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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Healing Horses Singapore is Healing Children - Part 1

Chithra Rogers, following her combined passion for horses and children, is bringing awareness to kids with special needs in her home country of Singapore, and the Equicizer is being used as a main component in the development of this ground breaking project. We're excited to feature Chithra and tell her story as she continues to help children and forge new pathways in Singapore, inspiring people on a now global level.

Chithra was born in her native Singapore, but fueled by an interest in horse racing, she flew to Brisbane, Australia in 2002 to "attain holistic knowledge about race horses in both theoretical and practical aspects at the Australian Racing Institute." She returned to Singapore and joined the racing industry as a Trainee Apprentice Jockey following the completion of her apprenticeship. After realizing more of the risks involved in riding racehorses through personal experience, she changed course and left for Melbourne, Australia in 2006 to pursue a career in training. While there, she became a stable manager and volunteered at the RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association).
As time went by, in 2008, after moving back to Singapore and working as an assistant trainer, she made the tough decision to leave the racing industry for good. Her passion for horses was as strong as it had ever been, and through her volunteering at various therapeutic riding programs over the years, she had discovered a second passion which was equally as strong – raising awareness for children with special needs.
Dedicated to educating herself as much as possible, Chithra completed her academic qualifications in Learning Disorders Management and Child Psychology as well as Special Education. She noted that she also, "worked closely with mild to severe cases of Autistic Children at a reputable special needs school in Singapore" while pursuing her studies. She is currently an international member of PATH and is waiting to pursue her Masters in Special Education. Working with her Mentor, she stays informed on the latest interventions, allowing her to continue to polish her skills and knowledge.
About 4 years ago, Chithra started a quest to purchase land for a therapeutic riding center of her own. This has proved to be a very difficult task, due to the shortage of land available in Singapore. In Chithra’s own words, “That is when I came across this beautiful hand-crafted wooden horse the Equicizer from the USA. It made my dream come alive again! I was happy to meet the director of Wooden Horse Corporation – Mr. Frankie Lovato - a wonderful human being. He explained all about the Equicizer and also made me watch the start-up videos which are available in Youtube.”
In the meantime, Chithra approached many existing riding schools, sharing her vision and hoping to lease space to start her program. Surprisingly, this has proved to be another difficult task and after finding one such temporary place and holding lessons under the organization she founded, “Healing Horses Singapore”, things went south and others began trying to implement her ideas on their own.
So what did Chithra do? Carry on, of course.

"I developed a highly innovative indoor therapeutic horse riding school centered around the Equicizer, using a holistic approach incorporating medical, emotional and financial needs of the family and children involved. I want to make sure the training is accessible to a wider community and give children the help they truly deserve."
Check back on July 26th to learn how Chithra is using the Equicizer in her ground breaking program.
 
by Kayla Jarvinen

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Dream Catcher's "Woody"


The Equicizer is an ever more prominent figure in the world of therapeutic riding. We recently received a few pictures of "Woody" who is a part of the Dream Catcher of L.A. Therapeutic Riding Center herd.
 
The mission of Dream Catcher of Los Angeles Therapeutic Riding Center's is to improve the lives of children, adults, and veterans with cognitive, physical, and emotional disabilities through the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding and other equine-assisted activities, while serving the therapeutic riding profession through training and education.

In their own words: "Dream Catcher of Los Angeles'  volunteers and riders, are enjoying our equicizer! Thank you to Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for our incredible gift."



We have seen - over and over again - the benefit the Equicizer has and continues to be for those dealing with disabilities of all kinds. Over the course of this summer we're going to introduce you to a few of the organizations and programs that continue to change lives through the use of both the Equicizer and their wonderful herds of therapy horses.


For this Wooden Horse Wednesday, we'll leave you with these wonderful photos that are a constant reminder of the joy that our angel horses bring - both the live and the wooden ones.

 
by Kayla Jarvinen
 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

"Behind the - Behind the Scenes"

The process of building an Equicizer is a seemingly never ending one - in a series of blogs last year, we detailed the Making of the Equicizer itself but behind each part and piece in the building and assembly operation, is another entire process, a sort of “Behind the – Behind the Scenes” if you like. We recently took a series of photos for a customer, detailing the process of putting her Equicizers’ heads together before carving takes place – believe it or not, there’s even a process behind the blocks of wood that you’ve probably seen in photos, prior to being carved! We thought this would be a great opportunity to share with you portions of this process.

