~ Welcome to Epic Farms ~
Woo - it's Winter! Brrr :o)

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We are a small non-profit striving to share the big picture...
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A BLURB about our credentials (or lack thereof): Because the Titanic was built by professionals and the ark by amateurs, we are more than happy to hang on to our "absolute amateur" status. (can you blame us? ;o)
 
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Pop on over and visit our lenses...we Squidoo, do you?  Don't forget to come back!

   

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Looking for something specific? Search our site here:

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PLEASE NOTE: Donations are 100% tax deductible... Epic Farms is a 501c3 non-profit corporation. HOORAY!



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*Have a Happy and Horsey 2014!*


I have fallen woefully behind on our online projects (please excuse me for "swearing". *laugh*). Pretty sure it's going to take me quite awhile to catch everything back up, as I'm now having to figure out a large number of redesigned websites and "new and improved" functions before I can actually do anything (otherwise known as: Everything I knew how to use has completely disappeared, and I can't find anything anymore - Ack! ;o)
I am trying to revamp (and simplify) our website, sooo expect things to be a little (well, maybe a LOT) confusing around here while I figure it all out...

Don't forget to visit our blog, Equine Epiphanies to see what we're up to (otherwise known as how much trouble we can get into :o) from week to week. That's the very best way to keep up with us!

Below is a short video slide show for you to watch that is, essentially, our philosophy. You may have to let it hiccup all the way through one time before watching it. Hopefully, you believe as we do that horses are a gift.  Enjoy!



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Looking for more videos? Come and visit us on Vimeo. It's a bit of an eclecticly educational hodgepodge (now say that three times fast ;o) but lots of fun!

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About this Site...
If you think horses are beautiful animals, but a horse is a horse and let's not get carried away here (they're livestock*, for crying out loud) then this is probably not the place for you (except for the HandydandyHints page perhaps).

-  BUT -

If you think that maybe (just maybe) there might be something you are missing or you are a curious sort that loves to think and work outside the box and you're willing to learn or try something new then: COME ON IN...

WE'RE SO VERY GLAD YOU'RE HERE!


 
* You might want to peek in a bible at Revelations 19:11 (certainly supports the theory that horses are something extra special, doesn't it???)

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Look who we found!
 
Funny how things work out. I was racking my brain trying to figure out a way to incorporate reading into our programs, when I stumbled across The Black Stallion Literacy Foundation (Woo!) Their reading programs slide so seamlessly into what we were already planning, it's obviously a match made in heaven :o) Awesome!



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Soooo, what do we do exactly? Well...

Farm Visits ~ Offered to families and small groups who can schedule a time to come out for a visit and to meet the horses. Particular emphasis is on cancer patients and volunteers and employees of local service organizations ('cause they could definitely use someplace peaceful to decompress).
Care Package Corral ~ A selection of fun things to do (mostly horse related) tucked inside a colorful envelope for children that are sick and/or disabled. Items include things to color, colored pencils (to color them with ;o), stickers, postcards, a bookmark, puzzles, etc. We have delivered these to a local hospital (for sickle cell patients), the Twilight Pageant (for area cancer kids) and are always making more to share (care packages are free of charge to our local pint-sized patients). Care packages may be offered for sale in our Etsy shop soon; this would help to defray the cost somewhat (I'm currently footing the bill for all of it).
Tailored Programs ~ To work with specific needs and/or interests for area organizations like the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, handicapped student's/schools, home schooled children, the Local Chapter of the Blind, etc.
Mentoring ~ For older children and high school students interested in pursuing careers in either the equine science industry or veterinary medicine specializing in equines.
Horsey Homeschooling ~ A customizable curriculum for home school students incorporating horses (reading and science units successfully piloted). This program is widely varied as it is contingent upon multiple factors; age, subject material, reading ability and time.

*Program information is updated as available*
On A Quick Personal Note:

I may fantasize about
having my very own clone, but the sad fact is that there is only one of me (which, when I reflect upon it, is probably a good thing). I have a family, eight horses and a full-time job, in addition to the non-profit to keep up with.

