Our story began when my parents decided to build a house directly across from a horse farm. I spent every free moment at that farm. Eventually, I got my own horse. A little later my parents divorced and my new step father was an abusive alcoholic. I became a rebel teenager. Despite all my rebellion I found sanctuary with my horse. In the end, my horse helped me overcome obstacles that many believed I would succumb to. I attended the horse management and science program at MSU. My dream was to have a horse farm for “at risk” youth. Life changed and I took a different path, becoming a Licensed Veterinary Technician and later becoming the director of Veterinary Technology at Baker College. In 2010 I had to have chemotherapy and then in 2013 I was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called Common Variable Immune Deficiency disease. In a nutshell, I cannot make antibodies to bacteria or viruses. This was when life slowed down and I remembered why I chose animals, particularly horses to be such a large part of my life. They did not care if my hair was falling out, if I was still in my pajamas when I went into the barn, they accepted me for who I am. I got stronger and started giving some lessons and coaching our equestrian team. Being outside in the arena or barn, I had little exposure to the cold viruses and such that tend to spread in a closed environment. As the new version of the “old me” developed, my initial dream of helping youth emerged. In August of 2016 Equine Escape was incorporated and received its 501 (c)(3) status. In December of 2016 I became certified in Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy(EAP) by EAGALA founder Greg Kertsen of the O.K. Corral Series.
My husband had no real horse experience when we met but he immediately became a horse person. He happily hauls our horses all over Michigan so my daughter can show and has become an amazing “horse show dad”. Oftentimes when he returns home from his long work day he immediately goes to the barn to visit the horses. It is evident that he finds solace in their presence. In addition, he started lessons in reining and is honestly as horse crazy as myself. Beyond his love for horses is his love for helping people. He received a specific certification to work with veterans in April of 2017. The goal is to be able to offer an EAL and EAP program for our veterans in June of 2017.
I encourage you to visit our “board of directors” page as you will see we have an amazing group of people directing this program. Their expertise and experience will make Equine Escape an exceptional addition to our community.
Equine Escape does not by, policy or practice, discriminate against a person or group on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, gender identity and expression, marital or military status, or based on any individual's status in any group or class protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.