walked the students through this with clarity and kindness. It was a huge hit with the kids. The children also each rode in a lesson...solidifying steering of the horse with a handler first and then having the independance to do it on their own, if comfort allowed. For those who are unfamiliar with horseback riding, this is a FABULOUS and EMPOWERING experience for any human being. For all the volunteers (there are many) and the horses (kind rewards help) this is a looked forward to weekly program.
To begin, I would like to introduce myself, Christina Major, founder of CCR. This organization is one born of my life experience...A life with attachment disorder, toxic stress, sexual abuse, eating disorders etc., followed by an ongoing journey of recovery. These ingredients have built a burning desire to raise awareness of adverse childhood experiences and trauma. By raising awareness we can help build the bridges to healing for indivudals, families, and communities. Through awareness, action follows.
Cooper's Crossroad has grown leaps and bounds since its 2017 inception. We now host a variety of programs that raise awareness and provide resilience building skills to groups and individuals. Until now, I would post a weekly update of what the organization was doing to folks on a "Slack" app. Recently, one of the board members noted that POSSIBLY others might like to see what Cooper's Crossroad is doing as well! I do expect, and encourage, contributions to this post. What a joy it is to me to be working toward melting the myth of trauma. Thank you all for joining on our mission, just by reading the contents. Since my brain jumps from one thing to another faster than I can possibly keep track of, I will attempt to stay onpoint by bringing up the programs one at a time.
1) Farming For Resilience - In this weekly program we partner with Symonds elementary school in Keene NH. offering 8-12 children weekly farm therapy. The Attachment, Resilience, Communication children come to Dusty Dog Farm as part of their cirruculum Wednesdays, they all ride horses, participate in interactive lectures and tours and experience a drop of what a farm can do for a child. Stacy Linton, a star volunteer, generally heads up the interactive lectures and I teach horse skills. The long list of volunteers and horses make this program a HUGE success. The photos were taken last week when we got to ride outdoors for the first time this spring!
2) Our second annual 5K is coming up July 21, 2019!! If any of you out there enjoy walking or running, this is a beautiful course run entirely on DDF farmland. Click here for more information!
3) I have done a number of speaking engagements over the last two years. I find public speaking enjoyable and am super passionate on the subject of trauma and adverse childhood experiences, and horses. So either work quite frankly. I speak next at a local high school, to the student body. Sue Maydwell, a Cooper's Crossroad board member, a knowledgeable and wonderful public speaker, recently spoke about Adverse Childhood Experiences, and their impact, at the Keene Public Library. She will take this presentation to groups and businesses. Brittany Baretto, PhD, another amazing CCR volunteer will be giving a lecture at the Health Museum in Houston TX, on the genetics of trans generational trauma as a CCR fundraiser.
4) We are now offering a Trauma Awareness Seminars Series monthly at the Keene Public Library. The first of which, An overview of Adverse Childhood Experiences and Trauma, was March 28th, and given by Sue Maydwell. They continue April 25 with Finding the Right Therapist. How does Therapy play into recovery? And May 23, What is EMDR? I am really excited to see how this project builds.
5) I generally meet weekly with folks interested in what Cooper's Crossroad is doing...unsually in my horsebarn office, and usually in segments, as people tend to drift in and out. Volunteers, friends, those interested in adding a voice, etc. Fun. Please reach out to me if you have any interest in stopping by!
I hope you all have a super week. Looks like spring is here. Horses are SHEDDING, I saw two crocuses yesterday....and the greenhouse is FULL of growing things!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
All my best, Christina
We need your support!