The Equicizer heads are put together using premium select pine board from New Zealand. This premium board offers the consistency and quality needed to glue the wood pieces together to form the solid block of wood that will later be carved. This is a critical process to preventing the head itself from warping or splitting after it’s finished and attached to the Equicizer; it’s similar to how carousel horses are created. Click on the photos below to view them:

 


 
 Let us know what YOU would like to see next!
 
by Kayla Jarvinen
 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Equicizer All Purpose Riding Pad


An In Depth Look

We at Wooden Horse Corp. are extremely excited to share with you our new All Purpose Riding Pad! Designed by Equicizer creator, Frankie Lovato, this new pad was created and tailored specifically for the Equicizer, but can also be used as a bareback pad on real horses if desired. Its custom design makes it suitable for any one of any size. The All Purpose Riding Pad was crafted with versatility and multi-function at the forefront of the design goal.

In today’s Wooden Horse Wednesday we’d like to take you behind the scenes and reveal the inspiration behind this pad, as well as what makes it a unique design, unlike anything currently available, to be used for a multitude of applications. To start, here’s a word from Frankie Lovato on his inspiration to design this pad:

Inspiration

"I created this pad out of my own frustration of wanting and needing something better for our customers to use with their Equicizers. It has allowed me to make adjustments to things I have not only seen in my own use and research but have also heard voiced from others as inconvenient or incorrect on many traditional bareback pads throughout the years. My design for our Equicizer All Purpose Riding Pad protects the riders’ legs from all buckles. The placement of the seat of the pad along with the stirrups and girth is correctly aligned so that when used on the Equicizer or on a real horse, the rider can use proper riding alignment through their shoulder, hip, and heel, and without interference from any of those pieces. The pad also girths up with a standard English style girth.

We use this Equicizer pad design with our own therapeutic riding program, Stampede of Dreams. The students range in age and size, so quick and easy stirrup adjustment is an extremely useful feature. The pommel and cantle are soft, which allows for a large variety of out of the box exercises, stretches, and types of therapy to be conducted.

We are also very proud to announce that - just like the Equicizer - our All Purpose Riding Pad is made right here in the USA. We teamed up with Weaver Leather, also based out of Ohio, for the creation of our All Purpose Riding Pad and have worked closely with the Weaver team throughout the entire process. I am so proud of our finished product and strongly believe that this is a great solution to common bareback pad problems. I couldn't be more excited to get the feedback of our customers." - Frankie Lovato

Design

There are five main design elements behind the Equicizer All Purpose Riding Pad.

    1. First, the Equicizer All Purpose Riding Pad is covered with a durable Herculon top that is mold and mildew resistant. Quick-drying and easy to clean, these pads have a maize fleece bottom for added comfort and crafted top grain wear leathers bearing the Equicizer logo stitched on the pommel and skirts, giving it a sleek, sporty look.

    2. Our pad was created with a 2 layer concept. There is a protective flap covering both the stirrup and girth buckles, preventing any sort of rubbing or uncomfortable bulge against the rider’s leg.

3.      The seat of the pad is correctly aligned so that you are sitting squarely in the middle of the pad – not too far forward or too far behind. The stirrups and girth are also carefully placed encouraging the proper alignment of your shoulder, hip and heel – again, designed specifically to prevent interference from any of the buckles.

4.      The pad uses a standard size English girth. The stirrups themselves are light weight - and easily removed if desired - and the stirrup leathers are custom made, allowing them to be adjusted accordingly, making the pad ideal for riders of any age or size.

5.      The pad also features breast plate “D” rings in the event that it is used on a real horse.

The Equicizer All Purpose Riding Pad can be purchased as a complete package with stirrups, stirrup leathers and girth included, or by itself.

