Category Archives: Equine Assisted Therapy

New Movie Unbridled Brings Omega Alpha to the Big Screen

Lindsey Partridge and her horse Soar (Photo courtesy of Wendy Webb Photography and Lindsey Partridge)

Cary, NC (July 29, 2016) — When Omega Alpha Ambassador Lindsey Partridge was offered a role in the upcoming movie Unbridled, inspired by real-life events at a healing ranch for challenged teenage girls in North Carolina, Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals was eager to show its support. The Canada-based producer of equine health products and supplements regularly assists the equestrian community through its sponsorship of elite horse shows and top equestrian professionals like Partridge, and was excited for this unique opportunity to appear in a movie while also raising awareness for a deserving cause. Omega Alpha donated $2,500 to the funding of the film, which is centered on the miraculous healing power of equine-assisted therapy. The movie is eagerly anticipated among a variety of audiences in the faith, equine, and anti-human trafficking communities as it approaches its release this fall.

Unbridled, which is expected to release early in 2017, is a true-to-life story that exposes the atrocities of abuse, neglect, and trauma and the healing and redemption experienced by girls and horses who have suffered the same types of abuse. The story centers around the life of 17-year-old Sarah Miller (Tea McKay), a fictional character based on the more than 100 young women who have experienced the Corral Riding Academy, an equine therapy program in Cary, North Carolina where the lives of both rescued horses and teenage girls are transformed through trauma-focused equine assisted psychotherapy.

Partridge, who specializes in retraining off-the-track Thoroughbreds and won the America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred competition in Lexington, Kentucky in October 2015, was cast as herself in Unbridled. Two of her horses, Dreamer and Soar, also appear in the film, with Dreamer in the starring role. “My role in the film is to work with the girls as well as show the girls my international champion, Soar, who is 2015’s America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred,” Partridge explained. “We do a display for the girls of some liberty and bridleless riding, and in other scenes I help with coaching the girls.”

With the help of Omega Alpha’s wide range of award-winning products, both equine stars maintained their excellent health and picture-perfect appearance throughout the making of the film. Their daily use of Omega Alpha supplements continues to keep Dreamer and Soar at the highest possible standard in equine health and performance. “The star of the film, Dreamer, uses Respi-Free daily and we have noticed that it really has helped his breathing,” said Partridge. “Dreamer seemed to have trouble opening his airways and would breathe really heavily during light canter work. Now he is competing at full strength, and if he starts to breathe heavy we use Omega Alpha Lung Flush and Airwaves too.”

Partridge feeds her horses a natural diet with high-quality nutrients, and Omega Alpha’s scientifically formulated supplements play a crucial role in helping to maintain the horses’ readiness for competition. “I want to make sure my horses are comfortable, and I don’t want to cause any negative side effects,” said Partridge. “If I have a horse that is sore, I love using Omega Alpha Antiflam because it doesn’t hurt the horse’s gut like other painkillers or anti-inflammatories can when given long-term.”

Because Partridge uses so many Omega Alpha products with her horses, it seemed natural for some of the products to appear in Unbridled. “I did a scene that involved Omega Alpha,” said Partridge. “It is the first scene where the audience meets me. I arrive and greet Cassie (Rachel Hendrix), and during our dialogue I request an Omega Alpha product from Cassie. Cassie shows me that they have Omega Alpha products to share, and we go on to meet the girls.”

Gerald McGlothlin, the executive producer of the film, was excited about the scene. “I just personally watched the ‘rough cut’ of the Unbridled movie, and the Omega Alpha segment was excellent,” he said.

Partridge hopes that audiences of the film will be inspired to learn more about harmony horsemanship as well as the use of equine therapy for healing and emotional growth. “The movie is an incredible story, and I am very grateful to Omega Alpha for supporting this film,” she said.

