Maker's Mark Secretariat Center
Maker's Mark Secretariat Center
4089 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington KY 40511
Tax ID/EIN: 45-3536475
Year Founded: 2012
Last Updated 2017-02-15
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Why are we a Messenger?
The EQUUS Foundation has designated our organization as a Messenger. Click here to learn more about our horse care and use practices.
Messengers are organizations on the Equine Welfare Network that demonstrate a commitment to public transparency and accountability by their willingness to publish and share extensive data about their operations.
Primary Focus involving horses (Horse Welfare, Public Service, Sport & Recreation): Horse Welfare
Our organization operates programs involved with horse rescue, foster care, rehabilitation, adoption and/or retirement.
Our organization's primary activity is equine rescue & adoption.
Our organization is directly responsible for the care of horses to provide its services.
100% of our total programs and services are horse-related.
Our organization conducts its horse-related programs at one facility.
Our Mission/How we are involved with horses:
Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center is dedicated to reschooling and matching former racehorses to new homes in suitable second careers. The MMSC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit horse adoption program. From the Kentucky Horse Park we advocate to the world the importance of aftercare. Our program aspires to echo the dignity and integrity of the American Thoroughbred.
All MMSC horses are matriculated into the Horse Centered ReSchooling ProgramSM (HCRP). Developed by MMSC Director, Susanna Thomas, a lifelong horsewoman and holistic thinker, the HCRPSM is based on the belief that to reschool a horse successfully and expeditiously, its mind, body, and spirit all must be tended to with equal care. Once the horse arrives at the MMSC, it is reviewed by a team of experts: dentist, farrier, vet, nutrition specialist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, and various practitioners of alternative therapies to ensure that the horse is as balanced physically from the onset, as it can be. From there horses are assessed for temperament and learning style in a round pen, using natural horsemanship and Tellington-Jones techniques, as well as mounted police “bomb-proofing” desensitization exercises. Training progresses classically then with in hand ground work, lunging and long lining, followed by interdisciplinary introductions to dressage, jumping, trail riding, cross country work, and, when possible, horse shows. This process can be made very flexible, and each horse progress through the program at its own pace. The MMSC staff monitor each horse through every step in order to avoid pushing it when it is not ready to be pushed or allowing it to advance too quickly and skip necessary steps, creating gaps in knowledge. The goal of this unique training program is to figure out who the horse is inherently, what its “horsenality” is like, to strengthen its weaknesses, to heal its wounds, whether they be physical, mental, or spiritual, to “find out what the horse wants to be when it grows up,” and then to find the perfect person to adopt it.
The MMSC offers internship programs in the spring, fall, and summer of each year. Spring and fall internships run 12 weeks. Students are required to work a minimum of two mornings during the week (Tuesday - Friday) and all day Saturday in addition. Interns are also expected to attend all educational field trips if their class schedule allows. We may take 3 field trips a semester, some of which have included the Churchill Downs Museum, Keeneland behind the scenes, the North American Racing Academy, KESMARC and many others. Summer internship sessions are flexible in length but must be no shorter than two weeks in duration. Students are expected to work a full eight hour day, five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday.
Two types of internships are offered - 1, a horse training and barn management internship and 2, a communications and business internship. The horse training internship exposes students to all that goes into transitioning a Thoroughbred for a new career using the Horse Centered Reschooling Program® developed by director Susanna Thomas. Interns will learn horse care and barn management and get an overview of what goes into running a farm including machine and equipment upkeep, paddock and field “repair,” ring and barn maintenance, as well as evaluating and prioritizing farm costs. A communications position gives students an idea of what it takes to run a not for profit business, everything from budgeting to fundraising, event planning to media outreach. Interns will be very involved in the day to day running of the MMSC business, from contributing to social media, orchestrating educational and fundraising events, to helping price and inventory merchandise, to greeting guests and conducting tours of the facility. Should they be competent riders, we give most communications interns the chance to work with the horses as well!
The MMSC welcomes volunteers of all ages, all professional backgrounds, and all levels of equestrian knowledge and ability. Every one who volunteers at the MMSC, comes, like each or our horses, with unique abilities. We need people in the barn, in the office, in our garden area and in our woods. We could use fundraisers and stamp-lickers, event organizers and seamstresses, mechanics and graphic artists, fence painters and, yes, even musicians! Come one, come all! “One criteria,” says Director Susanna Thomas, “is no volunteers in diapers—at either end of the spectrum!” Volunteers go through an orientation and are then welcome to come as much or as little as they desire. Volunteers are not allowed to ride the horses due to insurance limitations.