Boo, one of our therapy horses, is a horse rescued and rehabbed after being hit by a car. He then needed a forever home so he came to us in April of this year (2021). Now he has a new purpose in life, supporting our clients through equine-assisted programs at Horses of Hope/Caballos de Esperanza, our nonprofit in NW Puerto Rico. Over the last 2 years, our horses have empowered 50+ people, who have very limited access to services - including veterans/military and those with disabilities, and other special challenges.
Our horses help people increase their confidence, social/communication skills, physical and mental abilities. Boo at 14 hands high is the perfect size for our younger clients (both riders and non-riders). And, he has the will, enthusiasm, and desire to connect with people: he is the first to come running when we call horses from the field. He loves our volunteers and happily works with clients with all types of behavioral and emotional issues they are working through. Presently his favorite clients are two six-year-old children - one with autism and the other with global developmental delays, and a 24-year-old with Down syndrome. Every week they work with Boo, we see improvements in motor skills, balance, speech and communication, focused attention, and confidence.
Your donation will help build a paddock for him, and provide additional training under saddle, regular farrier and veterinary care and check-ups, equipment for grooming and his work with clients, and ongoing quality nutrition to do this work.
Direct care for our horses constitutes over 20% of our annual budget this coming year, and these are costs that must be covered regardless of what happens with programming due to COVID-19. Last year we had a mandatory 5-month shutdown due to COVID-19 executive orders – a shutdown that came 2 weeks before our scheduled major in-person fundraiser. This meant we not only did not have the income we projected from our programs, we also were unable to raise money through our first planned in-person fundraising event. The costs for the horses, however, do not stop when programming stops or in-person fundraisers are canceled. In addition, the demand for our services is higher than we’ve ever had, while the number of people able to pay $65 an hour is lower than ever. We need to raise the money NOW to know Boo will have the care he needs so he can provide direct services to more than 25 additional clients during the coming 12 months. Donations going towards Boo will directly impact not only his quality of life but also our community at large!