WESTPORT, CT – September 9, 2013 – Over $275,000 in grants were awarded in 2013 to 75 charitable organizations dedicated to horse welfare in 26 states and the District of Columbia, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
Among those 75, seven were designated as Horse Whisperer Grant Recipients. Horse Whisperers is the Foundation’s named grant program for a special group of people and organizations with an extraordinary kinship with horses who wish to sustain the magical and powerful impact horses have on our lives.
Horse Whisperers annual and multi-year pledges of $5,000 or more are used for the award of grants to exceptional organizations devoted to the well-being of horses and fostering the use of equine assisted activities and therapies (EAAT). Horse Whisperers may also elect to use their donations for the award of a scholarship to an individual to reward equine volunteer service. Horse Whisperer grants and scholarships are named by the donors in honor of a family member, friend, associate, or in the memory of a loved one or a loved equine companion. Learn more about the Horse Whisperers at www.equusfoundation.org/horsewhisperers.php.
The EQUUS Foundation is proud to announce that the following organizations were designated as Horse Whisperer recipients this year:
Michele E. Arnhold Memorial Horse Whisperer Grants
Established in 2008 by the family of Michele E. Arnhold in memory of her pursuit of excellence and her commitment and contribution to the equestrian sport, the EQUUS Foundation awards $10,000 annually to worthy equine organizations in the name of Michele E. Arnhold. In 2013, two $5,000 grants were awarded.
American Institute for Neuro-Integrative Development (AIND)
AIND was selected to receive a $5,000 Michele E. Arnhold Grant to provide therapeutic riding instruction to students with neuro-biologically based learning and developmental disabilities at their Giant Steps School in Southport, Connecticut.
The program, which started as a pilot in 2007, is held at the Fairfield County Hunt Club in Westport, Connecticut, which donates the use of its facilities and horses. The Bridgeport Police Mounted Unit also supports the program by donating larger horses for the older children involved.
“As scientists begin to unravel the underlying causes of Autism Spectrum Disorders and other related disorders of development, the reality is that our kids are left with the hard work of learning tasks that many take for granted. Simple tasks like tooth brushing can require hours of special teaching and practice”, said Kathy Robertson, Executive Director, AIND/Giant Steps School. “It is such a pleasure to see the many benefits our kids receive from riding, not the least of which is how intrinsically happy they are on horses.”
The grant will be used specifically to implement a quantitative assessment tool designed to scientifically validate the use of equine therapy for those with physical, emotional and cognitive challenges. Dr. Margaret Bauman, a distinguished pediatric neurologist and research investigator who has been a pioneer in the study and treatment of autism for the past 25 years, is a consultant on this project.
Scientific validation that equine therapy is effective for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and others with special needs will lead to the opportunities for these individuals to acquire coverage by insurance companies and referrals by doctors, psychologists, etc. as well as initiating new therapeutic riding programs for individuals in areas without access to any.
Giving Alternative Learners Uplifting Opportunities, Inc. (GALLOPNYC)
GallopNYC was selected to to receive a $5,000 Michele E. Arnhold Grant to provide therapeutic riding to low-income children and youth with disabilities in the New York metropolitan area.
GallopNYC uses three commercial riding facilities, two in Brooklyn and one in Forest Hills, to offer these services.
The grant will cover the cost of providing a 10-week session to 12 riders who are currently on the waitlist while seeking financial assistance.
If you were to visit GallopNYC on any given day, you might see:
* a boy with autism finding his voice to tell his pony to trot;
This grant will allow these young people with disabilities and special needs in the New York metropolitan area to get started on a path to enjoying the many benefits of therapeutic riding, and as parents, teachers, and counselors alike tell confirm, improve their quality of life forever.
GallopNYC has been serving the New York metropolitan area since 2005 by helping riders walk, talk, connect, focus, behave, and learn through therapeutic horsemanship. Most recently, they rescued their first equine, taking the initial steps toward a long-term plan to have our their rescued equines and dedicated facility.
Daniel D. Barkan Memorial Horse Whisperer Grants
Established in 2013 by the family of Daniel D. Barkan, a quiet philanthropist and gentleman, in memory of his life-long love of horses, the EQUUS Foundation awards $10,000 annually to worthy equine organizations in the name of Daniel D. Barkan. In 2013, two $5,000 grants were awarded.
Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR) based in Lisbon, Maryland, was selected to receive a $5,000 Daniel D. Barkan Grant to help fulfill its mission of ensuring quality care and treatment of horses through intervention, education, and outreach.
The grant will be used to support its Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Adoption Program for the horses at the farm now so space can be made available for those needing help in the future.
The number of abused/neglected horses continues to escalate in Maryland and across the United States. Funding is critical to help rescue suffering horses and prevent animal cruelty. All horses that come to DEFHR suffer from malnutrition, hoof disease/deformity, parasitic infestation, physical abuse and/or painful ailments.
Through Days End’s many varied and successful programs, horses are given a second chance at life with caring humans. People flourish and thrive as contributing members of a compassionate community. The bonds that are formed between horses and caregivers make the world a better place.
DEFHR rescues, rehabilitates, trains and adopts horses. The farm houses 50-80 horses daily, accepts about 150 impounded horses yearly, has rehabilitated 1,834 horses since 1989, and adopted out an outstanding 94%. The farm has a trained staff and volunteers to provide critical and extended care, including round-the-clock care and monitoring.
High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center
High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center was selected to to receive a $5,000 Daniel D. Barkan Grant to support the involvement of children and adults with disabilities in its therapeutic riding programs. The grant will be used specifically for its Scholarship Program to ensure that financial barriers do not preclude participation for individuals in need.
For individuals who cannot typically participate in group sports – for either physical or emotional reasons – the horse allows them to have a recreational experience in which they simultaneously accomplish individual and group goals.
The horse is such a strong motivator that it allows participants to challenge themselves on a new level without feeling the stresses of keeping up with their peers. Since horseback riding is often a new skill for all participants it is a unique opportunity to participate in a recreational activity where everyone starts on the same level.
High Hopes’ therapeutic riding and equine-assisted programs are conducted in a peaceful, rural setting that provides sensory stimulation that cannot be duplicated in a gym, clinic or other standard rehabilitation setting.
High Hopes programs are designed to foster independence, improve the individual’s confidence, communication and problem-solving skills, and provide challenging individualized therapeutic and educational activities to a population with limited resources.
Felix Callari Memorial
Rerun’s mission is to rehabilitate, retrain, and find adoptive homes for Thoroughbreds when their careers on the track are over. Close to 30,000 Thoroughbreds are born annually to owners and breeders who hope to raise a champion racehorse. Of the ones who even make the cut into racing, only a small fraction achieve star status during their careers and retire to lives of luxury.
For the majority of the thousands of racehorses who are no longer wanted by their owners, some find their way to retirement facilities or adoption programs, such as ReRun, but the USDA estimates that 10,000 to15,000 Thoroughbreds are slaughtered each year. It is frequently young and relatively healthy Thoroughbreds who are facing this fate, as the median retirement age of a racehorse is 5-6 years old.
What makes Rerun different is that it does not own farms or property; instead, it utilizes six approved foster farms in New York, New Jersey, Virginia and North Carolina to board and care for ReRun horses at reduced cost. These farms are owned and operated by people with whom Rerun has established a strong relationship, who support Rerun’s mission, and who provide the level of care that ReRun expects for its horses and all are within driving distance of their Board members or trusted individuals who serve as their eyes and ears and make regular visits.
Owners transfer unwanted Thoroughbreds to ReRun straight off the racetracks or training facilities and are required to provide the horses’ Jockey Club papers. ReRun records their tattoo and registration numbers (which all registered Thoroughbreds have), and then voids their papers and returns them to the Jockey Club – preventing the horses from ever being able to race again.
The horses are then transported to the nearest ReRun foster farm where they they rest (called Let Down). Most of the new arrivals come with some form of injury or health condition that arose from their racing career – some with injuries that are permanent or require surgical intervention. It can take up to one year before a horse is ready retraining or adoption.
Once horses have been cleared by the ReRun vets for exercise, they are provided with retraining to help them unlearn the ways of a racehorse and be better prepared for pursing second careers. Rerun’s trainers work consistently and intensively with each of the horses for three months, teaching them the fundamental skills and manners needed for their adoption and transition.
