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Growing the Herd

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Help us Grow the Herd at Youth Villages Inner Harbour Campus!

At Youth Villages, our mission is to help children and families live successfully. In Georgia, one way we accomplish that is through our residential program, which offers support to children with extreme emotional and behavioral health challenges. We provide a wide range of therapeutic interventions and one of them is through our equine program.

Youth riding on horse looking back smiling

We currently have 8 horses who provide therapeutic support through helping our youth learn about healthy relationship building. The life skills learned by working with the horses allow our youth to understand body language, empathy, trust, boundaries and to develop relational skills which can transfer into multiple areas of their lives.

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What makes a Youth Villages horse special?

"Our horses have to handle the unexpected because – despite our best efforts, that’s what we get from our kids every day. Our horses stand still if a kiddo trips or falls; they nudge to comfort or even give hugs if our kids are having a tough day. They can carry our kids through their growth spurts, weight changes and through the challenges of being new, unbalanced, unsure riders. Until finally, our little ones can trot off to a new future with accomplishments and a few furry, supportive friends in their past who taught them how to be challenged with tough, new tasks, how to regulate their emotions when it’s hard and how to be gentle and firm in their new relationships – platonic, professional or in their families." - Paulina Gochnour, Youth Villages Horsemanship Program Coordinator

Youth petting horse

"Draft horses are a prize for any therapeutic riding facility. We’re looking for a couple young, healthy, trained draft horses that can do all these things – especially so that our young adolescents and nearly full-grown teenagers can have these experiences to the fullest. Our last two large horses are entering their mid-twenties and have done 16 years and 12 years of service with YV. They are now being retired from ridden work due to the tax on their older bodies and while that is safer for the kiddos, it now leaves about 50% of Inner Harbour campus without a chance to ride during their time here. We’re looking to invest in another pair of large draft horses who can also stay with us for a respectable amount of time while meeting the needs of our kids as best we can." - Paulina

We anticipate the cost of a draft horse meeting our unique criteria to be between $10,000-$15,000 each. Any excess funds raised will be used for the feed, veterinary care, materials and equipment needed to keep our herd healthy. Gifts of all sizes are welcome and appreciated. Please consider sharing this opportunity for support with friends, family and colleagues who may have interest in support as well!

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