Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Q 1: What is Gypsy Gift™?
A. Gypsy Gift™ is a program to raise and train LexLin Gypsy Horses for future careers in Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) for 501c3 non profit centers accredited through PATH International.
Q 2. What is PATH International?
A. PATH Intl. was founded in 1969 as the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) to promote safe and effective therapeutic horseback riding throughout the United States and Canada. Today, PATH Intl. has more than 850 member centers and nearly 7,600 individual members in countries all over the world, who help and support more than 54,000 men, women and children with special needs each year through a variety of equine-assisted activities and therapies programs. Though PATH Intl. began with a focus on horseback riding as a form of physical and mental therapy, the organization and its dedicated members have since developed a multitude of different equine-related activities for therapeutic purposes, collectively known as equine-assisted activities and therapies (or EAAT). Besides horseback riding, EAAT also includes therapeutic carriage driving; interactive vaulting, which is similar to gymnastics on horseback; equine-facilitated learning and mental health, which use the horse as a partner in cognitive and behavioral therapy, usually with the participation of a licensed therapist; ground work and stable management; and PATH Intl. Equine Services for Heroes, which uses a variety of EAAT disciplines specifically to help war veterans and military personnel. In addition, many of PATH Intl.’s 25 volunteer-driven committees are working on identifying and refining even more disciplines and activities that might be put to use in the world of EAAT. – More information found on the PATH Intl. website.
Q 3. Who can get involved in Gypsy Gift™?
A. There are 3 ways to get involved in Gypsy Gift™.
- As a 501c3 non profit center accredited through PATH International that would like to add a Gypsy Horse to their EAAT program. Approved centers interested in receiving a Gypsy horse through Gypsy Gift™ may find a sponsor to enter the program to raise a horse for 2-3 years for future donation to their specific center. Centers may also sponsor a horse themselves.
- As an individual who has a desire to raise and train a horse for future donation to a center. You may become a sponsor and lease a horse for 2-3 years. These horses will then be matched up with centers that do not already have a sponsor that is involved with their center. Experienced Equestrians involved in 4-H and FFA are encouraged to select a horse to sponsor.
- Sponsor a horse through charitable donations to an approved PATH accredited center. Want to participate but do not have the facilities, time or experience to care for a young horse? Sponsors may opt to arrange to pay the approved center for the care of the horse which would enable the horse to be cared for directly by the center. This may qualify as a charitable donation if made directly to the center. This would enable the center to become directly involved with the care of the horse and give the horse the opportunity to interact with center members from the beginning of their 2-3 year lease period before donation.
Q 4. How does a center join Gypsy Gift™?
A. Fill out a nomination form. Centers may be self nominated or nominated by an individual.
Q 5. How does an individual become a Gypsy Gift™ sponsor?
A. Fill out an application to lease a Gypsy Gift™ horse for 2-3 years. If approved, you will then select a Gypsy Horse in the program and fill out a lease agreement. Sponsors may be Centers themselves, Center board members, staff or others that want to participate in Gypsy Gift™. Fill out an application today –
Q 6. Why is LexLin Gypsy Ranch offering Gypsy Gift™?
A. Gypsy Horses are wonderfully suited as EAAT horses with their build, temperament, size and love for people. We want to enable people in need around the US to have access to these extremely tractable horses as it’s amazing what horses can do for improving health, skills and overall improved healing and quality of life for many people. PATH accredited centers are giving back to people on a daily basis and we strongly believe in their programs and want to give back to communities around the US in this special way.
Q 7. How many horses are in Gypsy Gift™?
A. Right now we’re offering 30+ horses for the program and we’re looking for an equal number of PATH accredited Centers and their sponsors to join. Sponsors will raise and train these horses for 2-3 years. The available Gypsy horses will be announced on Friday, February 22, 2014. Over the next two years LexLin Gypsy Ranch’s mission is to donate 30 registered Gypsy Horses (total donation valued in excess of $500,000) to the Gypsy Gift™ program while simultaneously finding eligible sponsors who will train them for approved PATH accredited centers.
Q 8. What is the value of The Gypsy Horses who will be donated through Gypsy Gift™?
