Heroes & Horses Inc

Humans healing with the help of horses

Wickenburg, AZ   |  http://www.heroes.horse

Mission

Heroes & Horses, Inc. helps veterans, communities and families build confidence, clarity and connection through equine assisted learning and therapy.

Ruling year info

2016

Director

Ann Balowksi

Co Principal Officer

Andrea Walker

Main address

52019 N. Forepaugh

Wickenburg, AZ 85390 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-1833333

NTEE code info

Other Mental Health, Crisis Intervention N.E.C. (F99)

Animal Related Activities N.E.C. (D99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We imagine a world where every veteran, first responder and everyday hero has the tools, resources and support to live an empowered life and make positive contributions to their family and community. Traditional mental health treatment often falls short in serving our populations , so we utilize experiential, "outside the office" approaches to integrate equine assisted psychotherapy and learning with traditional therapeutic approaches. There is no "one size fits all" treatment or intervention, and we understand that an individualized approach leads to the best outcomes for our participants.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Women Veteran's Group

This program draws on the power of equine to address issues uniquely experienced by women who have served in the military. Typical program length is five to seven weeks, with weekly 90-minute sessions. The closed group organically addresses challenges that are common among the members of the group and those that are unique to the individual. Challenges include, but are not limited to, PTSD, grief and loss, domestic violence, abuse, family dynamics, relationships, military sexual trauma, gender dysphoria, isolation and abandonment.

Population(s) Served

This program draws on the power of equine to address issues uniquely experienced by men who have served in the military. Typical program length is five to seven weeks, with weekly 90-minute sessions. The closed group organically addresses challenges that are common among the members of the group and those that are unique to the individual. Challenges include, but are not limited to, PTSD, grief and loss, domestic violence, abuse, family dynamics, relationships, gender dysphoria, isolation and abandonment.

Population(s) Served

Individual sessions are available for veterans to meet with a coach and an equine partner, and may include additional support from other professionals as necessary. These sessions serve as a compliment or an alternative to traditional psychotherapy. We work with the veteran to facilitate the natural process of healing outside the confines of an office, developing much needed connection and re-establishing a sense of safety. Individual sessions may include work on: communication, trust, connection, problem solving, mindfulness and more. Sessions are facilitated by a trained equine professional, life coach, therapist, or peer support, depending on the circumstance.

Population(s) Served

Ongoing inpatient and outpatient co-ed groups for veterans.

Population(s) Served

Military Family: Preparation for Family Separation

This five- to seven-week program, which is designed to accommodate either an individual family or multiple families, provides a shared experience that addresses the challenges for both the service member and their family in preparing for separation. Each session is held inside the Herd Dynamic, with family members connecting with an equine partner that represents a consistent presence. The sessions provide a safe place for expression with a trusting partner, which has been shown to reduce feelings of abandonment and isolation.

The program helps normalize natural emotions which can include:

The impending loss of the presence of a family member
A shift in familial roles
Creating a support herd (“battle buddies” for families)
Goal-setting and mission identification
Loss of parental/spousal guidance and presence


Military Family: Living One Day at a Time During Family Separation

This five- to seven-week program provides a shared experience that addresses the challenges for both the service member and their family during separation. The sessions provide a safe place for expression with a trusting partner, which helps reduce feelings of abandonment and isolation.

The program helps normalize natural emotions that accompany:

The loss of the presence of a family member
A shift in familial roles
Creating a support herd (“battle buddies” for families)
Goal-setting and mission identification
Loss of parental/spousal guidance


Military Family: Preparation for Family Reunification

While families often embrace the return of their service member after active duty, there are natural challenges that accompany the reintegration process. In this program, family members will have experienced the equine herd dynamic as a consistent presence and safe place for expression, helping to ease the process of change.

The program helps normalize natural emotions which can include:

The return or pending return of their service member
Questions such as: “Who will they be?” “How will my role in the family change?” “Will they still love me even though I have changed?”
The shift in dynamic upon the return of a member of the herd.

Population(s) Served

Integrating horsemanship with the language of the Stages of Change and recovery principles, participants learn about their horse and about themselves.

Population(s) Served

Northern Arizona VA and Yavapai County Veterans Treatment Court

In partnership with the Northern Arizona Veterans Administration, we offer ongoing Equine Assisted Learning for clients of the VA Domiciliary and Mental Health I.O.P. programs. Also, in partnership with the Yavapai County Veterans Treatment Court, we offer ongoing programming for veterans involved in the treatment or diversionary program.