Omega Alpha is proud to have played a role in the funding of Unbridled and looks forward to being a part of Partridge’s continued success. With more than twenty years of experience in developing natural equine supplements through research-based science, the company offers a wide range of award-winning products including formulas to support respiration, digestion, joint health, hormonal balance, immune health, detoxification, muscle rehabilitation, endurance, and performance. To learn more about Omega Alpha’s range of quality health products, visit www.OmegaAlpha.ca or call 1-800-651-3172.

Contact: Patti Hanco
Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals Inc.
1-800-651-3172
phanco@OmegaAlpha.ca
www.OmegaAlpha.ca

Jacksonville Equestrian Center Helps Hope Therapy Riders Prepare for Florida State Special Olympics

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Davenport.

Jacksonville, FL (July 6, 2016) — Ever since mother and daughter duo Marianne and Rebecca Davenport founded Hope Therapy in Middleburg, Florida 15 years ago, they have been working tirelessly to improve the lives of children and adults with special needs by using equine-assisted activities and therapy. This spring, the Davenports turned to the nearby Jacksonville Equestrian Center for help with preparing their riders for the Florida State Special Olympics Equestrian Championships.

“Before going to the Special Olympics, we wanted to get the riders and horses familiar with a big facility like the one we would be going to for the competition,” said Rebecca Davenport, the Occupational Therapist and Program Director at Hope Therapy. “At the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, we were able to set up a trail course and expose them to the different environments and things they would see. Being able to practice with a covered arena was also helpful. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is a beautiful facility.”

The Special Olympics provides sports training and competition opportunities to athletes with intellectual disabilities around the world. When it came time for Hope Therapy riders to compete in the Florida State Special Olympics Equestrian Championships, their training paid off well.

“Our riders collectively earned a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal. We were really excited,” said Davenport. “The whole weekend was wonderful, but the best part was seeing the smiles on the faces of the riders when they held up their medals! They were so excited, just grinning from ear to ear. It was great seeing how happy and proud of themselves they were.”

Hope Therapy is a leading hippotherapy program in Northeast Florida, and is the area’s only Premier Accredited Center of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.). The organization is committed to providing high quality services and excellence in programming, and plans to use the facilities at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center again in the future to provide children and adults with therapeutic riding experiences. Hope Therapy also provides several programs for active duty, disabled, and retired service men and women.

Hippotherapy uses horses as therapy treatment for people with special care needs. The movement of the horse encourages muscle action and can improve balance. Additionally, positive psychological, social, emotional, and behavioral effects can be seen in people who use hippotherapy.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center was thrilled to host Hope Therapy students and instructors as they prepared for the Florida State Special Olympics. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is home to a state-of-the-art, 123,000 square foot indoor coliseum, multiple outdoor arenas, barns with over 400 stalls, and trails for equestrians to enjoy. The 80-acre facility is also part of a recreational park that features an Olympic size indoor pool, an 18-hole golf course, and regulation softball fields.

Located just off of I-95 in Jacksonville, Florida, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center hosts recreational, sporting, and community events year round. For more information about the facility, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com or call Penny Gorton at (904) 255-4227. For more information about Hope Therapy, please visit www.hopetherapy.org.

For more information, contact:
Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Penny Gorton 904-255-4227
PGorton@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32221

What’s My Favorite Time of the Week? Equine Assisted Therapy at Mane Stream

AJ, Blaze and Miss Gina working on life skills that enabled AJ to enroll in public school in Fall of 2015.

Therapies at Mane Stream is not only a favorite time of the week for many of our participants; it also happens to be the most beneficial activity for many individuals with physical, developmental, emotional and medical challenges.

Parents of children with special needs often struggle to find a breakthrough therapy or activity for their child. Those who find OT, PT, SLP equine assisted therapies at Mane Stream witness first-hand the progress that is made when traditional therapy techniques are coupled with equine movement. Progress is seen in several areas including balance, posture, confidence and most importantly in activities of daily living.

