Water crisis averted


Stephanie Lockhart

H.A. Manosh Corporation drilled the well at the center

The Spanish mustangs that call The Center for America’s First Horse in Johnson home have water again, but the battle isn’t over just yet.

Founder of the center Stephanie Lockhart has been working for four weeks to raise the original estimate of $15,000 for the new well that H.A. Manosh Corporation finished on Tuesday, Nov. 17. After drilling and digging up the driveway to place lines to four water spigots, the total cost will be closer to $18,000.

Lockhart has received $13,334 in community support thus far.

“We are still looking to hear back from a couple of big funders,” said Lockhart. “One is Vermont Community Foundation, and also at Union Bank, I put in an application for a charitable donation. Those could take weeks to get approved, but I think that we’ve got the majority of it. Hopefully we can fill the gap with the Vermont Community Foundation grant.”

The well drilling was completed in one day, and then it took four days to lay and insulate the lines, get the electricity hooked up and repair the driveway. Manosh still has to do a little more electrical work, but for the most part, the project is complete.

H.A. Manosh Corporation agreed to start the work before all of the money was raised and Lockhart received the final bill last week. H.A. Manosh Corporation, gave the center a 20 percent discount.
“We are very grateful for their support,” said Lockhart. “However, we still need to raise $1,665.00.”

During the month and half that the center did not have water, six children and their parents volunteered to take shifts hauling water from the small drilled well at the top of the property to the pastures down below.

While all of this was going on, Lockhart continued to teach classes to her students in the arena with Manosh working just outside.

“It’s been really hectic,” said Lockhart. “There have been excavators, machines and tractors right outside the arena door, and we just all kind of worked around that. We just had to keep doing stuff. It was funny, because all the guys from Manosh that were doing the work were worried the machinery would scare the horses, and the horses were just totally fine with everything. It all worked out good.”
Lockhart says that they couldn’t have asked for better temperatures to be moving dirt and drilling as last week was close to 60 degrees, and she is thankful that Manosh agreed to start the project before she had all the money raised.

“It’s what I would expect from a small community,” said Lockhart. “You know, for that kind of support to be shown, and for businesses to treat their customers like their community. I don’t think in a big city that would have happened, like ‘Oh, we’ll take what you have, and get us the rest later.’ I think it’s just because we live in this awesome small community.”

Lockhart says that her center is unique. She believes hers is the only center in the country that has Spanish mustangs, works with children and teaches natural horsemanship, and she is thankful that so many people helped when her spring went dry.

It has really shown her how supportive not just Lamoille County is, but the entire state, she said.