Project Horses for Forces Inc

Equine Assisted Services for Veterans

Whitehouse Station, NJ   |  https://HorsesforForces.weebly.com

Mission

The Mission of Project Horses for Forces is to serve Military Veterans of all Eras and Active Service Members who have incurred invisible / visible wounds connected to their service, including their families; as well as military loss survivors (suicide & combat loss), through partnerships with Horses and Volunteer Veterans who have been there. Our purpose is to provide opportunities to break the cycle of side effects, rebuild trust, and restore well-being and hope for the future. Services are provided at no cost to participants. Our commitment to our Veterans lasts as long as it takes!

Ruling year info

2017

President, Director & PATH Intl. Certified Riding Instructor, Volunteer

Mrs Ruth Nortje

Main address

P.O. Box 329

Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

82-2363078

NTEE code info

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

Equestrian, Riding (N69)

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

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that PTSD afflicts almost 31 percent of Vietnam veterans, up to 10 percent of Gulf War (Desert Storm) veterans, 11 percent of veterans of the war in Afghanistan and 20 percent of Iraqi war veterans. PTSD may also occur as a result of trauma during training or in times of peace, for example military sexual trauma. As clinicians seek innovative ways to heal veterans struggling with PTSD, equine assisted programs have been growing in popularity. Project Horses for Forces offers veterans, active service members, and their families an exclusive healing environment which challenges and empowers them to make positive changes in their lives, enabling participants to break the cycle of side effects. The programs provide camaraderie with volunteer veterans who have been there, and horsemanship sessions which provide stress-relief and are physically, emotionally, and spiritually challenging.

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?

Horsemanship Sessions for Veterans & their families

Project Horses for Forces offers sets of 12 weeks of weekly 90-120 minutes horsemanship sessions and farm upkeep activities, followed by an additional 45–90 minutes (or as long as needed) of debrief and socializing with veteran volunteers over a picnic lunch. Families / loved ones of qualifying Veterans are included in the programs should they be interested.
Sessions cover everything related to horses - from farm and barn maintenance work to horse handling, care, grooming, ground work and eventually horseback riding, should participants be interested.
Ongoing program involvement is offered to all participants – as long as it takes. As a token of our commitment, each participant receives a personal riding helmet. Healing is a process and Project Horses for Forces is committed to be there for our participants.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Families
Military personnel

Half-day or Full-day clinics for groups of Veterans are provided at the facility under the direction of a PATH Intl. Specialist in Mental Health and Learning and a PATH Intl. Certified Riding Instructor. Groups attend with their group Mental Health Professional and participate in Equine Assisted exercises together. Snacks and lunch is provided.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
People with disabilities
Families

Children who struggle with the absence of a parent while they are deployed or stationed elsewhere, are provided with scholarships to receive Riding Lessons from the Drakestown Equestrian Riding School, for as long as the parent's deployments lasts. This helps provide something for the child to look forward to on a weekly basis, something to speak to the deployed parent about, and it reduces the stress on both parents as they see their child thrive and enjoy the experience.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Military personnel
Families

Where we work

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.

Project Horses for Forces pursues the following principles in Equine Assisted Programs:
Camaraderie – An individual is dramatically influenced by their support system. Project Horses for Forces provides a safe, comfortable environment through military camaraderie which fosters trust, friendship, interpersonal skills, and a renewed sense of hope for the future.
Partnership - Horses provide unconditional trust and acceptance, further enhancing connection. Horses model relationships that demonstrate acceptance, honesty, tolerance, patience, fairness, compassion and forgiveness. A horse is a great teacher for they have no ego, they mirror the emotion of the human, they never lie, and they manifest unconditional trust.
Healing Support – Project Horses for Forces provides opportunities for participants to become empowered to successfully transition and re-integrate into civilian life through re-establishing lost trust, transparency and interpersonal relationships, as well as to refine their abilities to establish goals and follow through on commitments and responsibilities. Project Horses for Forces recognizes that hidden wounds of war / service have physical, mental, emotional as well as spiritual elements and desires to provide support in all areas. Project Horses for Forces seeks to surround veterans and their families in a caring but challenging learning environment.
Possibility & Learning – Project Horses for Forces desires to expand the skill sets of military veterans, provide opportunities for self-discovery and change, improved coping skills and resulting successful re-integration into daily life and society. Veterans have the option to learn about and participate in horse care, conditioning, groundwork, and feeding, as well as performing simple pasture, barn and facility maintenance tasks. These activities provide skill development, a sense of purpose and responsibility, achievement, commitment and ownership instead of just “receiving free” services.
Well-being - The healing process is enhanced by a healthy physical activity environment, with obvious benefits to the participants.

