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    Hope in the Saddle Therapy Horse of the Year – Ebony

    Thanks to the Horsepower Foundation for the content of this article.

    Ebony

    Photo provided by Horsepower Foundation.

    For nearly 40 years, the Horsepower Foundation—a therapeutic riding program in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania—has been helping riders with disabilities better their lives through the incredible healing power of horses. Nestled in a picture-perfect valley, Horsepower’s iconic red barn is flanked by lush pastures and shiny, happy horses. Here is where 50 riders every week—amounting to hundreds of riders over the decades—come to improve their physical, mental, emotional, and social health. 

    “The Horsepower program is about helping those in need,” says founder and owner Pam Hayes-Houldin, “whether they are those with emotional disabilities, physical needs, [or] cognitive needs.”

    Ebony

    Photo provided by Horsepower Foundation.

    The stories of hope and healing that emerge from Horsepower—and many other equine-assisted therapy organizations—are nothing short of incredible, and none of those stories would exist without the amazing therapy horses that make the work possible.

    In November 2017, Horsepower shared one such story and nominated one such horse through Hope in the Saddle’s inaugural Therapy Horse of the Year awards. Supported by TSC and Nutrena, Hope in the Saddle is a website and social media community dedicated to promoting equine-assisted therapy by sharing stories of how horses help people overcome life’s challenges, from PTSD to cancer to autism. The Therapy Horse of the Year contest was developed to acknowledge and reward the very special horses who are the very foundation of this type of healing.

    Nominated by Horsepower, the 2017 Hope in the Saddle Therapy Horse of the Year recipient was Ebony, a Morgan mare in her late 20s whose small stature belies her big attitude. Despite her sass and quirks—and perhaps because of them—she’s the consummate therapy horse. For one rider, especially. Christie Webb, 23, has a special bond with Ebony, who helped her adjust—physically and mentally—after the amputation of her leg due to cancer.

    “We had a bond from the first ride,” says Webb. “…I love her dearly. She’s probably my best barn friend!”

    Ebony

    Photo provided by Horsepower Foundation.

    Starting November 5, the nomination period for the 2018 Therapy Horse of the Year Award will begin! Nominate a standout therapy horse at http://bit.ly/therapy-horse-of-the-year.