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  • Writer's pictureStable Hands

How we handle being stuck in the Barn...

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

The current outbreak and conditions for the Corona Virus has bought many changes to the Stable Hands Program. Our first concern as always is SAFETY. Present conditions require many obstacles to meet while we keep everything going until its time to bust out of the barn again. Most pressing was the postponement of the Spring session that we were all so looking forward to. For our riders, this may be disappointing to wait for the services that our wonderful staff, volunteers and especially the horses provide! Many of our volunteers completed a Spring training at the beginning of March, for skills that will have to wait to be put to use until we reschedule. Our hearts go out to everyone with a promise that Stable Hands is still kicking and will be ready to start as soon as conditions allow for the safety and health for everyone involved.

Our Program & Volunteer Coordinators, P.A.T.H. Instructors, Horse and Facility Managers, and staff have unique roles in implementing the Stable Hands program. This is a huge job even in normal conditions. There are many tasks that are ESSENTIAL for this non-profit organization. Here are some of the ways we're coping with the current Shelter in Place order in Siskiyou County...


No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle

Winston Churchill

The horses were ready to go and were actually transferred to the Oak Valley Ranch facility in early March. All of the horses had their hooves done and the veterinarian came out to get the herd up to date on all of their vaccinations. Horse conditioning is an important step to help each horse strengthen their minds and bodies to be ready for the Therapeutic Horsemanship riding lessons provided to our clients. With the statewide orders to Stay at Home, we decided to disperse the herd into the hands of our riding instructors, Yvonne Wiley & Erin Fowle to continue the process from their homes. This new arrangement allows our staff to continue working with the horses. This not only insures that the horses will be ready, but it is also a great stress release and a way to keep humans and horses busy while practicing social distancing.


“The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infectious disease experts, and multiple international and national human and animal health organizations have stated that at this time there is no evidence to indicate that horses could contract Covid-19 or that horses would be able to spread the disease to other animals or humans.”


Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating those who work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal." Walt DisneY

While the virus keeps people and horses at home, we live with a reality that the show must go on. Very soon we will all be turned out of the barn again, and will return to the way of life we knew. This means we need to keep our 'green pastures' ready and must continually coordinate everything that putting on the Stable Hands program entails. Before sheltering in place, our Program coordinator Lee Ann Paul had been working hard getting together the Rider list for the 2020 season. Accepting Rider Packets and making sure each client has the necessary forms and documentation is much to organize and although the office is closed to the public, we continue to accept new & updated applications for processing. With the help of Instructor Lauren Sweezey, we are completing interviews with riders from home by telephone. This allows us to avoid spreading the virus while setting goals and reviewing expectations for the upcoming sessions when they resume. Our volunteer coordination is also done remotely by keeping all of the Stable Hands dedicated volunteers updated on future dates and trainings. New volunteer training will be rescheduled, and we are hoping everyone will feel safe to venture out into the sunshine when we are safely out of the Corona crisis.


Continuing work for Hearts Hands & Horses

Stable Hands

Everything done at Stable Hands from Horse Conditioning, Coordinating, Facility & Management is ESSENTIAL to bringing this wonderful Therapeutic Horsemanship Program to our clients. Horses are comfortable with sheltering in place. They know what the defined spaces of their pasture or paddock are, and have come to accept that their essential needs will be met within it. It's a big change to shelter in place knowing there is so much to be done! Because of Coronavirus, we have had to make innovative changes to allow that work to continue from the homes of Stable Hands staff members, by holding conference calls, rerouting the telephone number, & keeping good communication through messaging, emails & phone calls. The work is worth it. The work continues. We at Stable Hands will be stronger from the conditioning of present life to be ever ready in the future.  


We have an amazing team of horses and staff that we still need to care for.  We have an absolute obligation to care for our horses and to keep our staff employed as long as possible.  We've spent 24 years building this team and we are determined to maintain the progress we've made.  Our goal as a community is to support our nonprofits and businesses so we can all hit the ground running when the emergency passes.  Your support is needed now more than ever.

This is P.A.T.H. Instructor Yvonne Wylie at home working with Shaddai. March 24th 2020

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