December 2016 Team Member Highlight: Michael Ferrante


If it Ain’t Broke, Fix it Anyway!

Ever wonder what it takes to keep our Ranch up to snuff? Meet this month’s volunteer extraordinaire, Michael Ferrante, owner of Equine Facilities Repair and our “go-to” guy for handyman and repair work.

Michael is a contractor with a huge heart for horses. He met Susan Peirce at the barn where his daughter Belle took riding lessons, and when he heard about the work that was needed at the Ranch, a light went off in his head. “At the time, I noticed all the things wrong with the construction industry that was servicing the equine field and realized horses were getting hurt due to a lack of horse specific knowledge. I felt there had to be a better way. The industry needed contractors who had a combination of construction and horse sense, so I decided to combine the two and created Equine Facilities Repair. Red Bucket became our first official ‘on the books’ client.”


“Susan invited me to visit the Ranch in 2012,” Michael continues. “Our tour guide told us many of the horses’ stories and it broke our hearts. The most memorable story was of two neighboring horses; one was dying of cancer while her neighbor was recovering from extreme wounds from being used as a bait horse for fighting dogs. When we heard this, we knew right then and there that we needed to start our business AND do everything we could to support Red Bucket.”


“My company offers electrical, welding, plumbing, stall construction modification and expansion project services free of labor charges, and quite often we include free materials when possible,” Michael continues. “Our mission is to support Red Bucket in whatever way we can. We dedicate funds from the profits of our business as a donation to Red Bucket on a regular basis. This is why we love the Ruby Red event.”


The entire family shares Michael’s passion for Red Bucket horses. “My wife Arlene helps with special events and charitable donations,” Michael informs me. “My daughter Isabelle (Belle) helps with grooming and other assigned duties when she is available. My son Michael assists me with special projects and some of my construction jobs when he comes home for summer vacation, and my youngest, Julieann, is looking forward to one day being old enough to volunteer at the Ranch.”


Susan Peirce is proud of how Michael’s company has grown and at the same time is humbled by how much Michael gives back to the Ranch. “Michael is a man of great character; he is such an awesome person! His equine repair company was inspired by Red Bucket and he has really filled a niche. He has the ability and tools to build paddocks and do major repairs around the Ranch. He plays a SUPER important role! He is very generous with his time and he never says ‘no’. Michael recently spent his anniversary weekend with his wife and daughter putting up holiday lights around the Ranch! Now THAT’S dedication! He has a great attitude and is super helpful; even his little girl Belle lends a helping hand with grooming☺ Michael is a tremendous asset to our team and our Ranch.”


Although their paths rarely cross, leadership team member Michelle Walker can say with certainty: “I am taken aback by his kindness, patience and willingness to work with our team members for the benefit of our horses and the Ranch that they own.”


Jenon Mathes, our Breezeway Coordinator, does not work side by side with Michael; however, she knows how dependable and indispensable he has become. “He’s very handy at repairing things from a construction aspect, and he has done many improvements to the barns such as creating ‘in and outs’ for the Winter Barn and creating ‘back yards’ for some of the horses in the Warmblood Barn. He has also done a lot of work in the Med Room and Feed Room. He is a talented contractor and a committed team member. Our Ranch and our horses all benefit from his handiwork.”


Michael is humbled and honored to be recognized for his services; however he prefers to honor Susan and the volunteers at Red Bucket that make the real magic happen. “I feel the work that we (myself and my family) have contributed is a meager part of the much larger daily effort,” Michael shares. “I do what I do because of the horses, and the glow that surrounds the entire philosophy of Red Bucket, the countless lives touched and forever changed because of the work that extends beyond numbers. Anyone who comes to Red Bucket can easily see its value and worth for the horses and the surrounding community. Truly it goes much deeper than that. Our family is proud to support this dream and the larger team. It’s more than just fundraising and horse care. It’s about love, opportunity, and dedication that make us want to serve God’s most noble creature, His horses. To earn their love and trust is a truly beautiful experience. Since 2012 when I first began to work with Red Bucket, there have been plenty of facility and structural changes that we have been proud to initiate because we believe in the dream of saving horses. It takes resources, love, and attention to carefully craft the magic that touches so many lives that we all know as Red Bucket Equine Rescue.”


The magic Michael creates is tangible, and we are grateful every day for his labor of love at the Ranch! Thank you Michael and the Ferrante family for all you do to help save and protect our horses.