Archive for February 2018

Ironwood Maine Barn Update

Until now, it has been a matter of establishing consistency in the care of the horses across residents and staff expectations, and providing a foundation of competence for the physical and emotional well-being of our herd. We now have residents demonstrating handling and riding competence and developing deeper understanding and refined skills for riding through heart intention and the use of equus, the horses’ own body language. This has come about in part by continuing and adapting lessons underway when I arrived, and in part by adding new aspects to the equine program: schooling horses in hand from the ground, long-lining, free schooling using equus, bareback riding, and -most recently- practicing emergency safety moves and heading out for brief rides on the IW roads.

Some changes in care have improved the health and willingness of the horses to perform, beginning with a change to Barefoot Natural Balance hoofcare. This week, residents and barn staff will have a class on equine nutrition and supportive research will be provided. I have been researching this topic for some time, and have been working with our farriers on it for about a month, piloting changes I will likely make for IW horses with my own horses at home, with great results. (And applying these principles and practices with four rescue horses at our home barn at the same time, in partnership with vets.)

I am excited to be working with our horses in the verbal language of driving, have starting Duncan in ground training for this, and assessed others for their interest and ability. Residents will have the chance to join this process as interested. So there’s lots more to come as we head into full spring and summer!

Thank you all for your support! -Joy

Ironwood Maine Granted Accreditation by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges

Ironwood Maine, a therapeutic boarding school for struggling teens in Maine, is proud to announce it was granted accreditation by the Commission on Independent Schools from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) at its February 5-6, 2018, meeting.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/02/prweb15246526.htm

Ironwood Maine Web Update

I can tell that time really does fly by here on our little piece of the earth because it seems like I’m writing these updates every day, not every week. Yes, it is true that the days rapidly turn into weeks, and the week’s into months. And, before you know it, your child has been here for 3 months or 6 months, or you’re looking at a home visit date. The season’s change and in similar fashion the cycle of the Ironwood Journey takes on new and beautiful form each week. And like the season’s, complete with its storms and sunshine, cold and warmth the growth of your child takes place.

We battled the end of winter, precursor to spring, “Mud Season” this week with the lower Ironwood Road taking on the consistency of quick sand completely capable of swallowing a small to mid-size vehicle. Yet, as noted here prior we are well equipped with the vehicles to get in and out. And, of course, our local emergency management teams of fire and medical emergency personnel are more than prepared to get in and out on these roads.

Maple Monday has been a very big hit with a full day being spent in the woods and fields of our beautiful campus for residents of both Frye and Farmhouse. A different group is selected each week and are staff led to the Sugar Orchard where all the chores and responsibilities are carried out for nineteenth century Maple Syrup operation. Taps are added each week and we’ve actually had some SAP runs already with buckets being emptied into the 300 gallon holding tank for a future boil. February 20th is the calendar date that all Maple Syrup operations mark on their calendars as the date to have all your trees tapped. In addition to the work, there is much time spent on outdoor experiential education centering on tree identification, the dormancy of the Northern Forest in winter and its “springing” back to life as Mother Nature preps for summer. Much conversation and good food, cooked on open fires in the orchard compliment the day. Much more sweetness to come on this subject.

The field trip to the glass blowing shop was completed with a grand time had by all. The residents learned of the craft and had their hand at some glass blowing themselves! Farmhouse is preparing for an “ethnic night” experience tonight with France being the host country. As I was breezing through the FH early this afternoon I witnessed instruction and hands on Duck Filleting going on along with a lot of other goodies in various stages of preparation. Ethnic Nights are deeper than just local fare as each resident has to study and then report on aspects of the host country. Topics are its culture, economics, geographic locale, and in many cases it’s impact as an immigrant population to the United States. Oh, and it is not without decorations. Maybe a picture or two coming for you.

As I opened with the reference of time going by so quickly here on our little campus, my mind goes to the myriad of things that occur here weekly and daily; Music Group, Art Group, Exercise Groups, DBT Groups, EAP Sessions, Therapeutic Groups, Individual Therapies, Yoga Class, Horsemanship Group, School, Bunk Chores, Barn Chores, Meal Prep, Meal Time, House Chores, Folder Work, Service Reflection, Family Therapies, Hiking, Free time, Fun time, Maple Monday, Food delivery, Horse Riding…now, apply a time taken to accomplish each of these? No wonder time goes by so fast!

Have a great week and thanks for allowing your child to be part of our lives…