Riding Applications

One of our main goals in creating this pad was to design something that was both functional and versatile, and useable by any type of rider. Whether you ride English or Western, are using the Equicizer in a therapy setting or to train as professional jockey, the All Purpose Riding Pad can be molded to your specific needs and application. 
by Kayla Jarvinen

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Equicizer Financing

Financing an Equicizer


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There is no question that deciding to add an Equicizer to your herd is a big decision. Whether you are a nonprofit therapeutic riding center or an individual looking for a competitive edge, saving up a lump sum can be difficult. (plus- who wants to wait?) We are proud to offer a few different options in the way of financing to our customers that can help them realize their dream of owning an Equicizer. These options offer unique benefits to those looking to finance. You can use each to purchase an Equicizer as well as accessories for it.


Personal Financing - Finance Program

We have recently (finally!) started offering personal financing for Equicizers through First Mutual Finance. This option is ideal for individuals who desire to bring the Equicizer into the comfort of their personal home or barn, or maybe for those who are looking to buy one as a gift for an avid equestrian family member or friend.

We have the utmost confidence in referring our customers through First Mutual. They have been serving the consumer financing market since 1949 and offer traditional fixed rate finance programs with different terms to fit your needs. Typically, the rates through First Mutual are lower than they would typically be from a consumer credit card.

The convenient online application process will let you know right away if you are approved. The APR is a fixed rate of 14.99% and you can choose from terms between 6-36 months. There is no prepayment penalty with this option, so if you hit the lotto you can pay it off right away with no fees!

If you would like to apply for a First Mutual financing program, check out our online store first to determine how much you need to finance (minimum of $1000) between the Equicizer and any accessories you might want. Next head to the First Mutual Finance page on our website and submit the application! Please remember that, unless you are picking up your Equicizer, there is a $450 freight and delivery charge for anywhere in the continental US. Email us for quotes outside the continental US.

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Personal Financing - Credit Line

Another option for personal financing is to open a credit line through PayPal Credit. This payment method, formerly called Bill Me Later, is a proprietary payment method that offers 6 months no payments or interest! You can apply directly from our Equicizer Store during the checkout/payment process by choosing PayPal as your payment source. 

There is no annual fee for a PayPal credit line and the APR is a fixed 19.99% rate after the first six months. This is a great option if you think you can pay off the balance within 6 months of purchase! You receive a decision in seconds, so if you think this is the right option for you just head to our store, do your shopping, and apply at checkout!

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Business Financing

For this type of financing, you need a business tax ID number. We have a longstanding relationship with Quick Spark and recommend this option to instructors, stables, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, schools, gyms, and many other types of businesses looking to bring one or more Equicizers on board!
 
Financing through Quick Spark's Business to Business Financing program is 100% tax deductible. Section 179 of the IRS Tax Code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price for financed equipment, so most businesses are able to deduct the entire cost. (Be sure to consult your tax advisor for more information.)

With this method of payment, you can keep the line of credit open after paying off the equipment as a safety net for financial emergencies. Monthly payment plans range from 12-60 month options and variable payments can be set up upon request to match seasonal cash flow.

If you would like to apply for a Business to Business Financing through QuickSpark, check out our online store first to determine how much you need to finance (minimum of $1000) between the Equicizer and any accessories you might want. Next, click here and submit the application! You will get a response with-in 24 hours. Please remember that, unless you are picking up your Equicizer, there is a $450 freight and delivery charge for anywhere in the continental US. Email us for quotes outside the continental US.


Please don't hesitate to reach out to us at info@equicizer.com with questions about financing. We here at Wooden Horse Corporation want you to have an Equicizer just as bad as you do! It is a big financial decision, but you certainly will not regret it!
 

www.equicizer.com


 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Equicizer on Harry

Tune In Next Week!

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

One week from today, the Equicizer will appear on Harry Connick Jr's daytime show, Harry



The derby-themed episode features former jockey Rosie Napravnik. Harry even takes a turn on the Equicizer!



You can visit the Harry website and click "Where to Watch" to find the list of stations the show will air on in your area. For those watching from Northern Ohio with us, the show will air on ABC 5 at 10am EST.