Before ReRun horses are adopted, they are freeze-branded on their hip with a design unique to ReRun – a painless process which protects them from getting into the wrong hands once they’ve been adopted.
ReRun has a stringent screening process for potential adopters, which include an extensive interview to determine the best-suited horse for them. Once approved, they pay an adoption fee and sign the ReRun adoption contract, which requires them to provide a two-year commitment to the horse and prohibits them from selling, racing, breeding, or transferring the horse. Any adopter who is unable to keep their commitment to the horse must return the horse to ReRun to be placed again for adoption.
ReRun has been working closely with owners, trainers, and other members of the racing industry since its founding in 1996 to re-train and re-home Thoroughbreds before they end up in harm’s way.
Cornelius & Jasper
Horsepower, based in Colfax, North Carolina, was founded in 1995 to provide equine facilitated experiential activities for individuals with disabilities and youth identified as At-Risk. Their equine activities foster the development of skills that increase autonomy, encourage constructive codependence, and nurture problem solving in the home, school, and community.
With over 10,300 students enrolled in Exceptional Children’s classes in Guilford County Schools in 2012-2013, combined with an even larger number of adults living with disabilities within the community, there is a vast pool of potential clients for the programs and services offered by Horsepower at a time when most state and local agencies are reducing services.
Horsepower serves 400 clients annually utilizing eight PATH International certified instructors and 16 therapy horses. Not only is it a PATH International Premier Accredited Center, but it also has been verified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries as an equine sanctuary.
The grant is being used to offset part of the recurring cost of hay and will enable Horsepower to redirect funding to continue to offer fee reductions and/or scholarships to our clients in greatest financial need.
There are emerging studies that are helping to establish a solid link to equine facilitated experiential learning and to define in specific scientific terms what clients, their parents, teachers, physicians, and therapists already know to be the benefits of equine therapy.
The impact of equine therapy has been indisputable and meaningful. The outcome of Horsepower’s efforts parallel what is being learned from the current research – that therapeutic equine experiences provide a multisensory and multifaceted approach in meeting the unique needs of people living with disabilities.
Horsepower started with a couple of horses, a simple dream and a passionate desire to make a difference. Since that humble beginning, Horsepower has served thousands of community members living with disabilities.
New Canaan Mounted Troop
New Canaan Mounted Troop (NCMT) has taken pride in its unique approach to teaching horsemanship through hands-on experience since its founding in 1939 – 74 years ago. All programs are designed to encourage children’s personal growth by promoting fundamental values such as leadership, responsibility, confidence, work ethic and teamwork in a safe, fun, family atmosphere.
In September 2012, NCMT launched its “Super Troopers” pilot program, which is dedicated to providing young adults with appropriate recreational and therapeutic equine activities. Recognizing the powerful and positive impact that horses can make in a person’s life, the Super Troopers program is designed to promote physical and emotional wellness through equine therapy and horsemanship for children and adults with special needs.
NCMT continues to offer its Full Cadet Riding and Horsemanship Program, a grassroots riding program that offers equine care and riding instruction for children ages 7 through 17, for all levels of experience. All students are taught barn management skills, perform barn chores, address the basic needs of the horses, and attend a veterinary/equine care lecture as part of the NCMT curriculum. NCMT also offers an “Equine Care only” Program for children who may not be ready to ride but are interested in learning the basics of horsemanship, grooming and barn care.
NCMT also conducts Community Outreach with Horses involving field trips for outside groups, including a group of 2nd graders from the Horizons Youth Enrichment Program, to visit and learn about horses and horsemanship.
What contributed to NCMT’s decision to offer equine therapy programs is the fact that NCMT already had a seasoned fleet of horses and ponies that also perform in their regular youth riding program, making it cost efficient to offer equine therapy to an underserved community. The grant will allow 24 students to participate in the Super Troopers program for the coming 2013-14 year.
About The EQUUS Foundation
The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, also known as Horse Charities of America, is dedicated to improving the quality of life of horses, enabling the therapeutic use of horses for those in need, fostering the horse-human bond, and educating the public about the horse’s unique ability to empower, teach and heal. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.