Better for Baxter - TUF's Equine Fundraiser

Better for Baxter - TUF's Equine Fundraiser

From Michelle Graham

The Urban Farm (TUF) is raising funds to repair the footing of our indoor arena and purchase a drag to properly maintain it for years to come. Proper footing is critical for the health and safety of both our horses an...

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The Urban Farm (TUF) is raising funds to repair the footing of our indoor arena and purchase a drag to properly maintain it for years to come. Proper footing is critical for the health and safety of both our horses and riders. 

As a community farm and educational center The Urban Farm provides a unique opportunity for Denver kids to learn hands-on about agriculture without leaving the city. Our extensive equestrian program includes year-round riding classes, summer camps, and a teen leadership program. In addition, TUF hosts a Interscholastic Equestrian Association team which provides youth the opportunity to compete in equine competitions without the financial burden of owning a horse.

A Snapshot of TUF’s Equine Program:

  • TUF houses and cares for 29 horses and 3 miniatures. 

  • 72 unique youth have participated in TUF’s year round after school riding program thus far in 2020.

  • Over 110 youth participated in TUF’s equine summer camps in 2020, 10% of participants were provided need-based scholarships.

  • Each year TUF awards $20,000 worth of need-based scholarships to riders across our equine programs. We have already awarded over $15,000 in services 2020. 

  • 15 teens have completed over 1000 hours of community service facilitated by our equine leadership program in 2020. 

  • TUF partners with local organizations serving low-income and marginalized neighborhoods to provide youth with an all-day equestrian experience they may otherwise never have the opportunity for. In 2019, we provided this unique experience to over 80 youth, free of charge. 

Why Baxter? 

Baxter is one of TUF’s oldest horses and a favorite among our young riders. He represents our hard working horses, many of which are “aged” meaning they are 15 years or older. While it is perfectly safe for horses to be ridden well into old age, we want to provide them with the best facilities we can to ensure they continue to live healthy and happy lives here at TUF. 

What is footing & why is it important?

Footing is the critical top layer of an arena floor. One of the main dangers of having poor footing is dust. Horses (and people) that spend too much time in a dusty arena can develop serious lung and respiratory conditions. Further, footing that is packed too hard, or that is too loose, can cause tendon or ligament strains which can lead or contribute to serious injuries in a horse. Not to mention, a compacted surface is not fun for a rider that happens to take a tumble. It's been about 20 years since the arena was originally built and it is time to give it a little love. 

What is a drag & why is it important?

Grooming and maintenance with the use of a drag are key factors in achieving quality arena footing. Regardless of the makeup of an arena’s footing, over time it will become uneven and the material will be compacted. At best, uneven  and compacted footing can cause horses to underperform. At worst, it can cause serious injury.

By purchasing a drag, rather than continuing to contract an outside company to tend to our arena, TUF will be able to regularly and consistently groom the arena. In other words, the new drag will allow us to maximize the talent of our horses and riders and help protect them from injury. 

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