Our mission is to impact and inspire the lives of at-risk and disadvantaged youth through safe horsemanship programs that build character and instill life-enhancing values. 

 

Founded in 2014, Changing Leads Foundation is a 501c(3) non-profit organization that connects underprivileged and at-risk youth to the wonders of horsemanship.  Changing Leads wants to make the world of horses accessible to children who would otherwise never have the opportunity to meet a horse! 

We run both introductory programs (which are typically once a week for eight weeks), comprehensive week-long summer camps, as well as year-round horse care and horsemanship programs. Additionally, we offer scholarships to children who express interest in continuing their horsey pursuits! 

Through our programs, we help shape the lives of young people from challenged backgrounds by reinforcing values like leadership, respect, empathy and perseverance through interactions with horses. And it’s making a difference.

 
Click Here to Donate

It has been established that the tactile element alone in animal therapy releases endorphins, so called feel-good hormones that counteract the trauma hormones of adrenaline and cortisol. But neuroscience is also revealing the ways in which the brain’s neural networks can be both experientially marred and therapeutically mended.
— NY Times, Charles Siebert, "Why Close Encounters with Animals Soothe Us"
When I think about the boys time at the barn with the horses, I think a quote that summarizes it best is: “Some horses will test you, some horses will teach you, and some will bring out the best in you.”
— Barbara Morris, Lincoln Hall
I was not sure I would like riding but I love it. My grandma said I never stopped smiling the whole time I was on the horse. Now I look forward to being with the horses and learning new things about riding.
— Emma Hille, Changing Leads very first Scholarship recipiant
Horses have no guile or deceit – they respond negatively to negative emotions, positively to positive emotion. They do not respond to bullying, yelling, or aggression, and this forces teens to find other ways of communication. Because horses are non-judgmental, do not have an agenda, and are always honest, it is much easier for teenagers to let down their guard and recognize their own dysfunctional behavior. When teenagers work with horses, they are able to gain insight into their emotions and behavior and have a non-threatening opportunity to immediately find a more productive, positive way of interacting.
— Aspen Education Group