The Farm at Nanticoke Creek was founded by Colleen Cheechalk, her husband Todd, and daughter Ally in 1998. The farm is currently home to our seven horses, three of which have been brought here in cooperation with Sunkissed Acres Rescue and Retirement in Summerville, GA. Many of the horses and livestock that come here have histories that ofter include abuse, neglect or a close encounter with a slaughter truck. The chickens and ducks that are raised here are Heritage Breeds and listed with the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. We are one of only a handful of breeders and preservationists dedicated to securing a future for the Welsh Harlequin (Critical), Cayuga (Threatened), Indian Runner and Swedish (both on the watch list) ducks and the Dominique Chicken (Watch list). Animals who come here for rehabilitation stay at the farm for the rest of their lives and serve as teachers who help children and adults to learn about themselves and reconnect with the environment.
In addition to the farm animals, the farm is also a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat, with more than 3 acres of created and natural habitat for the many species that call our farm home. Through the interactions with nature, the animals and their stories, our students learn kindness, compassion, confidence and respect and appreciation for animals and all who inhabit the earth.
While the farm has been sanctuary and haven for many animals and people since Colleen’s family moved here in 1999, our program officially began in June of 2009, with the formation of Companion Farms, Inc. and in January 2010, our dedicated volunteers and volunteer Board of Directors approved major, positive, change in the direction of our organization. We became a complete equine (horse) and agricultural program with a focus on unique, engaging instruction, ethics in the field of Animal and Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (AAAT/EAAT), Humane Education, Equine Protection, and client and community outreach. The corporation was renamed Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies and Activities, Inc. and became the area’s first and only organization to provide a comprehensive program at no charge to families.
Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies and Activities, Inc. strives to offer a meaningful experience that will enhance wellness, build life skills and bring great joy and self-esteem to children, adults and families with physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional or socioeconomic special needs. We do this by providing equine (horse), animal assisted activities, agricultural and environmental learning opportunities, and the development and implementation of innovative, beneficial projects.
Because we firmly believe the ethical, humane treatment of animals, we work with rescues, horse owners, and work as an organization to provide refuge for animals in need. Our priority is horses with special needs who show the potential for work in therapeutic settings. We provide rehabilitation, training, and when we are not able to offer the horse a permanent place on our farm we work to place the horse in a suitable program with a similar philosophy.
We believe that in fostering the wellness and independence that develops through the beneficial relationships between people, animals and the environment we can make a positive impact on our community and its future.
Our Board Of Directors
Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies and Activities, Inc. has a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors and Advisory Panel:
Equine Specialist and Riding Instructor
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Chief Financial and Tax Advisor
Alan Tatum, MS, CPA
Corporate Tax Manager, Daytona Motor Speedway. Inc.
PATH Intl. Board of Trustees, International Finance Committee
Lori McManus, RN
Heather McManus, CNA
Colleen Cheechalk and Lori McManus
Advisory Board and Panel
Jessica Reinartz, PT, DPT – Jump Start Physical Therapy, PLLC
Wanja and Melissa Gerlach – Performance Sporthorses, LLC
Dr. Karin Vaughn Foley - US Veterans Administration
Nancy Cheechalk – Guardian Insurance (Ret)
Tammy Martin Dobrosielski, PT – Pentucket Regional School District
Lori Tankel – Devon-Aire Equestrian
Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies and Activities, Inc. is an IRS Certified 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization. Our EIN# is 27-0327968. The organization is also registered with the NYS Attorney General’s Office Charities Bureau Registry. Our registration# is 42-60-23. Our 501(c)(3) status became effective June 3rd, 2009. Donations to Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies and Activities, Inc, are fully tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
How We Are Funded
Grants and gifts from charitable organizations
Donations from private citizens
Sponsorship from area businesses
Fundraising activities including our Annual Pasta Dinner, Triple Crown Gala, Holiday Party, our quarterly raffle, our benefit Trail Trial, Open House events and other projects.
To be eligible for services at no charge, students must have a documented need. A referral from a physician, therapist, educator, school district personnel or service agency is preferred. Families may also apply based on an Individual Education Plan (IEP), Individual Family Services Plan (IFSP), Care Plan, or a 504 Designation.
