RideAbility Heartbeat 3/13/2015

Time is flying by this Spring – and the weather is amazing!

We are getting ready for our Annual Meeting, which will be a lunch held on Sunday March 29 at the Clarion Inn in Rochester. Silent Auction opens at Noon, lunch served at 1:00pm, and Emily McCool giving us a presentation!
This will be an exciting day – and we are allowed to use the pool so bring your towel and swim suit (included in the price!). There is even a small hot tub 🙂 *Cost is $5 per plate if you get your reservations now, and $8 at the door.

I have taken care of the spring-time essentials: completing our 2015 insurance application and policy payment, sending in our paperwork to continue our New Haven Township conditional use permit, paying for our annual Pine Island Chamber of Commerce membership and other miscellaneous items. Our board of directors helped in sending out thank yous to businesses who have made donations. Lizzy Larson has started updating our volunteer files – including a new Participation Form for each volunteer to sign. Lots of good work has been getting done.

We have taken good care of our horses this winter! Thank you Leslie, Janet and the whole horse exercise team! Just this week a visitor from Fiji “stopped by” while visiting a friend in Rochester. This woman became an instant friend of mine and of RideAbility. She complimented us on our excellent care of our horses and our obvious love, concern for and understanding of our animals. It was so uplifting to have a person of her character look over our program and give instant support (she even handed me a cash donation). It is wonderful to meet new people!

(Sierra has been diagnosed with severe arthritis in her hocks and she will be going home to live with Dorie. We have several new geldings who will stay at RideAbility this summer.)

We are developing a serious interest in miniature horses. Lizzy Larson has purchased 2 beautiful minis and she intends to share her horses and new-found knowledge with us. Bonnie Prestegard is also looking at ways to work with us in training minis for therapy. It is all exciting!

Janet is working hard to get donated items ready for silent auction baskets, tack swaps, and we are even discussing plans for a rummage sale (maybe!!). Many of you have probably heard that we have been recruited to help Hay Creek Saddle club provide horse rides at the MN Horse Expo. The Expo will be held at the MN State Fair grounds on April 24, 25 and 26. It will be a great weekend, and good PR for RideAbility!

We are starting an “Operations Board” for RideAbility. We had a kick off in January, a meeting in February and we plan to meet each month. The idea is an informal working-board who can work together and complete lots of various work items for RideAbility. Examples are: putting up poster pictures in the barn, streamline fundraising plans, improve details of goal setting for each client, review and update our first aid kit … just about anything that needs to get done! All RideAbility members are invited to be part of this Operations Board, so just ask for more information if you are interested!

Looking forward to April: Volunteer training on April 6 and 7, and classes will be starting the week of April 13 and 14.

I know we will have a great 2015 season, I can hardly wait!

RideAbility Heartbeat 2/1/2015

This will be my first RideAbility Heartbeat email for 2015.    In 2014, due to my mother’s illness and being involved in so much of her daily care I didn’t have the time&energy to keep up on this type of communication – and I missed telling everyone what was going on!    I am planning to send out frequent email updates on the RideAbility program during this year – what’s going on both in the program offerings and “behind the scenes”.

So, a couple of summary points from 2014:
– We lost Kathy Tanabe to cancer and we miss her SO MUCH!  I can’t even express …
– Our program, classes and events occurred as scheduled and they were all wonderful and effective at serving our community – because we have the BEST volunteers!
– Hannah our horse won PATH Intl. Region 6 “Equine of the Year” and 4 of us (Nancy Yorke and my family Jim, Jeanie, Jacob) traveled to San Diego to receive her award at the national conference.  The experience was incredible, and the conference gave us a lot of wonderful new ideas.

For 2015, we have had a great start so far:
– A great horse care&exercise team comes out to the barn every week on Thursday evening and scoops manure, catches&grooms horses, and even does some saddling, riding and practicing at the ramp.
– Our Executive Board of directors has already had one meeting and they are all doing a great job at offering their time and talents to RideAbility.
– We have started an Operations Board (also known as a “working board”) to keep focused on things that need to get done.    We have had one meeting, and we plan to have one meeting per month, usually on Saturdays.   All RideAbility members and volunteers are welcome to attend – but be ready to get assigned a project!
– We continue to evaluate horses and plan for their work in our program.   If you would like to receive status reports on our horses please email me ( and ask to be put on the Horse Status email list.

In January we have already submitted and delivered out 1099 forms to our horse care givers, barn managers and administrative helpers.  I have just completed the 2015 insurance application and will be sending it out on Monday.

We reformatted the RideAbility Participation form.  This is the form every volunteer fills out and signs every year … so, be sure to sign the new form!  (


ou can find it on the website –

​you can ​

print it at home and sign it and bring it to the barn – or send it in the mail if that is easier for you – RideAbility PO Box 995 Pine Island, MN 55963.)

Have a great weekend and see you all soon!

RideAbility Heartbeat


RideAbility always has something going on – even in the winter and
spring.    Tuesday, March 12 we had over 20 wonderful members of the
Acorn Acres 4H club show up at our barn for a special volunteer
training.    They brought us a $200 donation, and they were
dedicated in their training time – what a great group!    They will
be helping us on Tuesday April 9th, and if we are lucky some other
times during the year also.

