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 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 programs. Additionally, we offer scholarships to children who express interest in continuing their horse pursuits! 


We have Six Key Values at Changing Leads:

  • Respect
  • Empathy
  • Perseverance
  • Self-esteem
  • Responsibility
  • Confidence

HOW DOES IT WORK?

BARNS

We partner with established therapeutic riding facilities that primarily focus on people who have mental and physical disabilities -- Changing Leads introduces at-risk populations to these barns. Below is a list of our current partners:

 

AT-RISK YOUTH

We work with both male and female children ages 6 - 18. We do not discriminate based on gender, sex, color, or religious affiliation. We feel horses can have a positive impact on everyone!

All of our participants are introduced to Changing Leads Foundation from an organization, such as a youth group, charter school, or agency. If a child really "clicks" with horsemanship, we have the ability to offer scholarships for year round programming.


WHAT WE'VE ACHIEVED

Since inception, we have introduced 67 at-risk youth from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to Changing Leads programs. We wanted to start small, do it right, build an effective program that we could easily replicate across the United States.

Number of Children enrolled in Changing Leads

We have over 13 youth groups on our waiting list to work with and eight barns interested in hosting kids! With your help we can DOUBLE the number of children we work with by 2018!

ALL OF OUR PROGRAMS HAVE THREE KEY PILLARS:

HORSEMANSHIP

  • Braiding, bathing, grooming,
  • Basic riding skills
  • Learning to care for tak and riding equipment 
  • Equine nutrition, diets and preparing "dinner" for the horses
  • Herding & Group behavior (this often leads to thoughtful discussions around bullying, etc.)

FARMING

  • Compost and the role of manure (the kids love this one!)
  • Plant identification
  • Gardening - each child makes a small barn in a box to take home 

ARTS & COMMUNITY

  • Creating journals of horsemanship related worksheets
  • Decorating picture-grams with a photo of "their" horse
  • Painting a hand-print fence board that is placed in an outdoor ring
To the wonderful people who supported us...If it was not for you, I would not be able to learn how even the biggest animal can be loving, caring and a friend.
— Changing Leads Student