AJ’s story is just one example of a young, vibrant, life-loving child with an extensive medical history and a continuous fight to achieve success with the most basic life skills that most parents take for granted. Even before AJ was born his parents knew that his physical and developmental conditions would make doing things other kids do more challenging so they set forth two top goals for AJ:

#1 – attend public school                     #2 – walk on the beach

After several years of therapy sessions with a variety of therapists and countless doctor appointments, AJ is the first to tell you how much he loves his therapy sessions with Blaze, one of the hard-working horses in the Mane Stream herd.  “Their personalities fit together so well,” says Mane Stream occupational therapist, Gina Taylor. “This really helps AJ’s comfort level and confidence as he takes on more challenging therapy tasks. His progress has been remarkable.”

AJ has made great strides towards those two top goals in the past six years.  His parents attribute the weekly OT sessions at Mane Stream as the most beneficial in his physical and emotional development – so beneficial, in fact, that AJ started public school in the fall of 2015 and is now able to run on the beach.

Mane Stream, located in Oldwick, New Jersey, is one of a few of the Premier Accredited Centers in the state.  Your help is needed today to help us continue to provide novel, engaging, and beneficial services to children like AJ. Please donate now to Mane Stream; all contributions are tax deductible.

If you know someone who could benefit from equine assisted therapy or adaptive riding, consider finding a PATH International Accredited Center nearest you.

About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:

The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) is one of the world’s largest international and national dressage circuits featuring 7 FEI Dressage events, including a 5* and the only FEI Nations’ Cup Series CDIO in the Western Hemisphere. The AGDF offers more than $650,000 in prize money for the seven international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area.

Please visit
www.globaldressagefestival.com
www.pbiec.com
or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at
The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

2015 Ariat Win A Grant Winners Announced

Fellow rider & Out Side In’s volunteer vet, Dr. Kristina Baszler, with Janet Jacobs (right) & Stanley, a rescued thoroughbred.

Three deserving equine charities were selected by random draw as the winners of the 2015 Win A Grant program thanks to the dedication of three volunteers and Ariat International, the sponsor of the EQUUS Foundation Champions volunteer program.

Individuals who volunteer a minimum of 24 hours in a year for an equine charity on the EQUUS Foundation Equine Welfare Network are recognized as Champions and automatically entered into a drawing where the winners have the opportunity to select their charities to receive an EQUUS Foundation grant. Thanks also to Ariat, each of the individual winners receive a $250 Gift Card towards any Ariat boots (tall boots, paddock boots, barn boots, endurance boots).

Out Side In & Champion Janet Jacobs
Grand Haven, MI

Established in 2010 as an Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) facility serving a handful of children with borrowed horses, Out Side In today provides over 120 hours of therapy each month to families throughout West Michigan, including veterans, and is home to 16 rescued “off the track” thoroughbreds, which are retrained by volunteers and repurposed into new lives as cherished therapy partners.

Out Side In specializes in therapy services for those suffering from the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), sexual abuse and domestic violence and is widely known as the facility-of-choice for treatment resistant individuals who have unsuccessfully sought other methods of dealing with their mental or emotional concerns.

Over 25 volunteers assist with the day-to-day operations and horse care. Among them is Janet Jacobs, who, at age 60, yearning to return to her life-long passion for horses and their welfare, discovered Out Side In. Not only does she assist with day-to-day operations, but as Director of Philanthropy and Volunteer Services at Mercy Health in Muskegon, Jan uses her professional skills as the charity’s president. She successfully led the effort to launch “Bringing the Out Side In”, a capital campaign to build a larger indoor arena to house their at-capacity therapy programs and their many equine friends. Ground breaking for the new facility is scheduled for this September.

“I have always been kidded about being a rescuer,” Jan says, “but I could not be more personally fulfilled by helping to transition horses from their lives at the race track to their new lives as therapy horses, and in turn, helping those who are struggling to find hope and healing. What a wonderful way to pay it forward.”

Board President Jessica Morrissey (left) & Any D. Bodelin (right), with Ruby
Board President Jessica Morrissey (left) & Any D. Bodelin (right), with Ruby

Horses Healing Humans (HHH)
& Champion Any D. Bodelin
Stonington, CT

Horses Healing Humans exists to help people of all ages and abilities with physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges through Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT).

