Healing Horsemanship Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)3 charitable community organization that supports Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) and other nature-based therapeutic and educational activities held at The Forever Farm southeast of Madison. It was founded in 2007 in honor of Marilyn Cohen who dreamed of a day when nobody would be turned away from these services due to inability to pay. Marilyn had dedicated the last 20 years of her professional career working in area non-profit organizations and was inspired by the differences made in our community by organizations such as Atwood Community Center (aka Goodman Center), Energy Services, Project Home (all places she worked).
All gifts to the foundation are tax-deductible under section 170 of IRS Code. The foundation is qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under sect 2055/2106/2522.
The Foundation’s role is to develop resources to support the services outlined below, whether that be monetary or in-kind donations, volunteer recruitment and training, Community Care Days or a myriad of other ways to support EAAT..
What’s In A Name?
Healing Horsemanship Foundation, Inc., as a community organization, got its name from the therapeutic program, Healing Horsemanship™. Nikki and Bob started this program in 2003 as a private clinical program serving primarily youth who experienced trauma and/or were living with the complex challenges of Autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders.
As a program, Healing Horsemanship™is nationally renowned for its effectiveness in using the power of nature and animals to help people heal from trauma and regain one’s sense of self often lost in the myriad of systems that can take over one’s life when challenged by mental health issues. This reputation adds credibility to the Foundation’s efforts to develop resources.
I’m Confused… What’s The Foundation’s Relationship With The Forever Farm?
All programming supported by Healing Horsemanship Foundation, Inc. is offered at The Forever Farm with animals and facilities currently maintained and financially supported by Bob and Nikki. The farm was established in 1989 under the name Interstate Horse Center as a partnership between Mel & Marilyn Cohen and Bob & Nikki Cohen-Wichner, when the family relocated its 26 year old horse business to Stoughton. The business and farm property are now owned solely by Bob & Nikki.
The long-term vision includes the Foundation eventually establishing an alternative school for youth whose emotional and behavioral challenges make it impossible for them to succeed in a traditional school setting. Programs like Green Chimneys and Strides For Success serve as a role model for such a vision.
A generous gift from Nikki's great uncle has allowed for acreage to be set aside for this purpose. Now we just need a small group of dedicated individuals to take this opportunity and run with it.
What Services Does The Foundation Support?
Your investment supports services provided by licensed mental health professionals and teachers at The Forever Farm. In a natural setting, horse-assisted and other nature-based activities provide powerful tools for building self-esteem self-awareness, appropriate boundaries and a sense of responsibility.
Professionally guided interactions incorporate the power of the horse, the education/training skills of a licensed educator (in Horse Assisted Learning) or the clinical skills of the therapist (in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy), and the hopes, dreams and challenges of the participant(s).
Your donation could support (examples):
Scholarships—support therapy for clients who lack funding for the intensive and lengthy treatment often required when trauma is at core of person’s challenges.
Horse Angel - support the cost of maintaining a horse who works as our colleague
Cat Angel - support the cost of maintaining our "herd" of barn cats who also work as our colleagues
Animal Anger—social-emotional skills group that teaches youth how to express anger in a healthy manner by using animal-assisted activities to raise awareness of the nature of anger.
Giddy Up Go—horsemanship program for children with a military person in their life. Includes civic leadership activities that can help youth earn awards in various organizations.
The Friend Within—horse-assisted, social emotional skills group for teens.
Read, Ride, Succeed—riding serves as incentive in this literacy education for students in grades K-12.