• Horses for the Spirit Horses for the Spirit


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Mission Statement

We provide a learning and working environment where clients feel challenged, respected and accountable. Participants in our programs experience a unique opportunity to make new discoveries, learn, grow and heal through horseplay. Our primary focus is on youth in northern Nevada, particularly those at risk of failing in traditional settings.

Horses for the Spirit's objectives as a 501 (c) (3) public charity are to:

  • Serve at least 200 youth per year through our Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) Programs
  • Create programs that are valued by our clients and colleagues, in which a high percentage of our clients attain their program goals and return to work with us
  • Generate a fiscally self-sustaining organization through fundraising, grants, and scholarships
  • Enhance, enrich and improve the lives of humans and horses


Horses for the Spirit primarily offers Youth Programs, but can also offer Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP).

We combine the talents of trained Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) Specialists and EAL certified educators, coaches and trainers working together with our horse facilitators. Our life-changing programs stress developing physical and emotional fitness with a focus on value-based life skills including:

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Planning and Creative Problem-Solving
  • Social and Personal Responsibility
  • Life Management Skills
Youth Program

Horses are non-judgmental and serve as a guide on the journey of self-discovery. As our primary facilitators, the horses create a stimulating learning environment for youth who are at risk or failing in traditional classroom settings. The emphasis of this program is:

  • Positive life and social skills
  • Academic skills
  • Creative arts
  • Emotional and mental fitness
  • Self-discovery

The Teen Program consists of learning modules which use experiential, metaphorical, and skill based learning, and incorporates and enhances the skills learned in previous modules. The program promotes positive growth and meaningful change, fostering key understandings, improved self management and enhanced communication and relationship skill for students. The students learn to run on their own horsepower, so to speak. All modules incorporate The Equine Keys of Excellence for Human Success or the Strides for Success curriculum, which has been adopted by middle and high school districts in 42 states.

Key Understanding students will acquire include:

  • How well they personally manage themselves
  • How well they manage difficult situations
  • Problem solving and creative thinking skills
  • Basic Natural Horsemanship Skills
  • Empathy and partnership with another
  • How their behavior affects themselves and others
  • How having behavioral options supports success
  • Understand the difference between Wants and Needs
  • Understand the importance of setting goals
  • Understand the importance of clear communication
  • Understand the importance of perseverance
  • How the Equine Keys and Strides for Success curriculums can be a guideline for choices that lead to healthy outcomes
  • Understand that Success is not a mystery; there are principles to achieve it that work

EAL Program Target Audiences - Students Aged 12-18 who attend local middle or high schools, charter, private or home schools, foster care and Native American Youth.
EAL Length of Program - Programs are custom-tailored to meet the client's needs, and there are a variety of classes available. Horses for the Spirit will work with your individual youth, youth groups and/or teaching staff to create a unique life enhancing academic life skills program to promote positive growth and meaningful change.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is an emerging field in which an equine specialist, and a licensed therapeutic counselor team together to facilitate individual, family and/or group emotional growth and learning.
EAP addresses a variety of mental health and human development issues, using experiential activities, with horses as dynamic co-facilitators.

EAP Program Target Audiences - Youth and Families ages 8 and up whom:

  • Are involved in individual and/or group counseling;
  • Victims of violence and their children,
  • Foster children and their foster and birth families;
  • Residential Homes and/or Programs for At-Risk Youth or Adults;
  • Court-ordered anger management clients
  • And others.

EAP Length of Program - Individual Sessions last 1 hour. Family Sessions last between 1-2 hours.



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