Established in 2011, Any has been a key volunteer since the first year and “Mom” to its first Therapy Horse, Ruby (UC Broadway Show).

Signature programs at Horses Healing Humans are W.I.T.’s End (Women in Transition) and Equine Services for Heroes (US Veterans/Wounded Warriors) as well as traditional TR, EFP and EAL programs for children and adults.

“Life circumstances brought horses back into my life after a very long hiatus. Horses are just so very good for the soul. It feels like I am reliving my childhood. I can’t imagine a better way to spend my free time,” said Any.

Equicenter & Champion Laura Dustin
Honeoye Falls NY

“I believe ‘everything happens for a reason'”, said Laura Dustin. In April 2012, as Laura prepared to retire after 27 years as a physics and chemistry teacher, she read a story in the Sunday paper about Equicenter. My friend laughed when I mentioned the story to her. She was a volunteer there. Before I knew it, she had me in their barn, and I have been a volunteer ever since.”

Founded in 2005, EquiCenter, a PATH International Premier Accredited Center, strives to foster the personal growth and individual achievement of people with disabilities, at-risk youth, veterans, and their families using a wide range of therapeutic equestrian programs.

Left to Right: PATH instructor Marlowe Cline, Zeus, Laura Dustin & Karen Werth
Left to Right: PATH instructor Marlowe Cline, Zeus, Laura Dustin & Karen Werth

Laura had never really worked with horses, but, she said, “the staff taught me so much about caring for these special, patient animals, and they continue to help me learn how best to work with both rider and horse.”

“I could not have asked for a better retirement. I am often asked, ‘how did I fall in love with the EquiCenter?’ How could I not? In every lesson I see amazing interactions between people and horses – and there is nothing like seeing a rider’s great big smile or watching them hug their horse.”

“What better reason could there be for volunteering? Except maybe more smiles, hugs, and more horse kisses all around.”

About 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: equus@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
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Special Ceremony Honoring Therapy Horse Magic

Sheriff Sadie Darnell will hold a special recognition ceremony on Wednesday, April 29th, 2015, at 1 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters located at 2621 SE Hawthorne Road, Gainesville. The ceremony will be to honor therapy horse Magic from the Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses. Magic will be “taking the oath” before leaving to represent the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and all of Alachua County while attending the 34th Annual National Police Officers’ Memorial Week in Washington, D.C. in May 2015.

Magic has been scheduled to make dozens of private and group visits with children whose parent or other family members were killed in the line of duty. She will be with families for engraving of names on the Memorial Wall, attend the Honor Guard Competition and ride the subway to Washington, D.C. landmarks with children. She will even do good night “tuck ins” with children at hotels, leaving stuffed toy horses on each bed. While in Washington, D.C., Magic will also visit a children’s hospital and a veterans’ hospital.

Magic has worked with first responders across the country for many years. From the school children and first responders of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT to the tornado survivors of Moore, OK, she brings her special love where it is needed most. She has worked with law enforcement community outreach programs and visited injured members of law enforcement and their families in hospitals across the country.

Magic received a national honor last month with her induction into the United States Equestrian Federation Horse Stars Hall of Fame. She was honored as a humanitarian for “having a life changing and inspirational impact on the public.”

When Magic is not traveling, she has a one-of-a-kind partnership with the University of Florida Health Shands Rehab Hospital in Gainesville, an acute hospital for patients who have suffered strokes, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, amputations and burns. Magic works with occupational, speech and physical therapists as part of the treatment team.

She has inspired patients in the therapy gym to reach out their arms for the first time and helped patients who are learning how to use adaptive equipment like walkers and wheelchairs. She even demonstrates rehab training stairs and ramps. Magic has inspired patients who have stood or walked for the very first time since their accidents or surgeries.

Please join us in deputizing Magic as she begins the journey to honor individuals who have been injured or killed in service to the public.

From Art Forgey, Public Information Officer for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office

Therapy Horse Magic Inducted into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame

Photos courtesy of Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses.