Did you know that our INCREDIBLE Belly Dance Fundraiser made a net
profit of over $5500 for RideAbility?   WOW!!!   Thank you so much
to Karen Yust, her friend Kim, Karen’s family and all her belly
dance troupe.   It has been years since RideAbility has had such a
profitable fundraiser!  (and it was so much fun!)

Did you know that our Wine&Scotch tasting evening made almost
$1000?   What a great start to the year, and this fundraiser was
very special in that we were able to reach people who have never
been to our barn, and people who didn’t know about RideAbility prior
to their enjoyable evening at the Plummer house.

We are scheduled to have our first 2013 client group to RideAbility
next Wednesday, March 20th.  Twin Bluff middle school plans to bring
down 4 students for a fun-filled field trip.

Our “paperwork” is continuous also: PATH Intl. memberships, Thrivent
and other various Grant requests, New Haven Township conditional use
permit annual request, Volunteer training folders to be printed,
Class schedules to be made …

Meanwhile our horses are being cared for by: Valerie&Dan
Rabe, Dawn&Colin Pfannkuch, Katie&Levi Livingood,
Miranda&Christopher Williamson and Jacob&Jim Michelizzi
(and sometimes Janet or Patrick).  Thank you to all of the horse
caregivers that work every day of the winter to feed and water the
horses – (my heroes) WOW!

Spring 2013 Volunteer Training night is Monday April 1st,
starting at 6:15PM.    If you are available to help demonstrate
horse leading or sidewalking (or help in any other way) feel free to
come out and help with the training night – we can always use more

Classes start the week of April 8th – plan on talking to Jeanie
about the schedule you would like to volunteer for.

See you all very soon!

Rideability Heartbeat

What a wonderful Wine&Scotch tasting evening at the Plummer
House (the evening of Thursday January 24th).    I can’t thank Dawn
enough for putting it all together, and Leslie and Janet helped a
lot — and Jen Mast was the advertised artist.   Jen’s painted
saddles really made a special night to remember, and they not only
were beautiful works of art, but they filled-the-gap to remind us
constantly that we were all there to support a “horse therapy
program”.   It worked out very nicely and our final fundraiser count
for the night will be close to $1000 – thank you thank you to Dawn!

The next big event is the BELLY DANCING SHOW!!!!   How fun!    It
will be Saturday February 16th from 1:00PM – 4:00PM.   There will be
food, fun, live music, silent auction, the actual belly dance show
will start at 2:00PM, Betsy Singer will be our emcee and we’ll have
a raffle – what a day!!    Karen Yust (“Cole’s mom”) is heading up
this fundraiser and what a great job she is doing!   The fundraiser
will bring in financial support in the following 4 ways:
1) Donation&support prior to the event – Karen has already
received incredible financial support !
2) Ticket sales to the event.  Purchase your tickets by emailing me,
or by stopping Rochester Feed and Country Store (tickets are
$10/person or $25/family).   There is a $2 “door charge” so be sure
to get your tickets ahead of time!    Just email me at
and I can get you on the guest list and get you set up with
tickets.  THANKS!
3) Silent Auction, Karen has put together some beautiful and unique
items, it will be a wonderful silent auction.
4) Raffle Tickets – Karen has put together a very nice raffle.   The
items raffled are an overnight stay at Kalahari water
park&resort in Wis. Dells, or a handmade Amish quilt.    The
tickets are $20 each, each ticket has two chances to win (2 prizes)
and it is for a great cause!!!    If you can purchase a ticket or
you want to sell some tickets to friends, please contact me!    If
we sell 100 raffle tickets we will make $2000!!!   In addition, we
are planning a 50/50 raffle for the day of the event.
*Look for the event flyer I will forwarding it via email. — and

In the meantime, I have been healing very nicely from my surgery (I
can walk!).  My recovery is right on schedule so I expect to be
fully operational by spring classes.

In the winter there is a lot of very important RideAbility
paperwork to complete, so I am working very hard!!!
– The PATH Intl. center membership has been completed online
this year, we should be receiving our annual membership certificate
in a few weeks.
– I remembered to pay the annual fee for our Post Office box
(Whew!   if I forget that what will our address be?)
– I am preparing the 1099 information to be given to our accountant
by Friday Jan. 25, I have a few detail changes in the way I am
organizing things so it is taking quite a lot of time.
– Our annual liability insurance application must be submitted by
Feb. 1st so I am diligently working on that!
– I am just starting to put together the annual township conditional
use permit letter, which needs to be sent in before March 1st.
– I need help to create the 2012 Memory book – I have a big bag of pictures and
papers, does anyone have time to make a scrapbook type of memory

– Janet has completed the 2012 financial report, I am reviewing the
details and preparing it for a board review.  This must be competed
by April 1st.
– We will be meeting with United Way representatives soon, and then
giving a presentation on Feb. 19th or 20th – does anyone want to accompany me to
the presentation?

– Our preliminary 2013 RideAbility calendar is defined and Katie is
putting it up on our website.
– John Martin is working on our new website (the best part of our
new website is how parts of it will be very, very easy for our staff
to update)
– We are busy recruiting new volunteers to start this spring.  The
Red Wing newspaper gives us free vol. ads since we are part of
Goodhue Co. United Way!
… the list goes on and on, its making me tired just looking at
it!   I better go take a rest in the recliner …. see you all soon.