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Touchstone Farm is a privately-run farm in Embro, providing relationship-centred comfort for animals in our care while providing relationship-centred services for our community. Family-owned and operated since 2015, Touchstone farm is a home and “soft place to land” for many previously injured, neglected and abused animals. Through comprehensive and compassionate care for our four-legged friends, we are able to facilitate equally comprehensive and compassionate care for our two-legged neighbours.  

 

“Research shows that just looking into the eyes of a pet can lower your heart rate. Their presence alone is enough to calm, give warmth, and soothe the human soul. Equine-facilitated therapy and companion animals help all kinds of individuals with all kinds of special needs—providing care that we humans can’t.”

(Psychology Today)

Your financial gift improves the accessibility of our services, it funds enhanced support for the animals who need it, which in turn enables the continuation of exceptional community care. 

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Partner with us to ensure the Touchstone 

Cycle of Giving continues!

 
 
 

 

Bringing happiness to others through connection with happy animals makes us happy. 

 

At Touchstone, we give our animals purpose according to their capacity. We facilitate the healing connection between humans and animals for a mutually beneficial practice. With your support, we can expand our services in the community. 

Riding lessons and experiential-healing sessions employing Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) support differently-abled or struggling community members of all ages. 

We have several horses here on the farm, each with its own history and experiences.  We handpick who we’ll use in each session or visit and tailor the exercises for each combination. This is a highly individualized approach and allows us the freedom to fit the needs of each learner as a person.

 

Often a horse will choose its person and it is the job of the EAL practitioner to facilitate those interactions.  By reading them together, using their reactions as a barometer, we are able to gain insight into the learner’s personality and further guide the exercises.  

 

Social engagement (for individuals or small groups) aids seniors, shut-ins, or even stressed moms.

Through children’s “Unicorn” parties, community animal learning sessions, or specialized “Day-Out” events, we can give back to the community on a case-by-case basis. As a small, private, family-run organization, we can provide customized care for both the people who visit and the animals who call this farm home.

“While the last few decades have seen a marked increase in societal concern for animal welfare, organizations working to improve the lives and well-being of animals still struggle to cover costs.”

(Animal Welfare Foundation Canada)

 

Your financial gift improves the accessibility of our services, it funds enhanced support for the animals who need it, which in turn enables the continuation of exceptional community care.

 

Farm Champion - Buster

We got a call to come pick up Buster from an auction and foster him at our farm.  When we arrived we were told he had an issue with his leg, they were not sure what, but he was mobile and friendly.  We were his LAST option.  He gladly put on the halter we brought, he bounced right onto our trailer and stood calmly the whole way home.  When he arrived home, he got off the trailer a little stiff, but pleasantly walked to the quarantine stall we had ready. He had a small paddock for turnout while in quarantine, but he was never unhappy being alone.  He had excellent manners, loved the attention.  Someone in his lifetime had loved him and taught him well.  We wanted his leg checked out by a vet; just to make sure we were clear on his prognosis and expectations for when it was time to get him posted for adoption.  Not once did we actually suspect what he'd been hiding.   Our vet took xrays immediately and was just as shocked as we were.  His name was befitting; he was indeed 'busted'. About 6 months prior to going to the auction, he had broken his leg fully. He should have been euthanized immediately by his owners, this is the humane thing to do.  Instead, he was left in pain, the break calcified and sent him to auction, selling for $25 to be discarded.  

Having found this news we had no choice to but to put him to rest. In his last moments he was brushed, loved, kissed and hugged until his very last moments....and even beyond.  Buster came to the farm as a foster pony, but left the farm as part of our family.  He will always be included in our crew because EVERY animal deserves a home and a loving family.  We think of the kids that must have once loved him to make him so special, and hope they never know how it ended for him, but rather choose to have faith that Buster knew he was loved no matter what.

These stories are few and far between, but they are common enough that we attend to every animal’s needs no matter the severity as best we can.  Some animals come to us for gentle care, others need major love and attention. We provide a soft landing for those that need care and attention but sometimes we find ourselves with a Buster.  We hope that we are able to find them sooner, giving them care and attention before they reach this state. That is not always the case and as such we share his story, to let other be aware of who we serve, what happens and how they can support our community.

 

Meet Our Champions

Mini Champion - Kisses

Kisses is one of our well-known miniature horses and one of the founding equines of our farm.  Born in 2011, she adores children, is happy to do pony rides and looks quite fancy as a unicorn!  Kisses has experienced many things since joining the family and has excelled at everything. She has since been trained under saddle and totes around even the tiniest of riders with the utmost care. She is outstanding  with even the most challenging EAL

client and is wise beyond her years. She is by far the most adorable and compassionate pony we’ve ever met! Fun Facts: She even  moonlights as a Unicorn at birthday parties and once she won 4th place in a dog agility class at the local fair. Kisses  is a huge bundle of talent in a tiny body!

Goat Champion - Wilson

Wilson was born in the winter of 2019.  Born the first of a set of twins, he was an explorer. During his wandering, his mother connected with her second baby and refused to accept him. Instead, his owners took him for care at the vet and he came to be our loveable and cuddly kid - literally, as a gift. He was bottle-fed and lived with us in our home for quite some time. He often acts more like a puppy than a goat and is certainly just a big kid!!  With his attention-seeking tendencies, playing dress-up became a fun game. Wilson has quite the wardrobe of accessories and really enjoys wearing them, soaking up the attention when he does. In the past, Wilson has dressed up in full costume to visit schools, retirement homes and even camp visits for Easter Seals. His absolute best day includes being brushed, adored and fed snacks...Wilson is not a complicated fellow. Fun Fact: His favourite outfit is either being in his christmas sweater and antlers or wearing wings so he can feel fast!

Horse Champion - Marlie

Marlie is a former racehorse who found herself neglected and in rough shape - sent to auction without any notice. She was rescued by a sanctuary in Barrie where she was rehabilitated. In our search for a lovable horse, we came across this big mare with a big heart. Born in 2004, she is now a mature horse but has always been quiet, calm and lovely in every way. She even takes Jill for a tour on occasion and handles the most sensitive riders with care and compassion during EAL sessions - the most attentive soul in the world. Her history means Marlie is now semi-retired and enjoys those perks immensely.

Opportunities for Support - Dedicate Your Gift:

There are many was that you can support the Cycle of Giving below are just a few things that matter most to our community and our farm service programs

Customized Animal Care Plan

(Light Therapy)

Subsidized EAL Sessions for a Family in Need

Horse Spa Package

(Farrier)

Gift a Senior's Visit

Horse Retirement Packages

(Chiropractic & Massage)

Sponsor a Special Care-Day Event

 
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Partner with us to provide a home and space for healing.

Donate today to become a part of the Cycle of Giving