Gainesville, FL (February 22, 2014) — Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses has received a national honor with the induction of therapy horse Magic into the United States Equestrian Federation and EQUUS Foundation Horse Stars Hall of Fame for 2015. Magic was inducted at the EQUUS Foundation’s Fete Coeval Etoile on Friday, February 20 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida. The Horse Stars Hall of Fame was established by the USEF and EQUUS Foundation to celebrate the extraordinary talent of horses and their magical and powerful bond with people.

Magic was honored as a humanitarian for having a life changing and inspirational impact on the public. From helping children and first responders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT to child trafficking victims in Washington, D.C. and tornado survivors in Moore, OK, Magic brings her special love where it is needed most. She visits children’s hospitals across the country.

When Magic is not traveling she has a one of a kind partnership with the University of Florida Health Shands Rehab Hospital in Gainesville, Florida, an acute hospital for patients who have suffered strokes, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, amputations and burns. Magic works with occupational, speech and physical therapists as part of the treatment team. She has inspired patients in the therapy gym to reach out their arms for the first time and helped patients who are learning how to use adaptive equipment like walkers and wheelchairs. She even demonstrates rehab training stairs and ramps. Magic has worked with patients who have stood or walked for the very first time since their accidents or surgeries. Therapists have seen exceptional progress and motivation with patients teamed with the little horse.

Magic2Working indoors would be a challenge for any horse but Magic makes it look easy. She walks up and down stairs, rides in elevators, walks on unusual floor surfaces, carefully moves around hospital equipment, works in small rooms and handles unexpected sounds like ambulances, alarms and hospital helicopters… and yes she is house trained. Every hospital is different and when Magic enters a new hospital she does not get a practice run. She must be comfortable walking through the door and crowds of people with her trainer no matter what new sights and sounds she encounters on the way.

The inductees were featured in a video and photo gallery accompanied by stories of their achievements.

Owners of the honored horses arrived from around the country. Therapy horse Magic attended the ceremony and met with fans and guests indoors during dinner and events. She also played with Harry de Leyer, owner and trainer of the famous Snowman (Eighty Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse Who Inspired a Nation) after the ceremony. Both Magic and Snowman were inducted into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame. “I will never forget you, Magic,” Mr. de Leyer told the little horse.

Magic’s other honors include:

One of History’s 10 Most Courageous Animals – Time Magazine

Most Heroic Pet in America – AARP

A Reader’s Digest/Americantowns Power of One Hero

One of the 10 Most Heroic Animals of 2010 – Newsweek/The Daily Beast

2014 Winner of the E. T. York Distinguished Service Award

A children’s park in Greece named after Magic and dedicated by former Prime Minister of Greece, Kostas Karamanlis

One of Seven Most Notable Animal Heroes in the World – UK’s The Daily Mirror 2014

Featured in 125 True Stories of Amazing Pets – National Geographic Kids 2014

Featured in her own book, The Power of Magic – DT Publishing Group/New York, 2014

Magic and Gentle Carousel partner Hamlet immortalized with their own 2014 Breyer Portrait Horse Models.

For more information about Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses:
www.facebook.com/therapyhorses
www.horse-therapy.org

Six Goal Polo Player Sugar Erskine Joins Horses Healing Hearts as Polo Ambassador

Wellington, FL – January 16, 2015 – Horses Healing Hearts (HHH) is the only non-profit organization in the country that provides an equine facilitated learning program designed to help children dealing with addiction in their homes. Now, the national organization is proud to announce that the internationally successful six-goal polo player Sugar Erskine has joined the growing nonprofit organization as their second Polo Ambassador. His first action as an HHH Ambassador will be co-chairing the 2015 Hope through Horses Golf Tournament alongside Lisa Jacquin this February 23, 2015, at The Wanderers Club in Wellington, Florida.

HHH teaches empowerment and life-coping skills, and the organization helps children build self-confidence by learning about horse care and riding. Each week, over 50 children are served from the greater Palm Beach County community.