Population(s) Served

First Responders and Families

First responders and their families can face significant emotional, mental and societal challenges. PTSD, isolation, anger, depression, addiction and challenges with emotional intimacy are all common. An important way to manage natural occupational challenges is for both the first responder and his or her family members to work toward the best possible outcome.

This five- to seven-week program is designed to help both the first responder and families avoid or escape a destructive cycle. It is common for the family to recognize the need for help before the individual does; the first responder is not required to participate in the program in order for his or her family to participate. The program provides each participant with a clearer perspective of each family member and helps participants develop a context for expression in order to keep the channels of communication open.

First Responder Individual Sessions

Individual sessions are available for first responders to meet with a coach and an equine partner, with support from additional professionals as needed. These sessions serve as a complement or an alternative to traditional psychotherapy. We work with the first responder to facilitate the natural process of healing outside the confines of an office, developing much needed connection and re-establishing a sense of safety. Individual sessions may include work on: communication, trust, connection, problem solving, mindfulness and more. Sessions are facilitated by a trained equine professional, life coach, therapist or peer specialist, depending on circumstance.

Women’s First Responders Group

This program draws on the power of equine to address issues uniquely experienced by women first responders. Typical program length is five to seven weeks with weekly 90-minute sessions. The closed group organically addresses challenges that are common among the members of the group and those that are unique to the individual. These challenges may include, but are not limited to, PTSD, grief and loss, domestic violence, abuse, family dynamics, relationships, gender dysphoria, isolation and abandonment.

Men’s First Responders Group

This program draws on the power of equine to address issues uniquely experienced by men first responders. Typical program length is five to seven weeks with weekly 90-minute sessions. The closed group organically addresses challenges that are common among the members of the group and those that are unique to the individual. These challenges may include, but are not limited to, PTSD, grief and loss, domestic violence, abuse, family dynamics, relationships, gender dysphoria, isolation and abandonment.

Horsemanship for First Responders

Integrating horsemanship with the language of the Stages of Change and recovery principles, participants learn about their horse and about themselves.

Population(s) Served

For individuals who work alongside or in support of veterans or first responders and others, we offer impactful, experiential workshops designed to increase professional communication and facilitation skills in addition to exploring alternative methods of working with clients.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our team of humans and horses provides alternative experiential therapy for heroes—veterans, first responders, everyday heroes and their families—to process and cope with life challenges. Through one-to-one, personal interaction with horses, our equine assisted learning and equine assisted therapy programs address participants’ responses such as disconnection, despondence and depression and restore emotional well-being with the help of the connectedness modeled by horses in the herd dynamic. With the guidance of equine partners and experienced program facilitators, heroes shift their mindset from self-defeated to self-directed.

We currently serve participants on individual, family, and group levels. Our board participates in oversight of our programs to ensure the highest quality services are offered. We continue to develop marketing strategies to ensure that our services are being made available to the underserved in our community; we have recently undergone a professional re-branding process to stay up-to-date with media and outreach.

Our staff are trained and certified by qualified professional organizations including EAGALA, OK Corral, and HeartMath. Our board is comprised of professionals from Veteran Service Organizations, and our volunteers are capable, enthusiastic supporters of the goal of bringing our services to underserved members of our community. We maintain oversight and transparency with all of our practices, and understand that the need for quality mental health resources are growing every day in the area we serve. We aim to grow to meet these demands in order to do our part to build a more resilient, sustainable community.

We have served thousands of veterans through our inpatient and outpatient equine assisted learning and therapy groups. We have empowered our participants in learning a new skill and building confidence through our horsemanship program. We encourage participants to return to the program as mentors, which increases enthusiasm and empathy.
We look forward to expanding our work with veteran families in our community, because they are a truly underserved and often forgotten population.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Participants indicated a desire for more of a certain activity, which led to our staff pursuing a secondary location and horses in order to offer this activity and to serve a greater audience.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Heroes & Horses Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Heroes & Horses Inc

Board of directors
as of 4/29/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ann Balowski


Board co-chair

Andrea Walker

Walt Lynn

Mike Balowski

Jacquie Arcand

Sara Dolan