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Summer 2011

Equestrian groups with similar goals choose Bobcat equipment to help maintain facilities

Camp Care

Employees at Camp Care use the Bobcat compact tractor on a daily basis to move hay. Assistant program director Jeanne Avery is pictured driving the CT225 with front-end loader.

One has a Bobcat® compact tractor; another has a Bobcat utility vehicle. Two farm-based programs that provide therapy horseback riding programs for the handicapped share a similar purpose and needs. When it came time to purchase new equipment, both organizations followed the same path — to their local Bobcat dealer. That's where they each found a machine perfect for their situation.

A Bobcat compact tractor replaces manual labor for non-profit organization in Connecticut

Camp Care, Inc. has relied on a group of dependable volunteers during the eight years it has provided therapeutic horseback riding opportunities for people with physical, emotional and learning disabilities. Along with helping participants with equine-assisted activities, volunteers handle chores such as removing manure from the barn and shoveling snow so the horses can get outside in the winter.

The volunteers are still as valuable as ever, but many of the back-breaking and difficult jobs have been made much easier by another dependable worker — a Bobcat CT225 compact tractor with front-end loader.

"We used to remove all of the manure by hand — a job that became almost impossible in the winter," says Dr. Stephen Moran, founder and president of Camp Care, a non-profit organization associated with the adjacent Crossroads Physical Therapy, LLC in Columbia, Conn.

Camp Care

A Camp Care volunteer drives the Bobcat CT225 with front-end loader to deliver bedding materials to the stables.

"It became obvious we needed something to help us get this job and many others completed more efficiently," Moran says. "The volunteers and staff just could not keep up."

Moran researched a selection of compact tractors, test drove a number of them and compared the machines with each other.

"The Bobcat brand stood out — both on quality and price," he says.

He purchased the CT225 from Bobcat of Connecticut, East Hartford. The 27-horsepower compact tractor is just the right size for working in and around the Camp Care barn and paddock.

Moran was convinced he made the right choice after using the compact tractor to turn a field on the property into a pasture. The CT225 was used to clear brush and move logs, rocks and soil.

Camp Care

Moving hay bales is a snap with the Bobcat compact tractor and front-end loader.

"The Bobcat compact tractor was tremendous," Moran says. "It passed my field test, for sure."

The mostly volunteer crew found the compact tractor easy to operate, and before long jobs such as moving hay and hauling water to the pasture were simple. And the most dreaded chore of all — handling manure — became much less difficult.

"We previously shoveled manure into a 30-yard Dumpster, and there comes a point when you cannot pile it any higher," says Jeanne Avery, assistant program director, barn manager, volunteer coordinator and instructor. "Now we can load it completely full, which has allowed us to space out the pickup of the container by five weeks — a nice cost savings."

With ongoing construction and plenty of daily chores, the user-friendly CT225 is kept busy around Camp Care.

"The entire property looks more neat and tidy, without nearly as much manpower as was previously required," Avery says. "Plus, we are so much more efficient. Life is easier for everyone."

Camp Care

Jeanne Avery and Dr. Stephen Moran from Camp Care.

Standard comfort features

Bobcat compact tractors come standard with many comfort features that may only be available as options on other tractors. These comforts include

  • Adjustable suspension seat (deluxe seat available)
  • Tilt steering
  • Integrated joystick control
  • Rubber mat and rubber-coated pedals
  • Ample foot space and leg room
  • Cruise control

3400 is big help for handicapped horseback riding program

Camp Care

Beth Stoodt is pictured with the Equestrian Therapy Program's Bobcat utility vehicle.

Last Christmas, Ann Fassett asked her husband, Joe, for a new utility vehicle to replace the well-used model that they had operated for years. It helped complete chores around the farm where they developed the Equestrian Therapy Program for handicapped children and adults.

"It really wasn't much of a surprise because we looked at the available machines together and concluded that the Bobcat 3400 4x4 was the best available product," she says. "That gift was right in line with one Joe gave me a few years ago — a new manure spreader."

Founded in 1982 by the Fassetts and Beverly Thompson, the Equestrian Therapy Program is a non-profit charitable corporation offering therapeutic horseback riding for the handicapped in nine counties around Lima, Ohio. It is a premier center accredited by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association.

Today, three full-time staff members and more than 200 volunteers provide specialized horseback riding therapy for about 85 individuals per week with a variety of physical disabilities. The age of the riders ranges from 3 to 80. According to Michelle Andrews Sabol, director, they are referred to the program by area hospitals, schools, therapists and physicians.

The Fassetts deeded their 50-acre farm to the program in 2001, including indoor and outdoor arenas and riding trails through 11½ acres of woods.

"With 17 horses and a heavy weekly riding schedule, the need for a utility vehicle is great," Ann says. "When the performance of our old machine declined, we knew we needed a replacement to help us keep up with our daily chores."

The 3400, purchased from Bobcat of Lima, has a 32-horsepower gas engine (also available in a 25-horsepower diesel) and a top traveling speed of 30 mph. When the vehicle is in four-wheel drive, torque is sent to every wheel. If the rear wheels begin to lose traction, the front wheels engage.

Two employees who regularly operate the 3400 give it high marks.

Sarah Potts, volunteer and program coordinator, uses it to drag the arenas.

"The previous vehicle abruptly changed speeds, causing uneven dragging and waves in the surface," Potts says. "The 3400 does a nice, steady job. It has a good turning radius, which allows me to make tight turns in the smaller arena. It's a terrific machine."

Felicia Thuman, farm manager, has spent plenty of time on the Bobcat utility vehicle, hauling hay, manure, equipment and tools in the cargo dump box.

"It handles the trails very well, especially when delivering wood chips," Thuman says. "The 3400 has been a great addition to the farm."

Adds Ann: "We have been extremely satisfied with the utility vehicle. I cannot think of anything we would change. It is absolutely wonderful!"