The organization’s mission hit close to the heart with Erskine, who had no difficulty in recognizing the potential struggles that can take place in a home with addiction. His own triumphs over addiction have led him to want to give back to children who may be struggling due to their home environment.

“I couldn’t find a better way for me to do justice to what I did. That’s the way I see it. Now it’s up to me to give [the organization] the attention it needs and the respect it deserves. If that’s the service I’m able to do in this world, that’s something,” said Erskine. “Being able to give [the children] a little bit of hope if they see my story, or my idea, or the way it was, they can have a little bit of hope that it can change for them as well. It can be something that they can at least have a dream about.”

The unique approach the 501(c)3 charitable organization takes by educating through horses really stood out to Erskine, since many of the children who become involved in the program have very little exposure to horses prior to joining. Without a background in horses, many of the children come in with a limited understanding of their behavior, but they are quickly able to relate to the connections the horses and humans make.

“Just the fact that we have the horses there to learn from is a huge part. I always talk about the horses, but that’s because I’m so involved in them. When they see that connection with the horse, it’s real – that’s the glue that binds us all together when we’re there,” Erskine described.

Erskine is very excited about co-chairing the golf tournament, which is one of his other passions. Jacquin breathed life to the event last spring after becoming HHH’s first Show Jumping Ambassador, and Erskine has pledged to help get other players involved in this charity event. This fundraiser will complement HHH’s other major function, the Fourth Annual White White West Party, which will be held on February 20, 2015.

“I love golf; I’m a fanatic. I’m useless at it, which is the worst part!” laughed Erskine. “I’m trying to organize the sponsors and the players; all of us polo players all kind of do favors for each other, and there were a lot of people who were there to support me during my time of need, so I know that they will support an organization I feel such a connection to. HHH hits pretty close to home for me, so it’s not a hard thing for me to talk about or be involved with.”

Lizabeth Olszewski founded Horses Healing Hearts as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization in September 2009 in Wellington, Florida. To help Horses Healing Hearts with donations of time or money, or to learn more, visit www.HHHUSA.org or e-mail Liz Olszewski at liz@hhhusa.org or call (561) 713-6133.

Media Contact: Kendall Bierer
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding to Hold Screening of Award Winning Film “Riding My Way Back”

Lexington, VA – October 22, 2014 – Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center is pleased to announce a screening of “Riding My Way Back.” The new award winning, short documentary about the powerful healing of therapeutic riding for a veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury will be screened at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 7:00 P.M. in the Horse Center’s Mezzanine. Tickets are available for $5.00 at the door with proceeds benefiting Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center. Light refreshments will be provided.

“Riding My Way Back” chronicles one soldier’s journey back from the brink of suicide. In 2010, Staff Sergeant Aaron Heliker returned from multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). At his most desperate and isolated, on 42 medications and feeling suicidal, Heliker is introduced to the unlikeliest of saviors: a horse named Fred. Through caring for Fred, Heliker begins the difficult process of reconnecting to those around him and healing the invisible wounds of war that nearly defeated him.

Producers and directors, Oscar Nominee Robin Fryday, Peter Rosenbaum, and Richie Goldman, have launched an ambitious program: the Riding My Way Back Film Project. Engaging the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH International) centers nationwide the film will be screened at riding centers, universities and mental health centers simultaneously during Veteran’s Week 2014. While “Riding My Way Back” had its premiere at the GI Film Festival 2014 in May of this year and won The Founders’ Choice Award, the producers of the film are looking at Veteran’s Week 2014 as their national launch, premiering the movie at the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C., and at over 75 Equine Centers across the country.

For more information on Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center, please visit www.hoof-beats.com or call 540-464-3337.

To learn more about “Riding My Way Back”, go to www.ridingmywayback.com.

Emily Riden for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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EQUUS Foundation to Reward PATH Intl. Equine of the Year

Mr Wise Guy, 2013 PATH International Equine of the Year.