While I have some help with some of the physical stuff, our virtual presence is all mine: DD never gets past email and Facebook and DH only recently learned how to watch Fox News online after mastering the power on and shut down challenges (I'm pretty sure he's maxed out).

Should you find some heinous typo or a broken link, please send me an email and let me know. I try to keep up, but I have more than 60 lenses (pages) on Squidoo, two online shops, the blog and this website to maintain; so you can see where things might collect a few virtual cobwebs from time to time. Not to mention it causes me to question my sanity for having done it all in the first place :o)

Thank you so much for visiting! Horsey hugs,

                                  

Please don't forget to sign our guestbook; especially if you liked the site. We need lots of encouragement ~ it's scary out here! :o)


The Breast Cancer Site
If you would like to help fund free mammograms, click on this link.  They also offer a daily reminder (some of us need a nudge - yep, that would be me :o) through your email. It only takes a minute to click for the cause - Get 'em squashed ladies, it's important!

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Please visit the Animal Rescue Site, they  
The Animal Rescue Site

have their own tab with the above mammogram page. If you'd rather, you can just click the pawprint link to help them feed abandoned animals.

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free counters



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Please help Shadow promote our blog!
(he thinks he can do it all by himself, but he really could use some help)


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Our Mission Statement:
To create and maintain a family friendly environment that will promote equine based learning and facilitate safe interaction for both individuals and small groups [in Southeast Alabama].


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Want to lend a helping hoof without giving money?

Goodsearch: You Search...We Give!


Join us on GoodSearch - it's free! By using GoodSearch, GoodShop, GoodDining and more, it doesn't cost you anything at all, but it sure does matter to us!

Just go to the GoodSearch website and select Epic Farms as your charity of choice. Sign up to download the plugin and add GoodSearch to your existing search box, or you can go crazy and download the tool
bar for the whole shebang (that's what I did).

Be sure to set GoodSearch as your default search engine (it's a normal Yahoo search) and sign in. Goodsearch will donate a penny to us each time you search the web; something you are probably already doing anyway. Isn't that great?

Better yet, there are a gazillion coupons on there for stores we shop at all the time. If you shop through GoodShop the store will donate a percentage of your purchase to us as well. Awesome! Be sure you're signed in though.

GoodDining offers coupons and yet another way to donate each time you go out to eat. Please help us pass the word - all those pennies really do add up!


Have a smartphone?  There is even a GoodApp to Go!

GuessWhatGuessWhatGuessWhatGuessWhat??
We have
172* supporters now on GoodSearch!

*Unfortunately, most of them are not logged in, so the donations don't come to us (they go in a general fund). Please be sure you are logged in when you search and shop, it only takes a minute and doesn't hurt at all - honest!

Being the forgetful sort, I made GoodSearch my homepage; that way, I know I won't forget to log in  ;o) Thank you!

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Whose training methods do we follow?

Nobodys and Everybody's...

My personal perspective:

W
hen it comes to the food you eat, I'm a straight Meat-N-Potatoes kind of gal; um, hold the gravy.  When it comes to food for thought and working with the horses, however, I am all about the smorgasbord (buffet).


~There is no one size fits all training method
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...any more than one horse is just the same as another! 
 

        
~~ Click here to visit our Thinkin' Blog ~~

With so much information available, you can be a great gourmet; using a little of this, and a little of that. Add a dash of the other and you've got yourself a homemade recipe cooked up to fit you and the horse; that includes factoring in what both of you are capable of.  I guess we'll call my approach a slice of Hodgepodge Humble Pie (and that's probably enough of the food analogies).

I freely admit to messing up on a regular basis, but happen to be of the opinion that if you're not messing up at least periodically, you're probably not doing anything either :o)

Our
Horse Heroes page features some of the people we love to look to for help (I'll be perpetually working on that page). Equine Epiphanies is the blog and details some interesting things I've discovered along the training trails, along with bits and pieces of life (because hey, it all kind of goes together, right?).

