Touchstone Farm to switch to nonprofit

TEMPLE – Touchstone Farm, an organization that uses horses for various kinds of therapy, is looking for volunteers of all kinds and all ages for its Horsepower Program.

“We are changing from a business to a nonprofit,” said outreach coordinator Emily Garland, who said Horsepower, a therapeutic riding and driving program, “is under the umbrella of Touchstone Farm.”

“There is just something special about horses,” she said. “They are really therapeutic.”

In addition, there is the atmosphere of the farm itself.

“It’s a welcoming place,” Garland said.

Volunteers of all kinds are needed, she said.

“Volunteers are valued for their flexibility,” Garland said. “We can find as job for anyone.”

The farm needs more help, she added, “to expand our programs this fall. The more volunteers, the more we can offer.”

Programs include veterans with PSTD, at-risk children, and those with physical and emotional problems, basically for children.

“It is a very positive program,” Garland said. “There is something going on every day.”

They are hoping to expand the structure they have now as a nonprofit “and build a stronger base in the community,” she said.

“For high schoolers, there is an internship program,” Garland said, “and volunteering here can be used for community service hours.”

Internships include maintenance work, since not everyone is into horses.

“We can individualize the experience,” Garland said, and no experience is needed, as volunteers will be trained.

The farm is reaching out to schools, churches and service organizations, she said.

“Whatever time works for you,” Garland said. “There is no time off at a horse farm.”

In addition to riding and working with the horses, the farm offers a driving program for those who can’t ride. There is also vaulting, a kind of dance on a moving horse that involves gymnastics.

The farm offers a full program of instruction for all ages.