School aged children (starting at age 2-1/2) participate in Hippotherapy, Adaptive Riding and our Learning Program. Students from several local school districts including Johnson City, Maine-Endwell and the MEMS program, Union Endicott and Vestal attend our program weekly. We also have students from the Handicapped Children’s Association, Head Start, the Institute for Child Development at Binghamton University, and local pre-schools.
Adults are offered Adaptive Riding, Horsemanship and opportunities for Recreational Therapy. In additional to those who self-refer, we work with the Recreation Therapy department at Broome Developmental Center to provide Recreational Therapy and Community Service opportunities each week.
We also proudly offer a Farm Day for the Fresh Air Fund children who visit Broome and Tioga Counties each summer.
We offer Equine Assisted Activities including Unmounted Therapeutic Horsemanship, Adaptive/Therapeutic Riding and our innovative and unique Borrowed Freedom program which incorporates unmounted horsemanship with learning. We also offer Hippotherapy and community learning and outreach opportunities, and we will be piloting our adaptive vaulting program and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy.
Cost To Participate
Many of our staff members and volunteers have been in the same position that many of our student families face. Finding $100-250 more each month when you are already paying so much out of pocket for therapeutic services is just not possible. We firmly believe that the joy, self-esteem, independence, trust and caring that students can achieve through this program is priceless. You simply cannot put a price on dignity and self-respect! We were inspired by Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship in Arizona to always provide services at no charge, and we hope that we will inspire others to do the same.
Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies and Activities, Inc. is a member of the following organizations, our staff is trained in, and upholds, the guidelines and policies each organization requires and as it applies to the programming being offered. Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (formerly NARHA), Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA), Equine Experiential Education Association, The American Hippotherapy Association, The United States Pony Club, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Borrowed Freedom is a Facility Member of the American Hippotherapy Association (AHA, Inc.) and the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, Inc. (PATH, Inc). We are working diligently to achieve Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) Premier Accredited Center status. Our program meets or exceeds more than 82 mandatory and core standards required for this status. Our core staff has completed the American Hippotherapy Association Level I Equine Skills and Level I Treatment Principles, has completed PATH Center Management training and exams, and the PATH Registered Instructor exams.
We are committed to providing the best experience for our clients and students, while remaining fiscally responsible and debt free. We feel strongly that our donors deserve to feel confident that their support directly and positively impacts the lives of the individuals we serve and the animals in our care. We have worked diligently to create an accurate assessment of true cost to provide programming, while maintaining the highest possible levels of safety and quality services. Some services, such as Hippotherapy, are far more costly to deliver than a group learning session. Rather than divide services by cost and fundraise for them individually, we have averaged our costs to $350 per client, which includes 10, 1 hour sessions. Within this budget is a small fund created for special community outreach events such as our two annual Fresh Air Fund open house events, school visits, and other community opportunities and events.
Should fundraising events, grants and donor support allow, we will serve 10 clients for Hippotherapy, 15 clients for Adaptive Riding and Horsemanship and 40 clients for Equine Facilitated/Experiential Education in 2013.
Borrowed Freedom is a volunteer organization with no paid staff. Volunteers will provide more than 4500 hours of service over the course of the year, valued at more than $36000.
Our program is hosted at the Farm at Nanticoke Creek in Endicott, NY, less than 4 miles from the Cider Mill and easy to reach from Route 17. All visits to the farm are by appointment only. We have a fully accessible farm. The facility includes a therapy room with an Equicizer, 4 stall horse barn, 3 large fenced paddocks each with an over-sized field run-in, a 24 x 16 run-in and a 32 x 16 run-in that can be converted to box stalls with connected paddocks for horses who require rehabilitation or stall rest and for inclement weather. The farm has a fully fenced, 100 x 80 riding arena with sand footing, a 40 x 100 educational area with sensory garden that includes our seasonal classroom with attached tack room and storage. We also have access to a brand new two stall shedrow horse barn with a full tack room and an additional 60 x 60 grass paddock which is graciously provided by the Andres family for the benefit of the program.
Our mailing address is:
Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies and Activities, Inc.
2520 Vestal Parkway E. PMB#313
Vestal, NY 13850
We can reached by phone at 607-658-3298 and our fax number is 972-616-5155