We might be bias, but we say this will be the best episode of Harry to date! 
Don't miss out!

www.equicizer.com

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Travels with Maggie

Loaded up and ready to go!
What a busy two weeks it has been for us here at Wooden Horse Corporation! Aside from a quick day in between to re-group and re-pack, we have been on the road for about 9 days. If you read our last blog you'll know we just got back from our trip to New York City, where the Equicizer was used in a taping of Harry Connick Jr.'s daytime TV show "Harry". However, our first trip took us south to Equine Affaire in Columbus, Ohio.

Frankie offering some riding
tips to an attendee on the Equicizer
We were thrilled to join up with Steve Lantvit, his wife Jenn and the rest of their team from Thursday through Saturday at Equine Affaire and have Maggie the Equicizer accompany us in the booth. So many familiar faces stopped by during the event and we were happy to see and talk to all of you! Steve also used the Equicizer during several of his demonstrations. We did get a few strange looks as we wheeled the Equicizer back and forth between the buildings 😉 But it just adds a little more excitement and mystique to the demos!

Steve Lantvit demo aboard "Maggie"
the Equicizer at Equine Affaire 2017
We left Equine Affaire a day early so we could unpack, repack and prepare Maggie for her television debut on "Harry". Maggie rode in the back of Frankie's Ford Explorer (on both of her trips) and arrived in New York on Tuesday afternoon where we dropped her off at the CBS studio. The next afternoon we drove back into the city - which was quite an adventure itself - for the taping and went on the set to tack Maggie up and get her ready for show time.

We were thrilled with the segment which was shot with former jockey Rosie Napravnik appearing first, giving a demonstration on the Equicizer and then offering Harry a leg up for his turn. (Thankfully, we decided last minute to lower the stirrups another couple of holes or Harry's 6'1" frame may not have allowed him to get his feet into the stirrups!) It was great fun for everyone, the audience included, and Rosie gave Harry a fantastic jockey lesson aboard the Equicizer.

CBS Studios in NYC
We are back in the office now, getting caught up and settling into the swing of things. We appreciated all of the friendly faces we encountered on our travels and look forward to what's next to come. Joining our newsletter is a great way to stay up to date on any future trips and events we do with the Equicizer.


by Kayla Jarvinen
 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

What's Next?

We run a small cat rescue on the side
- kidding - but it's not uncommon to have a
few extra visitors in the office.
Hello everyone, this is Kayla coming to you from Wooden Horse Corporation headquarters 😊 As many of you know, I run the Equicizer office here at our base in Norwalk, Ohio. My job description is a varied one but it includes corresponding with customers, invoicing, setting up shipments (big and small!), handling paperwork, updating our website, brainstorming with our social media expert Amanda Chicotel about our bi-monthly blogs and monthly newsletters (which she does a fantastic job of putting together, by the way), ironing out the logistics of any trips or events we do with the Equicizer and... answering the telephone!

There are so many fascinating aspects of working for a small – but growing – company but honestly, answering the phone is one of the most interesting! You never know who’s going to be on the other end when you pick up but you try to prepare yourself for just about anything. I’ve had more than a few interesting conversations since I began my time here. One such conversation took place just a couple of weeks ago.

Harry Connick Jr. on the set of "HARRY"
We get our fair share of telemarketers and scam phone calls but one rule we have here in the office is that you always – always – pick up the business line. No matter what. (Because you never know, right?) About 2 weeks ago I was updating our order spreadsheets when the telephone rang. Glancing down at caller ID, it read “CBS Broadcasting”. I paused, curious, and answered. The caller on the other end said they were such and such from Harry Connick Jr’s show “HARRY” on CBS, and they were interested in obtaining an Equicizer for an upcoming Derby themed taping of the show!

We are excited to share this news with all of our friends and supporters! We’ll personally be bringing an Equicizer to the CBS studio in New York City for an April 12th taping of the show and former jockey Rosie Napravnik will give Harry a jockey lesson aboard the Equicizer. We’ll be watching from the audience and look forward to sharing photos of the event on social media. We don’t have a date yet for when the show will air but we’ll certainly keep everyone updated as we find out!

