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Hooves for Heroes is an equine-assisted horsemanship program for military veterans which offers services found nowhere else in Northern Alabama. One particular benefit Hooves for Heroes provides that other barns cannot is the focus on veteran’s mental health by providing a tranquil facility for equine and non-equine activities.
Hooves for Heroes was created by Hannah Padgett, who has 20+ years in the horse business. Having several military friends with PTSD that enjoyed coming to her family’s farm just to relax and be around nature, Hannah realized that an office was not the place for veterans to truly open up and work towards a better self. This is when the idea of an equine assisted program came to her. Hannah created Hooves for Heroes to provide an environment which feels safe and uses horses as a tool to help veterans feel whole again. This environment allows people to open up and share without feeling like they have or need to. Hannah strives to create an environment conducive in allowing veterans to gain their personal power back.
In order to facilitate trust, respect, and bond with their horses, participants are challenged to execute many tasks that require the demonstration of initiative, confidence, commitment, honesty, and empathy. Through the experiences gained in applying these attributes, a participant develops:
Spring Enrollment Jan 7 - May 1
Summer Enrollment May 13 - Aug 10
Fall Enrollment: Aug 19 - Dec 15
Typically, horsemanship sessions last an hour (but we encourage veterans to stay and volunteer) and have 3 enrollment periods per year. Sessions are typically ten weeks long but are occasionally shorter due to holidays, weather, and facility availability. That time includes the mounting, dismounting, grooming, etc.
Each rider is asked to pay the full session cost of $50 per lesson, which totals $500 for a ten-week session. This small fee covers less than 25% of our operating costs.
Upon acceptance into the program, you will be notified of the days available for sessions.
Even though Hooves for Heroes is not a non-profit, we believe that veterans should not have to pay for the program out of pocket. To help make this happen, we host several fundraisers annually to raise funds for our scholarship program. Because funds are limited, we are only able to accept a few veterans for our scholarship program.
If you cannot pay for the program out of pocket and have been wait-listed for our scholarship program, you may get a business or individual to sponsor your sessions. It is not tax deductible, however, they will have a small banner/poster with their logo posted in/or around the stable in our high traffic areas as well as their logo on our website and mentions on Facebook.
Because Twin Lakes Stable and Hooves for Heroes is a large operation, we always have a need for volunteers. Please contact us if you would like to know more about our volunteer opportunities!