Thoughts from Naomi- Week 1 & 2

Hello, my name is Naomi Kubo. I am a student at Wells College and I am going into my junior year. I’m majoring in health sciences and I am volunteering over the summer at Healing H’Arts as an internship.

I have completed week 2 at Healing H’Arts and I have learned some very interesting things during just a short time. I think the most eye opening aspect is the amount of work it takes to running an organization such as Healing H’Arts. Healing H’Arts relies on many volunteers to help with running the program. However, Kirsta and Cyndy, along with the other members of their team, do a lot of extra things to make sure it runs smoothly. Not only are there building maintenance components of running this organization (such as cleaning and getting the arena ready for riders), there is also a lot of maintenance that goes into making sure the horses are ready to ride.

Although I’m only here 3 days a week, and 3 hours per day, I can easily see how much hard work goes into running this amazing place. I know that the reward is worth the hard work, and I know that Kirsta, Cyndy, and all the other volunteers would agree.

Pony Camps this Summer 2018

Healing H’Arts will offer summer camp for children 8- 12 years old.  Dates are:  July 16-20 or August 13-17.  The cost is $300 per child.  A $150 deposit is required at the time of registration.  Spaces are limited to 10 children per week to keep everyone safe and provide a quality experience.  No previous horse experience needed.

Camp begins at 8:30 am and runs until 3:00 pm.  Campers will be split into two groups.  Each group will ride two times per day (one hour each).  In the morning, if the children are not riding, they will be in a learning lab and then switch when the other children are finished riding.  In the afternoon, if the children are not riding, they are creating in our craft corner and then will switch when the other children are finished riding.  On Friday, campers will bath and braid their horses, have a hot-dog picnic and perform in a mock “horse show” for their families and loved ones.

Campers need to bring:

*bagged lunch for Monday – Thursday


*Must wear long pants and boots (sneakers are acceptable if boots are not available, however, not recommended)

*sweatshirt or rain gear

Physical Education

Healing H’Arts, as discussed before, works with the surrounding colleges. Besides offering Occupational Therapy related classes to students at Ithaca College, we also work with Wells College offering their students horseback riding for their physical education requirement. This course is offered at two separate times during the week to better fit the students’ schedules.

The course instructor, Elizabeth Barret has work with horses since she was a young girl on her mother’s Morgan horse farm. The farm she grew up on was a horse breeding farm, in fact two of the Morgans she works with in the course, Major and Friday were horses she facilitated the births of. In Elizabeth Barret’s two classes a week, she has four students learning to ride.

Barret has been teaching p20180227_155913eople to ride since she was 15 years old and has worked at a whole host of barns from Virginia to New Hampshire. She has an M.A. in Forensic Psychology, and M.A. in Forensic Mental Health Counseling. She is certified in Equine Appraisal since 2001 and certified as an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. Barret is currently working to get her P.A.T.H. certification.

Major and Friday were both bred and trained by Barret. She puts the new riders and horses together based on size and experience in order to find the best fit. She has not yet needed to switch horses and riders in these courses. With her experience, she has taken to an approach which focuses on the relationship between the horse and the rider. This emphasis on relationship is echoed in her warnings to the students, “it’s not a machine.” The students are encouraged to build a dynamic with their horse and be firm while also being aware that they are living animals.

The Students from Wells College are being taught the basics. This week, in fact, is their last. They went over grooming, putting on the tack, leading, balancing, and even some trotting. The appreciation for the horses by the riders says it all. Even the quieter students have begun talking to their assigned horses while grooming.

“If I can help people get away from all the craziness, that’s what it’s all about,” Barret revealed. She works with a 4H group and also educates her daughter in working with horses. It is asked of the students when they walk through the door to let go of all their stress. What you bring into the interactions with the horse is what they give back to you.

Talking to Barret about her hopes for the work she is doing alongside Wells College students, we learned that she would like Wells College and Healing H’Arts to grow together. She even brought up the hope for a Horse Club. Not just for riding, but for students that want to enjoy the horse in all capacities, whether that is grooming them, working with them, or even volunteering to work them as sidewalkers and the like (in hippotherapy sessions).


Events List

15th May 2018, Tuesday, Volunteer Training from 6:00pm-8:00pm

28th and 29th July 2018, Barn Sale (with space to rent for Rt. 90 sale vendors)

6th October 2018, Barn Blessing and BBQ Fundraiser  



Written by Greg T. Miraglia