1 Weekly Structured, Progressive Sessions
Project Horses for Forces offers sets of 12 weeks of weekly 90–120 minutes farm and horsemanship sessions and an additional 30–60 minutes (or as long as needed) of socializing with veteran volunteers. Sessions cover everything related to horses - from farm and barn work to horse handling, care, grooming, ground work and eventually horseback riding.
Ongoing program involvement is offered to all participants – as long as it takes. Healing is a process and Project Horses for Forces is committed to be there for our participants.
2 Ad-Hoc Stress, Depression, Isolation Relief
Should a veteran sense a build-up of stress or anxiety, they are be able to call in and meet the instructor, or a specified horse expert and a veteran volunteer at the barn as soon as possible. This provides the veteran with an opportunity to spend time relaxing with the horses, or performing light farm maintenance, or horse care as preferred.
3 Additional Horse Care, Pasture and Facility Maintenance Opportunities
Veterans have the option to learn about and participate in horse care, conditioning, groundwork, and feeding, as well as performing simple pasture, barn and facility maintenance tasks. These activities provide skill development, a sense of purpose and responsibility, achievement, commitment and ownership instead of just “receiving free” services.
This is available on weekdays on an ongoing basis.
4 Half-day and Full-day Equine Assisted Learning Clinics
Offered to groups of veterans with their Case workers or Mental Health Professionals.
5 Loved ones and Children
Project Horses for Forces programs includes family members of veterans and active-duty personnel in our programs. Additional opportunities are provided for participating veterans’ children in the form of Summer Horse Camp or Riding Lessons with the Equestrian Riding School where Project Horses for Forces is stationed. Children of Deployed Active Service Personnel who are struggling with their parent's absence, can receive sponsored riding lessons for the duration of the deployment.
6 Volunteer Opportunities for Veteran Facilitators
Apart from the riding instructors, all program volunteers are veterans. Veterans from the area interested in serving as volunteers in the programs receive volunteer orientation and training prior to engaging in programs. Training covers horse handling and safety, barn and pasture safety, techniques of assisting participants, emergency procedures and basic mental health first aid. An effective, ongoing training program for volunteers will be provided to increase their skill sets over time. Additional veterans who are interested in opportunities to socialize with visiting veterans’ groups, are invited to join in as these opportunities arise. Veterans also assist with recruitment and assisting interested participants with the onboarding process as this, can be overwhelming for some participants.

Fully sponsored programs - no charge to participants
All Volunteer team - no paid staff. This allows us to provide more services directly to our participants.
All programs and functions are dependent upon the generosity of Businesses, Organizations, Foundations, Grant makers and the general public's charitable giving.
We have no paid staff and 95% of the moneys raised are directly applied to Program Services.
Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors facilitate all sessions with the assistance of an all-Veteran volunteer Team to ensure optimal safety and professional services to our participants.
A PATH Intl. certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning facilitates Half-day and Full-day Clinics with the help of the PATH Intl. Riding Instructor and the Group's Clinician, in order to provide optimal learning opportunities with the assistance of the Equine Team.
Over 20 horses on the farm, with 46 acres of farm and forest to maintain.
Full Equestrian facilities with a Veterans Programs dedicated barn on the facility.
The Equestrian Facility where the programs is stationed, has a full Riding School and Summer Horse Camp program we can utilize for Active Duty Personnel and Veterans' children's camps and lessons.

Project Horses for Forces has provided services to many Veterans and their families over the 5 years we have been on operation. We may not serve high numbers of participants, but we serve extensively and for prolonged periods of time - recovery is a process and we want to be there as a support structure during that process.
Project Horses for Forces has established itself as a trusted Veterans Equine Programs Organization with local VA facilities and Vet Centers, and regional Veterans Associations and Organizations and the general Veterans population in the region.
We intend to continue our growth rate for weekly participants and provide more frequent Half-day or Full-day Clinics and Group services in the coming years, as well as increase our Veterans and Active Duty family services.

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 shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys,

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

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Project Horses for Forces 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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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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Project Horses for Forces Inc

Board of directors
as of 07/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs Ruth Nortje

Project Horses for Forces, Inc.

Andre Nortje

Carol Kain

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/27/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/30/2019

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.