SHP invests in HART Equine Therapy
For Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD – “It is amazing to see the transformation in their confidence in themselves. I do this because I love watching these individuals grow and blossom,” Kim Sievers said.
Sievers is executive director at HART Equine Therapy Center in Auburndale. Security Health Plan (SHP) of Wisconsin, Inc., will invest $1,000 in HART Equine Therapy Center as part of its Employee-Driven Corporate Giving (EDCG) grant program. Each month, SHP awards a different charity or organization that is nominated by a Marshfield Clinic Health System employee, a $1,000 grant. Employees are encouraged to nominate organizations making a positive difference in the community.
HART Equine Therapy Center, founded in December 2013, is dedicated to empowering individuals of all ages and economic status with special needs through equine-assisted activities. Some program participants are working to overcome challenges or are at risk. Sievers said participants at HART engage with horses in activities such as therapeutic horseback riding lessons, grooming and groundwork.
“I see the transformation in our participants,” Sievers said. “There are changes in how they interact with the horses, other people, and in how they carry themselves.”
SHP senior training consultant Josh Dick nominated HART Equine Therapy Center for the EDCG grant after seeing the results first-hand. Dick said his daughter has been taking lessons at Royal T Ranch, which is owned by Sievers and is where HART Equine Therapy Center is located.
“This facility is dual-purpose,” Dick said. “HART provides an opportunity for all people to work with horses. Royal T Ranch houses HART and provides riding lessons.”
Dick said out of curiosity he did a little research and learned the average cost of keeping a horse is more than $200 per month. He said when he did the math, knowing Royal T Ranch has about 30 horses, he knew the costs to maintain HART Equine Therapy Center were high.
“The funds from this grant can be used in so many different ways,” he said. “They can be used for care for the horses, to purchase equipment like helmets and saddles and help cover insurance needs. I just wanted to find a way to help more.”
Sievers said the grant money will be used for horse expenses. She said they currently have a ‘sponsor a horse’ program that is $400 per month and includes an indoor stall for the adopted horse, daily care of the horse, feed, supplements, farrier, vaccines, deworming and emergencies, but there aren’t many sponsors currently enrolled in the program. “So this will really help,” she said. “The grant will help the horses that provide this service to our students.”
As a non-profit organization, HART Equine Therapy Center is always looking for volunteers and donations. To get involved or make a donation, call 715-305-5166, or visit their website at www.hartetc.com.