Above: The Equus Foundation team of Kristin Hardin and Bentley, sponsored by Platinum Performance, win the 2nd Annual Charity Woof Cup presented by the San Diego Union – Tribune. Left to right: Kristin Hardin, Jenny Iverson Schwartz, TPH’s Estelle Kraft, Erin Welch. Photo by McCool Photography for West Palms Events.
By TPH Intern Ashley Shaw
With Thanksgiving on the horizon, it’s the time of year that we contemplate who and what we are most thankful for. Families, friends, jobs, and pets are common things to make the list, but for equestrians, horses also stand out at the top. We thank our own horses every day by feeding them treats and giving the hugs and kisses they adore, but what else can we do to show gratitude for our beloved equines? How can we help others experience the joy and happiness of horses? There are hundreds of equine charities and therapeutic riding centers who could use the aid of passionate and generous equestrians, and here is a list of a few of The Plaid Horse Interns’ favorites:
Equus Foundation is a national charity that seeks to promote bonding between
horses and people. They award grants, support rehabilitation programs for neglected horses, fund educational programs, and many more wonderful networks that aid the equestrian community.
Red Bucket Equine Rescue
Red Bucket Equine is committed to saving, rehabilitating and rehoming neglected horses. They seek to restore their trust in humans and find them loving homes. Located in Chino Hills, California, they believe in healing a horse’s mind, body, and spirit, enabling them to connect and bond with people once again.
Offering lessons in several locations within New York City, GallopNYC fosters developmental, emotional, social, and physical skills through therapeutic horsemanship. Through weekly sessions, riders learn to bond, care for, and be a leader to a horse.
Giant Steps Therapeutic Riding Center
Giant Steps is a therapeutic riding center in Petaluma, California. Their mission is to use the incredible benefits of therapeutic riding and equine-related activities to enhance the lives of adults and children with disabilities. Equipped with experienced and well-educated staff, they have developed a variety of programs to suit every individual’s unique needs..
Mane Stream Therapeutic Riding Center
A nonprofit organization based in Oldwick, New Jersey, Mane Stream strives to improve the quality of life for people dealing with physical, developmental, emotional and medical challenges. They employ the benefits of equine-assisted activities and therapies and are able to fulfill their mission of changing the lives of a very diverse group of people who share the passion of horses.
Located in Islandia, New York, Pal-O-Mine is a therapeutic riding program dedicated to helping children and adults with disabilities, those who have been abused or neglected, the military, the impoverished, and many others. Clients heal, grow, and learn through interacting with kind and gentle equines, creating positive experiences and building happiness.
Whether it’s volunteering, donating, or spreading the word, there are numerous ways to give back to the equestrian community this holiday season. Finding a local equine charity is easier than one may expect, and there is always a need for help. Make it a goal to share the love of horses this year and see how many smiles you can create.
About the Author: Ashley Shaw is a senior at Lafayette High School in St. Louis, MO. She trains with Shannon Hicks and competes in the Junior Hunters and Junior Jumpers, and her goal is to qualify for the Devon Horse Show next year. Outside of riding, she enjoys photography, cooking, and hanging out with her retired horses.
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