WESTPORT, CT – October 22, 2014 – The suspense is building for the announcement of the 2014 PATH Intl. Equine of the Year, which will be chosen from the 11 PATH Intl. Region Equine winners. The EQUUS Foundation is sponsoring the award, which will be presented on Friday, October 31, 2014 at the PATH Intl. Conference in San Diego, California.

“We are so pleased to have the opportunity to honor the equine that best defines the heart and soul of Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT),” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President. “The recipients personify the willingness, attitude and diversity of talents that these hard-working partners bring to EAAT and all it stands for.”

The recipient will not only be honored by PATH Intl. but also inducted into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame, a joint program of the EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), which celebrates extraordinary talent of horses and their magical bond with people. The EQUUS Foundation will also award a $1,000 grant to an equine charity on its Equine Welfare Network selected by the owner of the recipient.

Learn more about the past recipients of the PATH Intl. Equine of the Year Award here.

About 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: equus@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

About PATH Intl.: The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) was formed in 1969 to promote equine-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs. At 852 member centers, more than 58,000 children and adults find a sense of independence through involvement with horses. These member centers range from small, one-person programs to large operations with several certified instructors and licensed therapists. In addition to therapeutic equitation, a center may offer any number of equine-assisted activities including hippotherapy, equine-facilitated mental health, driving, interactive vaulting, trail riding, competition, ground work or stable management. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful equine-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs. There are nearly 53,000 volunteers, 4,544 instructors, 7,733 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at PATH Intl. centers. To learn more about PATH Intl. and how the power of the horse changes lives, please visit www.pathintl.org.

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Horse Around at the “Horses Helping People” Family Resource Day

Photo courtesy of Personal Ponies Ltd., Inc.

Mark Your Calendar for October 5, 2014

WELLINGTON, FL – September 17, 2014 – The first of its kind “Horses Helping People” Family Resource Day will be held on October 5, 2014 for the children and families in southeast Florida to experience the positive impact of the horse-human bond up close and personal.

From 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., the community is welcome to directly connect with the recreational and therapeutic facilities in Palm Beach County offering horseback riding and equine assisted activities and have the chance to win riding lessons and other products and services donated by exhibitors.

“Horsing Around” activities include demonstrations of dressage by International Dressage Rider Marco Bernal, polo by Palm City Polo, and reining by the cowboys of Steed Training. “Horse Health” will be a topic covered by the Palm Beach Equine Clinic, and Personal Ponies will have its specially trained Miniature Shetland ponies on hand.

In addition to “horsing” around, there will be arts and crafts, ìHair Chalking by Spazio Salon with HairChalk by L’oreal Professional. Tasty treats are being donated by Visiting Angels of SE Florida.

This FREE event, sponsored by the EQUUS Foundation and American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY), will be held, rain or shine, in the covered Van Kampen Arena thanks to the support and generosity of the Van Kampen Boyer Molinari Foundation. The Arena is located on the grounds of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center at 13500 South Shore Boulevard in Wellington Florida.

Space is still available for recreational and therapeutic riding programs who wish to exhibit at the event. For more information about the event, sponsorship, and clinic registration, contact Abbi Bentz at (561) 789-6076 or email abentz@visitingangels.com.

The EQUUS Foundation and the American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY) are working together to connect caregiving youth across the United States to the more than 800 equine charities on the Foundation’s Equine Welfare Network.

About 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: equus@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

About American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY)

AACY’s mission is to increase awareness about the effects on children who provide care for family members who are ill, injured, elderly and/or disabled. AACY’s model program, the Caregiving Youth Project (CYP), works in partnership with the School District of Palm Beach County and currently serves more than 500 caregiving youth and their families in eight area middle schools and 17 high schools. AACY programs are aimed at reducing anxiety and depression and increasing the caregiving children’s satisfaction with life and the ability to remain in school through the provision of counseling, education, and support services including respite and sponsored activities. Contact AACY at 1515 N. Federal Hwy, Suite 218, Boca Raton, FL 33432,; Tele: 561-391-7401; 800-725-2512; E-Mail: info@aacy.org, Website: www.aacy.org.

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