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Jul 15, 2014

Hikers Reach Halfway after Equine Charity Visit

Lauren & Kramer Half-Way at Harper's Ferry
Lauren & Kramer Half-Way at Harper's Ferry

After 94 days on the Appalachian Trail, Lauren Davis and Nate Kramer arrived in Harper's Ferry, marking the half-way point in their Hoofin' It for Horse and Healing Adventure. "This mile marker is considered the 'psychological halfway point' because just about everyone that will likely fail the trail will quit before or just at this point," said Lauren.

Lauren and Nathan set out on their journey of a lifetime on April 9 to hike the Appalachian Trail to make a positive impact on their lives and to contribute to their passion - the welfare of horses and their powerful bond with people.

Brook Hill Visit - Making the adventure even more meaningful!
"It was a great boost for us to visit Brook Hill Farm in Forest, Virginia," said Lauren. Not only was it an incredible treat for them to enjoy some creature comforts like a comfy bed, hot shower, and homemade meals after living in the woods for over two months - more importantly, their spirits were rejuvenated.

Accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, under the leadership of Jo Anne Miller, Brook Hill rescues and rehabilitates horses that are no longer useful and/or injured. Once healed, the horse is available for placement requiring a life-time free lease agreement with a carefully screened applicant or the horse is used in Brook Hill's Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) program. Brook Hill Farm is a PATH International member center with staff members that are certified Registered instructors and Equine Specialists in Mental Health and Learning in addition to an educator with a degree in learning disabilities.

"Brook Hill is unique in that it is a horse rescue focused on rehabilitation and retraining, a safe haven for unwanted horses needing sanctuary, but also provides equine assisted activities and therapies for area youth and adults," said Lauren. "We hope that sharing our experience will help to shed more light on the endless benefits of horse rescue coupled with human therapy."

One of their most innovative programs, United Neigh, matches unwanted horses with at-risk youth ages 12-18. As a United States Pony Club Center, United Neigh uses the Pony Club curriculum to teach basic horse care, horse rehabilitation, riding skills and personal accountability with the goal of decreasing the high school drop–out rate.

The National Education Association's Twelve Point Plan for Reducing the School Dropout Rate pinpoints "community-based, real-world learning experiences for students" and involvement in small after school groups as a key factor in increasing the rate of high school graduation. Brook Hill's unique program utilizes equine facilitated learning to provide just such an experience for at-risk youth in the Central Virginia area.

One of Jo Anne's methods is to pair each child with a rescue horse that shares similar personal traits with the child, thus giving the child a project that not only helps the horse but in return teaches them how to cope with their own issues or disabilities.

Lauren remarked, "The beauty of it is that they foster a family-type of setting, which some of the children have never or will never get to experience outside of the program, in their own homes. We were able to personally chat with each of the kids during their riding session, as well as the volunteers and staff. Listening to the stories of these kids was so heart wrenching. It was so clear how much the program meant to them."

$7,500 Already Raised! Lauren and Nate's goal is to raise $25,000 to essential funding to reduce the unwanted horse population, retrain horses for multiple careers, and make equine therapy available to more people.

May 14, 2014

Equine Service Volunteers Receive Scholarships

Over $11,000 in scholarships were awarded to thirteen individuals to reward their volunteer service in 2013.

Six academic scholarships, including one $1,000 scholarship reserved for members of the United States Pony Clubs (USPC), and $1,500 for members of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

Two individuals received a $1,000 scholarship reserved for Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) members to advance their equestrian and/or academic education. Four individuals received a $500 scholarship reserved for Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) members to advance their equestrian and/or academic education.

New this year, the EQUUS Foundation awarded a scholarship to cover the registration fee for an individual to become a PATH Intl. Registered Level Certified Instructor.

Read the stories of these amazing individuals who are helping horses and healing people!

