Established in 1998 by Bob and Ellen Healey, the Gleneayre Equestrian Program’s
(GEP) mission has centered around “bringing horses and people together for the betterment of each other’s lives.” As with many other non-profits, 2020 has been a difficult year to not only continue their mission, but also to connect with their current donors and participants. In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, GEP is hoping to reconnect with their current supporters and welcome new friends to the benefits of their unique program.
The GEP is centered on three main programs:
1.) The Working Student Program: Each student, ages 10-19, is assigned a horse to ride and care for all through the year in a safe space to learn, develop, and practice life skills, self-confidence, and responsibility. The program includes school support, vocational training, camaraderie with peers, and supervision by caring adults as students learn to ride and work with horses. Riding opportunities include participating in horse shows, in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association programs, and in clinics with noted professional trainers. Families pay a nominal annual tuition fee.
2.) The Equine Facilitated Learning Program: Group sessions of unmounted activities with horses are tailored to help promote planning, problem-solving, communication, cooperation, and other life skills. The trusting nature of the horse-human connection encourages participants to lower their defenses and their habitual reactivity and become more receptive to new ideas and positive relationships with others.
3.) The Mental Health Program: Conducted by a licensed mental health professional, Equine Facilitated Mental Health sessions are experiential in nature and held for individuals and groups. Participants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, and then processing (or discussing) feelings, behaviors, and patterns.
GEP serves a wide range of individuals, including veterans, juvenile first-offenders and those who are in need of additional support. Due to social distancing regulations and the on-going impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, GEP had to cancel many many of their most important fundraisers, making the public generosity on Giving Tuesday even more crucial.