Help Out Horses & Disadvantaged Youth

Journey Up Equine Rescue and Empowerment Center Inc is becoming a 501(c)3 nonprofit to benefit rescue horses and disadvantaged youth. I am Claire Grygotis, President of Journey Up Equine Rescue and Empowerment Center Inc, and I also work as the Trainer and Barn Manager. 

Today I am asking you to help us continue to grow our mission of rescuing, rehabilitating, retraining, providing sanctuary to, and rehoming horses while providing programs for disadvantaged youth.
Our program rescues, rehabilitates, retrains, provides sanctuary for and rehomes horses while working with disadvantaged youth utilizing equine therapy and teaching them horsemanship, riding, training, and rehabilitation of horses. Journey Up also provides equine therapy, as well as private and semi-private lessons to students ages eight through adult to assist in funding the facility and the new programs.
Equine therapy, and general interaction with horses, provides tremendous benefit to people. Studies have shown that working with horses improves mental, physical, and emotional well-being. It is particularly beneficial to those who struggle to communicate or respond to traditional therapies. 

By implementing our youth programs, we help the children of our community develop responsibility, respect for themselves and others, and other essential life skills. Horses teach our youth leadership, patience, empathy, and forgiveness; they help them become self-aware and develop self-control. Horses enable our children to build a robust, healthy work ethic, tenacity, and accountability. They will learn to be courageous when facing fears in a safe, supportive environment. Finally, we can't forget to mention the physical health benefits of equine therapy! Children in such programs are more active, have improved balance and coordination, and have increased stamina, flexibility, and core strength.
Horses we rescue have come from a variety of situations. With our rescue, we have three goals for each horse, and the horse's journey will be a vital part of the youth program:

1. Rehabilitate: During this step, we ensure that the horse has all incoming veterinary and farrier care necessary to begin recovery. We develop and implement a personalized nutritional plan and start exercises appropriate for the horse. During this phase, students in our youth program will be learning the history of the horse, which they may relate to very strongly as many of the horses come from rough situations similar to the children's. They will also begin understanding daily horse care, nutritional requirements, feeding programs, and necessary veterinary, farrier, and anti-parasitic care. In addition, this particular phase will emphasize the learning of empathy, patience, responsibility, kindness, listening skills, relationship and group skills, and many more life skills.

2. Retrain: Once the horse is at a healthy weight and has been given clearance by our veterinarian, farrier, and trainer to begin work, we will start retraining for an appropriate discipline. During this phase, students will learn safe ground handling, riding, and training, all relative to, and requiring a specific level of experience, of the student. This phase will develop the student's patience, self-control, relationship skills, decision-making skills, and courage. In addition, they will continue to develop and implement the ability to be kind but firm, to stand their ground when the horse does not want to listen or cooperate. Also, they will develop accountability by taking ownership of mistakes and successes brought to them through planning and goal setting.

3. Rehome: Horses that have completed rehabilitation and have met the training goals will be available for adoption to screened and approved homes. Horses unable to be rehomed will have sanctuary at Journey Up. 

Students will learn to say goodbye in a healthy, safe manner. They will be allowed to talk with prospective and approved new owners to let them know the horses feeding routines, exercise and training history while at Journey Up. They will talk about any special needs, and anything they feel is unique about the horse that the new owner needs to know. They will learn to understand that we have helped these horses out of terrible situations, turned their lives around, and found homes that will allow the horse to shine as the fantastic, wonderful creature he is!
Today I am asking for you to help us help our community! Your donation will assist in many ways. Funds will be used to purchase farm supplies, safety equipment for the students, feed, veterinary care, and farrier care for the rescued horses. We are also saving for larger goals, including new footing for our riding arena, a new(er) truck, and hiring an assistant trainer and head stablehand.
For clarity and understanding, these are typical expenses for each horse. This list does not include the cost of leasing or maintaining the facility, paying staff, or providing necessary supplements, depending on the horse's situation.

Typical Expenses for one horse per month:
Grain: $200
Hay: $215
Farrier - trim: $55
Farrier - front shoes: $120
Intake vet visit (including physical, labs, check teeth, float teeth if necessary, vaccines, essential meds): $350 - $600
Veterinary maintenance: $60
Supplies and equipment: $50
Sawdust/Shavings/Straw: $175
Chiropractic care: $250

All donations are a gift as we are not yet a 501(c)3 non-profit.

I thank you on behalf of myself, our volunteers, our rescue horses, and our youth program students!


Claire Grygotis
Toms Brook, VA

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