Alicia, Champion Scholarship Recipient, Pawtucket, RI
"My experiences with the children and the horses has changed my life and is the reason why I am pursuing a career working with children with disabilities". Read more at

Katie, Champion Scholarship Recipient – PATH, Bozeman, MT
"I see now how my love for horses can be shared with others and how their interactions with horses can change their lives forever." Read more at

Taylor, Champion Scholarship Recipient - USEF, Dunedin, FL
"It is impossible to have a bad day after spending time with severely challenged individuals who smile, simply because they shared time with a horse and to see them trust a horse with their life." Read more at

Amelia, Champion Scholarship Recipient, Jamison, PA
When Amelia was very young, she thought horses were the most beautiful animals on the planet. Volunteering taught her about the true beauty of horses.

Alissa, Champion Scholarship Recipient, Shelton, CT
Alissa needed community service hours for high school and discovered "the profound impact horses have on the lives of people, whether able or disabled, from a simple smile to making bridges in the mind that were not previously there." Read more at

Elizabeth, Champion Scholarship Recipient, Lawrenceville, GA
"I was hooked from the first day I started volunteering. I thought that therapeutic riding only benefited the participants; however, I now realize that I was also being shaped and impacted by these horses." Read more at

Claire, Champion Scholarship Recipient - USPC, Boxford, MA
"Everyone is known for something in high school, such as 'the pretty one, the class clown, the troublemaker, the geek'. I was known as 'that horse girl'."

Frances, Champion Scholarship Recipient - IHSA, Pine Village, In
A victim of teenage bullying, Fances learned that horses offered the children she worked with an escape from their harsh reality and their problems, as it did for her, and that horses healed them, as she had been healed.

Shelby, Champion Scholarship Recipient - IHSA, Highland Falls, NY
Shelby grew up on a fifty horse farm in West Point, New York. "It was the best way to grow up." She plans to pursue a career in the equestrian sport.

Brianna, Champion Scholarship Recipient - IEA, Ooltewah, TN
"I learn something new every day. I hope that one day I will get certified to be an instructor – and also a coach for an equestrian team."

Hallie, Champion Scholarship Recipient - IEA, High Point, NC
"Horses taught me so many life lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life, especially determination. If you fall off, you have to pick yourself up, dust off the dirt, and get back on."

Tessa, Champion Scholarship Recipient - IEA, Sudbury, MA
For all of the differences between the students that Tessa works with and Tessa, Tessa learned that there are a million more ways in which they are similar.

Julianne, Champion Scholarship Recipient - IEA, Boca Raton, FL
Julianne has logged over a 1,000 service hours since she began volunteering in 7th grade when she visited a program where her autistic brother interacted with miniature horses.

Apr 25, 2014

Hoofin' It Adventure Underway

Lauren Davis & Nate Kramer on Springer Mountain
Lauren Davis & Nate Kramer on Springer Mountain

The Hoofin' It for Horse and Human Healing Adventure was officially underway on April 6, 2014 when Lauren Davis and Nate Kramer set out on their 5+month journey to hike the Appalachian Trail to make the world a better place for horses. On April 16, we received word that they had crossed into North Carolina surpassing the 100-mile mark. After three days in the Smokey Mountains, they arrived in Gatlinberg, Tennessee on April 24.

After completing the hike covering 2,200 miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia to the top of Mount Katahdin in Maine, they plan to continue on into the International Appalachian Trail by hiking up to another 690 to 1,900 miles.

Lauren and Nathan are using their own funds and resources to support themselves along the trail. 100% of the donations raised in connection with this adventure will be used for horse welfare.

$5,000 Already Raised!  Lauren and Nate's goal is to raise $25,000 to essential funding to reduce the unwanted horse population, retrain horses for multiple careers, and make equine therapy available to more people.

What inspired these two young adventurers? Lauren struggled as a child and young adult to find normality in a twice-divorced family, a constant clash with her siblings, and a terrible loneliness. A "throw away" horse, whose function as a brood mare was over, changed the direction of her life. Nate, serving in the Marine Corps for nine years, experienced the detrimental effects of war and military life, and discovered how horses are improving Veterans' lives.

"When Lauren and Nate approached me with their project, "Hoofin' It for Horse & Human Healing", I was immediately inspired by their passion", said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President. "We hope that horse lovers everywhere will be inspired as well."

Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Trail
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