Fall Greetings from RTT

We are glad to have another 7 weeks of programming under our belt and thankful to the volunteers, families and instructors who made the transition to our Phase IV of reopening successful. Unfortunately, due to rising cases of COVID 19, RTT has made the decision to hold off Phases V and VI of reopening (lessons requiring 1 or 2 side walkers). We recognize how difficult this is for those of you waiting to return and hope you know that it is very hard for us as well.

We are still offering Zoom and Groom sessions and will continue to offer curbside visits before winter sets in. If you'd like to schedule a visit please email us. Also, another reminder that Flu season is upon us, and we heavily encourage staff, clients and volunteers to get your flu shot (provided it is recommended by your medical provider). We want everyone to stay as healthy as possible!

There's lots of info in this newsletter so I hope you'll take a few minutes to read about the Triple B, some staffing changes (two and four legged), RTT in the News and a new section we're calling RTT Connections.

Lastly, now that the arena and grooming room doors are being kept closed more frequently, we have a new motto: "Windows/Doors down; Masks up!" Thank you for your help with this as we head towards winter.

Be well,

Virtual Triple B--a Huge Success!
The Triple B is RTT's single largest fundraiser and typically provides funding for over 30% of our operating budget. This year's event had to be virtual, and while we haven't raised as much as we do in person, we have raised over $140,000 to keep RTT's clients, horses and programs going strong!! If you missed tuning into our LIVESTREAM on the 17th you can still view it by clicking here!! If you watch long enough, you'll be able to see our very special guests who visited us during the event!! And if you want to contribute, it's not too late--just go to ridingtothetop.org and click on DONATE!

This was true team effort and my thanks to RTT's staff for all of their hard work in making this all come together. While it was a small crew working on the actual event, our other staff and instructors kept programming running smoothly right up to and immediately after the event (normally we are shut down for a full week before and after)!

Businesses were also a big part of the Triple B's success, so here's a HUGE shout out to our Reserve Grand Champion and Trail Blazer sponsors: IDEXX, Norway Savings Bank, Portland Volvo Cars, Spectrum Healthcare Partners, Jackson & MacNichol Attorneys at Law and Tyler Technologies.
Staffing Changes (4 and 2 legged) at RTT
So much has happened in the past two months! In four legged news, we have made the difficult decision to retire Mattie from our program. Mattie has been a beloved member of the RTT herd for eight years. She had seven foals before coming to RTT and has been a lesson horse for most of the rest of her life when she wasn't raising her foals.

We had been thinking about retiring Mattie and a few weeks ago, Vickie McLeod Tardiff, a former RTT instructor, reached out to us to let us know that she was looking for a pasture-mate for her horse Prince. We think that this will be a great fit all the way around--a home where Mattie will be able to enjoy a quieter environment along with some light trail riding. Most importantly, we know that she will continue to receive excellent care. Denise will ensure that Mattie has a full care package to go with her on her short trip to Cumberland and our thanks to Vickie for giving Mattie this great retirement opportunity! This beautiful watercolor of Mattie was done by Zoe, one of her RTT fans!!

In two-legged news, in mid-September, we sadly said good-bye to Gradeigh Cameron, our on-site Caretaker and in October, we welcomed Melanie Peabody, our new Caretaker. Interestingly, both Gradeigh and Melanie started out at RTT as volunteers during their middle/high school years and we love that often times things come full circle! We wish Gradeigh well as he continues his work at Pine Ridge Farm in Cumberland and we welcome Melanie, who graduated from Casenovia College with a degree in Equine Business Management. She has extensive experience working locally as a trainer and barn manager and is an accomplished rider (USDF Bronze and Silver Medalist). Melanie now works full time for IDEXX but is excited to have horses back in her life (and backyard so to speak!). In addition to making sure that the horses are all tucked in at night and helping with weekend barn chores and facility maintenance, Melanie has joined our schooling team!
RTT Parent Connection Corner
We had a suggestion from one of our parents to create this "Parents/Caregivers Corner" as a way to share ideas during these challenging times! Thanks to Morgan Cohen for this submission:

"Hello fellow RTT parents and caregivers! I am a mom of two RTT riders- Graham (9) and Blake (5). I wanted to share a few fun ideas that will help you get you moving and baking with your riders while you are at home." Here's what Morgan, Graham and Blake have been up to!

  • Create an outdoor obstacle course (video to right)! All you need is chalk and a paved outdoor space! Be creative and have fun!
  • Bake some fall apple breakfast cookies! My boys love these for a healthy snack and especially for a breakfast treat!
Have something to share? Contact us here!
Let there be Light!!!
A huge shout out to volunteers from the IATSE Local 114 (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) for their donation of time and talent in September installing new arena LIGHTS!! For those of you who have been in the arena on cloudy, overcast days, or late in the day this fall, we know you have welcomed "the light!" Special thanks also to Groom Energy who arranged for replacement of half of the lights and Energy Management Consultants who arranged for replacement of the other half. Collectively this was a HUGE gift to RTT--and more importantly to our clients, volunteers and horses who can now see! The members of IATSE #114 were incredible in operating a boom lift up and around so much of our ceiling fixtures (gas lines, sprinklers, etc) and you can see them here jumping for joy when the project was finished. Thank you one and all!!
RTT in the News!!
We are very proud that RTT was represented in the most recent STRIDES Magazine (a publication of PATH Intl.). Marissa LaGassey, CTRI and RTT instructor, wrote an article entitled: "Expand Your Toolbox--Tips for teaching EAAT to Participants with ASD." Click here to read the article!!

Also in the news....Cookie was highlighted as a winner in a contest sponsored by Platinum Performance through the EQUUS Foundation. Check out the great write up that Denise did by clicking here!!

Finally, we'd love your votes for RTT in Town and Country Federal Credit Union's Better Fund contest. You can vote every day (one per email address!) through October 31st. Click here to vote!
Stay Connected
Follow us on Social Media
If you don't already, follow us on social media to see herd and farm updates. Find us on Facebook , Instagram (@ridingtothetop), YouTube , and on our private RTT Participants and Volunteers group .

Send us an e-mail
We want to hear from you! Tell us what you want to see from us, or just send us a hello!

Keeping Track!
We have been packing these newsletters full of information and resources and wanted a way to keep track of it all. This document contains links to RTT Safe at Home Activities and Resources!
Shopping from home? Shop for RTT!
Choose RTT as your charity of choice on Amazon Smile, while you're shopping, pick out a few items on RTT's Wish List!
Riding To The Top | ridingtothetop.org