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Sunktanka Horse ProgramSunktanka Horse Program works with 40 Dakota youth to reclaim and reconnect the Dakota community with the Dakota horse tradition in Minnesota. â€œIn our community, there are big gaps,â€ Vanessa GoodThunder, a twelfth grader Dakota participant in the Sunktanka Horse Program. â€œWe need people to take care of us. If we have only followers weâ€™re not going to go anywhere. We need leaders with qualities that this program teaches us: patience, courage, strength, compassion, responsibility, trust, and leadership.â€ When asked how she learned these, she explains, â€œThe horse. Through the horse we build a relationshipâ€”sometimes the horse leads you, sometimes you lead. It was scary at first, but Iâ€™m not afraid anymore.â€ Please consider making a general donation to support the wonderful Sunktanka Horse Program!
Reins & BridlesRunning a youth horse program means we're always needing to replace horse reins and bridles. We estimate we'll need to buy 20 more cloth reins at $25 each and 10 more bridles at $50 each, for a total of $1,000!
StaffingOur Sunktanka Horse Program connects 40 Dakota Indian youth to the powerful Dakota horse tradition by building healing relationships between the youth and our team of 16 quarter horses in southwestern Minnesota. Staffing of course makes this important connection possible. $15,000 is requested--thank you, or pidamayaye as we say in the Dakota language!
Youth ApprenticesEvery year our young peer apprentices assist our horse trainer in caring for the horses and teaching horse riding and safety to our 40 program youth. This is a very powerful and culturally grounded experience for the apprentices. As one explained, â€œThe horse has six directions just like the world. When we ride on the horse, the horse completes us. But itâ€™s a relationshipâ€”of trust. Horses are really powerful and sensitive. They know if you are scared or happy and they react to where you are. We have to learn patience and we have to care for them and be compassionate. We have a lot of responsibility leading them and that gives us a lot of strength. But sometimes, they will take care of you. I could have never been the leader I am at school today if it werenâ€™t for learning to lead, and follow, the horse. When Iâ€™m really sad, I drop the reins and let the horse walk me. I always end up feeling better.â€
Liability InsuranceOur program connects 40 Dakota Indian youth with horses through spring, summer, and fall horse riding. This requires liability insurance, at the tune of $3,500 per year. Please consider helping us make this important equine therapy and education program safe for our community youth!
Veterinary Injury CareIt doesn't happen often, but every once in a while one of our horses gets an injury that requires additional care. Just now, Leyla injured her leg due to getting caught in a fence. She had to have two skin grafts and is being boarded so that her bandages and medications can be taken care of. Poor Leyla! Please consider donating up to $2,000 for that just in case emergency.
Wood ShavingsWe need wood shavings to take care of our horses while they are traveling to and from events in our trailers. This costs about $200.
Pasture Fence MendingHelp us keep our horses safe! Please donate $500 needed to maintain and mend our pasture fences!
Veterinary Well CareHelp keep our horses healthy! Every year we need to raise about $2,500 per year to bring our horses in for regular veterinary care, including worming and medications.
Pasture RentalOur horses are kindly stabled at two local equine experts--where all of their care is donated. But due to lack of adequate pasturage at these two stables, we need to rent a pasture every summer from a local farmer. This costs $1,200 per year.
Ferrier CareHelp us shoe our horses! Our wonderful horses need to have their hooves looked after regularly. Every year, we need to spent about $600 per horse, for a total of $3,000 per year. The prices vary depending on condition of each foot!
GrainHelp us give our horses a well-balanced diet! We spent about $20/week or $80/month to supplement our horses' diet with grain. That totals $960 per year.
Teeth FloatingHelp us keep our horses' teeth in good shape. It costs $95/horse per year for their dental care, or $1,520 total per year for all 16 horses.
College Intern: GroundskeeperThe Groundskeeper helps with care of horses and with preparing the horses for riding with the Native youth in our program. She is a Dakota community member and a college student, so this internship provides important training and financial support. It is also helping her prepare for her care in equine therapy.
VaccinationsOur stable of 15 horses need $150 worth of vaccinations each year to maintain their health.
HayHelp us feed our beautiful horses! Our team of 16 horses eat about 3 bales of hay per week at $4.00/bale that's about $48/month or $576/year/horse or $5,184 total.