Riding Towards Balance and Independence
The Hand, Hoof and Heart journey began back in 2013 in Marietta, GA. Our founder, Erin, had always been involved with horses, but hadn't planned on building this program until she took a job as a caregiver for a young boy diagnosed with autism and fell in love working with the special needs community. The Hand, Hoof and Heart dream quickly developed into reality when Erin partnered with The MDE School to start an equestrian club for their students. When the program first took off, we started out with four riders, two horses and one instructor. During the first five years, we not only offered therapeutic horseback riding, but Erin continued to further her knowledge by working with clients and their families privately at their homes by offering job coaching, meal prep, life skills, community access and behavior modification. Erin's experience with these families helped mold Hand, Hoof and Heart into what it is today! This program has become much more than just therapeutic horseback riding, but has developed into a place where our clients can develop and improve on their physical, emotional and social well being by working with our horses.
Hand, Hoof and Heart has grown into a barn family of 35 students, 6 horses and 3 instructors. Our therapeutic lesson program has developed into not only serving the special needs community, but also providing therapeutic recreation to children, teens and young adults struggling with anxiety, depression and low self esteem. We have put an emphasis on promoting inclusivity, providing opportunities for the community to get involved and building a volunteer program that encourages involvement with the special needs community. We can't wait to see what is next for Hand, Hoof and Heart as we continue to grow and continue to develop inclusive, skill-based programs for our community.