The Equicizer has been used in Hollywood on a number of
occasions, including for CBS' reality competition
show "Big Brother"
We’re also excited to let everyone know that the Equicizer will be used for certain close up shots in the upcoming premiere of “THE SON” with Pierce Brosnan, which debuts this Saturday, April 8th on AMC and SundanceTV at 9/8c.

We hope you’ll tune in with us and hop on for the ride, because you never know what might be next!
by Kayla Jarvinen


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Anatomy of an Equicizer Elite

Each and every Equicizer is hand-crafted with great care. We are proud of all the unique horses we send out to private homes, physical therapy centers, lesson programs and jockey rooms worldwide. This week for Wooden Horse Wednesday, we want to feature our Equicizer Elite model and give you an up close look at the components that make it great!

 

Head

Each Equicizer Elite features a graceful hand-carved head that offers a more refined and realistic look than the Equicizer Classic model. The head of the Elite can be customized in a variety of ways to make the Equicizer resemble a horse of the purchaser's choosing. Frankie has even made Elite models resembling famous horses like Zenyatta! The sky is the limit and we encourage you to send pictures of the horse you want your Elite to look like. Frankie carefully shapes the head and paints on facial markings such as blazes and snips.
Bonus: Click here to see the video "making of" Zenyatta Equicizer Elite for jockey Mike Smith. 

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Neck

The neck of an Equicizer might not look all that complex from the outside, but what lies beneath is a system of rubber bands and springs connected through the body that give the horse it's unique, proprietary motion. The system was designed by Frankie after a bad racing accident and refined over many years. Did you know the earliest Equicizer model did not have body movement at all? The Elite model comes with a 10 year extended warranty on the neck bands and springs*!

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Body

The body portion of all Equicizers is made in a similar fashion to the hull of a boat. This makes the horse solid and structurally sound thus capable of holding a significant amount of weight (up to 500 pounds). The Equicizer can safely support multiple riders across its back (within the weight limit) and/or riders who are unable to distribute their own weight evenly. The body is carpeted with marine grade carpet designed to be long-lasting, stain/weather resistant, and easy to clean. Every Elite model is outfitted with a personalized brass nameplate on the front as well as handles that can be used to easily lift the Equicizer if needed.

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Base

The Equicizer Elite model is supported by a metal base covered by elegant solid oak running boards that match the other wooden components. The base includes locking metal caster wheels that allow the horse to be rolled in any direction and then safely locked for mounting and riding. The base is sturdy enough to be used as a step up for mounting, if necessary. If the rider would prefer a taller mount, we sell a Riser Stand that can elevate the horse to height of 14.0, 14.2, 15.0, 15.2, and 16.0 hands. There is also the option of the heavy duty diamond plate aluminum All Terrain Cart, which allows the Equicizer to roll over dirt, sand, stone and grassy areas with ease.


Mane and Tail

The mane and tail of the Equicizer Elite can be customized to resemble virtually any color you would desire on a horse! Frankie goes above and beyond, even sometimes custom mixing the hair colors to find the right look for your request. The locks can be customized to different lengths as well. While the hair may be a more aesthetic component, we know many little girls who get quite a lot of satisfaction out of carefully braiding and caring for their Equicizer's mane and tail. The mane and tail also provide an opportunity for a sensory therapy application. They make the Equicizer more lifelike in appearance. 
Fjord Mane!

The Equicizer Elite is available today for $3,995 and comes with your choice of English, Western, Therapeutic or Racing reins. We have a variety of options available for financing. Please send us an email or visit our online store if you are interested in the Equicizer Elite!


by Amanda Chicotel
 


*Restrictions apply: does not apply to programs, organizations, schools, racetracks or other training facilities where excessive use from multiple persons occurs, in this case parts are under warranty for 5 years.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Equicizer Testimonials

Over the last few weeks we have received more than one beautiful testimonial from some of our Equicizer owners. They're too inspiring not to share, so take a peek and we'll show you where you can read more...