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What the heck is Etsy? Etsy is an online marketplace where you can buy and sell wonderful handmade items, as well as vintage goods and crafting supplies.  They do ask you to sign up to shop, but it is extremely easy to do. Here's a sneak peek for you...


My parents made me look everything up in the dictionary. So, if you get stuck on a word, just type it in the box to see what it means. (Oh, and don't worry; it didn't kill me so I betcha it won't do you in either ;o)



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How on earth did we get here?

I often refer to our horses as my little "Psalm 37s" running around out there in the pasture.  Why? Because horses are indeed "my heart's desire" and I feel so very very blessed to have them.  I have learned more from our own horses in the past few years than I ever learned in all the books I read, classes I took (in college), movies I watched, and riding lessons I had growing up. That is why I am doing this; I just love to share some of the amazing things I've learned and yes I admit it; some of things I've had to unlearn as well (there have been lots of unlessons along the way too ;o)

While our original plan was to buy and sell horses, I learned very quickly that if a horse came to this house and I spent more than 5 minutes with it, it stayed.  Friends and family would roll their eyes and tell me to at least sell some of them.  Obviously, it didn't take long before we were horse poor (but happy!)  In addition to the horses we bought on purpose, we picked up some rescues along the way by accident. We did manage to actually sell one of our "accidental rescues" to a family we knew, but when she no longer suited their horse needs, (they got involved in showing) she came right back. I taught riding lessons once or twice, which in addition to a full time job, helped to pay the bills but that didn't seem to be the answer either.

With so many horses ending up in rescues, slaughterhouses, or abandoned, I was hesitant to sell or give them any of them away lest they wind up with that same terrible fate.
Somewhere along the line we began casually inviting friends and people we knew to come see the horses, which we really enjoyed. Shortly thereafter, I was invited to speak to some middle school students who were reading "Black Beauty" and I had an absolute  BLAST! :o)  The casual visits slowly morphed into an unofficial educational venture, and it wasn't long before I realized that there is no greater joy than can be found in sharing something that's near and dear to your heart with others. Hooray! I had finally figured out what I was going to do with all those horses!

Why a non-profit?
Okay, I figured out my passion in life is to share our horses with the world, now what? How do I do that exactly?  The more I looked in to what I wanted to accomplish, the further in over my head I realized I was (hmmmmm).  I wanted to be able to share all this cool stuff with anyone that was interested ~ especially those that have never been around horses and not just people with the ability to pay. It's great in theory to simply fling open the proverbial barn doors and invite everyone to come learn, but in reality (which is the quickest way to ruin all your fun) that doesn't work at all.  I was going to have to figure out a way to go from being the unofficial Leader of the Duct Tape and Band aid Brigade to Bonnie Businesswoman if we were to even stand a chance... 

Some hiccups along the way
Once I had a rough idea which direction we wanted to pursue, I threw myself into research mode. My husband dragged me off to a seminar to learn how to write grants (aha! now there's an idea :o) I developed a business plan, began compiling demographics, and contacted local groups to determine the level of interest (essentially, everyone I talked to was ready to jump in the car and come visit now-now-now). We set up a 4H group, and started having meetings at a local community center. Things were tooling along very nicely, and then I went for my first mammogram at age 40:  Stage 1c breast cancer threw the biggest monkey wrench I'd never expected into my life. Everything came to screeching halt. 

So where are we now?
Well, we made it past "kerfluey" and though I'm definitely not running as fast as I was when I started this project, we are moving forward.  A rare muscle disease called Dermatomyositis put a second hitch in my giddyup (that southerism always makes me smile :o) but I'm not stopping! We were granted our 501c3 as an official Non-Profit Organization, so now the real work is underway.  We are fine tuning details for our programs, practicing on friends and family every chance we get, and working hard at raising the funds necessary to realize our dream (or at least its beginning).
   Unsure about donating to a charity online? Understandable. Please feel free to verify the legitimacy of our non-profit status at The IRS website or Guidestar (we're pretty darn cautious with our money too!)
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