A. Each horse is valued between $10,000 – $20,000. At the time the horse is donated to a PATH accredited center our goal is for each horse to be at least 3 years old and have had ground training as well as 30-60 days under saddle.
Q 9. Will the Gypsy Horses be purebred?
A. Yes. Most of the horses in Gypsy Gift™ will be geldings, though all horses in the program will be DNA verified Gypsy Horses registered with the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society.
Q 10. What happens if a center cannot keep a Gypsy Horse donated to them from Gypsy Gift™?
A. All centers that receive a Gypsy Horse sign our placement contract and will return the Gypsy Horse to LexLin Gypsy Ranch if they are no longer able to care for the horse.
Q 11. How does a PATH accredited center get on the approved list for receiving a Gypsy Horse?
A. Have someone nominate your center for the program. If approved by LexLin we will place your center on the list for matching up with a compatible future Gypsy Gift horse once one has finished his/her 2-3 year training lease with a Gypsy Gift partner. Centers may find a sponsor to enter the program to train a horse specifically for future donation their program.
Q 12. Why was Gypsy Gift™ started?
A. Eric and Mechelle Barton of LexLin Gypsy Ranch have enjoyed amazing success with their businesses over the past few years and are constantly looking for ways to pay it forward and give back to communities around the world. Their family and businesses have donated in excess of $6.8 million to charitable organizations, including land conservancy, United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Wounded Warrior, and others in 2013 and now feel that it is time to reach out and touch the lives of others by giving some of their much loved Gypsy Horses via Gypsy Gift™ to centers across the United States. LexLin Gypsy Ranch has donated several Gypsy Horses over the past few years to PATH accredited programs. We have received many thanks and glowing reports of the work our horses are doing and requests to expand our program.
Q 13. Are the Gypsy Horses broke to ride or drive through Gypsy Gift™?
A. The program is designed for sponsors to raise and train a young horses for 2-3 years. Their sponsorship agreement does not include breaking a horse to ride or drive as Gypsy Horses mature slowly and the sponsor may not have the skills or the desire to undergo saddle training. The lease is designed so that the horse has a solid foundation of groundwork that will prepare them for training for riding and possibly driving once they’re mature enough. Once a horse has completed the 2-3 year sponsorship, the sponsor may opt to train the horse under saddle if they have the skills and are approved by LexLin Gypsy Ranch. Most often the horse will be sent to a professional trainer for 30-60 days under saddle before being donated to a PATH accredited center.
Q 14. How can you support Gypsy Gift™ without raising a horse or running a PATH accredited center?
A. 1. Help spread the word by posting about the program on facebook, on your blog, website, talking with friends, etc. Feel free to share our flyers and link to our program. We hope to soon make promotional material available for distribution. 2. Become a sponsor and arrange to pay an approved center for the care of the horse which would enable the horse to be cared for directly by the center. This may qualify as a charitable donation if made directly to the center.
Q 15. Why are the Gypsy Horses offered so young?
A. By donating young horses they will have many years to impact lives in the programs and can be trained exactly as needed for their job as a EAAT horse. Imagine how many lives can be touched over an average 20+ year EAAT career.
Q 16. What happened to LexLin Gives Back: Honoring our Heroes?
A. Gypsy Gift™ is our primary focus for 2014 and will be the focus of our 4th Annual LexLin Gives Back: Honoring our Heroes. Honoring our Heroes will resume as traditionally run in 2015. We’re accepting nominations for centers beginning on Monday, February 17, 2014, and continuing through July 3rd 2014, we will begin taking nominations for PATH accredited centers interested in receiving a Gypsy Horse through Gypsy Gift™. As nominations come in we will post them on LexLin Gypsy Ranch’s fan page on Facebook for you to “like” and share to spread the word in support of your chosen center. There will be five centers selected on July 4th to receive horses. The top four nominated centers with the most fan “likes” and one center chosen by LexLin staff will be entered into a lottery drawing on July 4, 2014 to select a horse for their program. The five horses drawn on July 4th will then be ready to immediately enter into a lease agreement with the nominated center’s sponsor for 2-3 years before being donated to the center for their program.