My LOVE for Chance

Debra was the recent winner
of our "Valentine's Day" themed photo contest!
My husband bought me my Chance 2 years ago for our Anniversary, and it is the absolute best gift I have ever been given. He knew that it was time for me to give up riding real horses, but he knew how good the motion of the horse was for me. I was diagnosed with MS 23 years ago. Although I am managing it ok, being able to ride Chance and do exercises on him has clearly made a difference in my life.

For me, Chance is my chance to stay fit from riding. Thank you Frankie, for my wonderful Chance.
 
-Debra H.
 

"California Pal"

Equicizer Team-

I want to send a note of thanks for "California Pal". What a wonderful example of craftsmanship, superiority, useful product, and professionalism. Everything from the ordering process, confirmation correspondence, and shipping went so smoothly. The shipping company did a wonderful job, and I must compliment the packaging engineering. Top of the line job team!

As a testimony to the product, I would like to say what a wonderful riding tool this is to help me stay in shape. I've been riding for 20 years/ 5 days a week. I moved to California where horse access is far and limited. I came back home after two months for a visit and to ride. After riding my Quarter Horse for 15 minutes my legs were so sore, and I was amazed at the loss of flexibility in my legs--especially my ankles. Oh yes, my core was very "loosey-goosey" as well. I had the opportunity to ride and train on "California Pal" for a week before coming home for another visit. I could tell a large difference in my riding. I felt like a strong, confident rider again. Additionally I did not suffer from any leg pain--My riding legs have come back!!

Thank you to everyone involved. It has been a true pleasure.
 
-Christina S.
 
Lastly, one of our most recent customers - Joan - sent us this beautiful photo of her and her new partner, "Cowboy", who is going to help her stay riding fit during the winter months!
 
 
 
To read more of our testimonials and customer stories, you can visit both our Equicizer Classic and our Equicizer Elite store pages. Scroll down to the bottom and there you will find a collection of some of the many testimonials that we have received in recent years.
 
If you are an Equicizer owner yourself, we'd love to learn about your journey with your Equicizer - however big or small! You can leave a review as well at the above links or send us an email at info@equicizer.com.
 
Thank you to all of our customers and supporters who have left feedback and have helped us make the Equicizer into the life changing tool that it has become.
 

www.equicizer.com

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ride for the Cause with "Shady Lady"

By Christine Ferrucci

The Calvanese Therapeutic Learning Foundation was organized in 2004 by Christine Calvanese-Ferrucci as a not for profit entity. Because of the kind, loving support from the late attorney Robert Wetmore, we were able to help many children in Central & Eastern Connecticut as well as New Haven County. For many years we sponsored events and raised money which helped many kids receive therapeutic horseback riding. We are better known as Ride for the Cause...our fundraising logo inspired by Robert. We had the esteemed pleasure of meeting this attorney who quickly took to the concept of helping children through equine therapy. Robert, a Shriner for many years, already had a philanthropic, kind soul. We will always remember Robert for teaching us how to trust and persevere toward our goals

In 2010 Ride for the Cause raised money to purchase an Equicizer we named Shady Lady, the namesake of our founder's first horse. Christine personally endorses horseback riding and the Equicizer. She knows that horseback riding helped balance her own attention deficit. We are best known for using Shady Lady to provide a better understanding on how children benefit from movement, learning and creativity.
 
It is rewarding working with individuals having the knowledge that horseback riding can be fun and motivating while people can work toward peak performance and overall well being. The members of The Calvanese Therapeutic Learning Foundation personally endorse the Equicizer and love having it in our program as it’s cost effective, less liability and can be used in a controlled setting.

We often provide traditional therapy modalities; however, tandem riding has shown to be beneficial for children who would initially have difficulty on their own. Shady Lady has helped many kids in a similar way benefit from a riding simulation. Both Alex and Tori can now ride independently.

We currently strive to form relationships with schools, riding centers and therapeutic environments throughout Connecticut. We also work with communities by creating opportunities and advocating for kids, making recommendations and referrals. We especially endorse social curriculum programs. Our organization will continue its mission to bridge the gap for all children to thrive in their school environment.

You can learn more about The Calvanese Therapeutic Learning Foundation by emailing Christine at christineferrucci@gmail.com.