As you enter the barn doors, there is no denying that Healing H’Arts is first and foremost a place of love and acceptance. People from various walks of life traverse along their separate paths until they intersect at the junction that is Healing H’Arts. They discover that, at this junction, judgement is withheld while grace is offered at every turn. The compassion, kindness, and empathy that radiates within these walls reveals to them that this a safe space. It is a safe space for learning, thinking, and feeling. And it tells them that, perhaps, this junction is more than just a pit stop along the way: it’s a piece of home. When I received my 8-week placement at Healing H’Arts, I knew it would be a unique and rare opportunity. I knew it would require me to step greatly out of my comfort zone, but it was a challenge I was eager to tackle. As an occupational therapy assistant student, I was tasked with providing the best care possible to a wide variety of individuals with diverse backgrounds, diagnoses, and skills. Throughout this experience, I’ve been privileged enough to learn about the various ways in which horses serve as an effective therapeutic tool. Horses facilitate typical walking patterns, activate all parts of the brain at once, and can help with sensory regulation. Not to mention, forming a trusting relationship with a 2,000-pound animal can be very empowering — a 2,000-pound animal that senses your state of mind, heart, and soul. I’ve witnessed first-hand the healing that relationship can generate, and that’s just in 8 short weeks… Imagine the possibilities! Truthfully, I owe my newly cultivated skills and this remarkable experience to the powerhouse that is Kirsta Malone. Kirsta is a fierce force of nature; she is the one constantly running (or sprinting) behind the scenes to keep the barn afloat while still extending her invaluable services to the community; she is the one leading young, aspiring minds on the farm as they learn about responsibility and hard work ethic; she is the one perpetually advocating for so many individuals without a voice. And through all of this, she maintains her kind and enthusiastic spirit. Quite literally, Kirsta is one of the most genuine people I know. It has been an honor collaborating with and learning from a true expert (though she’d never claim that title herself). The vast number of dedicated volunteers, the local sponsors, and the outpouring of love and support from clients and their families is a true testament to the work that is done here at Healing H’Arts. I am sad to be leaving, but I know my journey at this facility isn’t over. This chapter is ending, but the story isn’t. After all, Healing H’Arts is more than just a pit stop: it’s a piece of home. With peace, love, and kindness,Stefanie
Author Archives: healingharts
Compliments from a student
My name is Natalie, I am an Occupational Therapy Assistant student from Cayuga Community College. I had the privilege of completing my level II fieldwork at Healing H’arts Equestrian Center. I came here not really knowing what to expect as I’ve never been around horses and didn’t know much about hippotherapy. My time here has gone beyond my expectations and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to be a part of Healing H’arts for the past 8 weeks!
When reflecting on my time here, I realized how much knowledge I had learned in such a short period. An OT student and I had an opportunity to share our experience at Healing H’arts with a group of other OT students. As we were talking, we both looked at each other blown away by all the knowledge we had gained from being here. For a moment, I felt like I really knew what I was doing!
I’ve learned so much from Kirsta, the horses, and volunteers and I will be taking all this knowledge with me to put into practice as an OTA. I want to thank Kirsta for her knowledge, guidance, and experience she has contributed to me during my time here. She has such a love and passion for the work she does, and she deserves to be recognized. I am amazed by her long hours of work and dedication that she gives every single day to Healing H’arts. Healing H’arts would not be what it is now without her.
I was blown away by the number of volunteers that are so happy and dedicated to come help each week. Every single person that volunteers is vital to keeping this place running smoothly and creating such a happy environment for every person that comes through its doors. To every horse handler, side walker, individual that cleans and cares for the horses, and so on, your work is valued and appreciated!
It was a breath of fresh air to step away from a typical work environment and enter the barn every day. I will truly miss my time here, but I am so grateful for everything I will be taking with me. To Kirsta, the volunteers, clients, their families, and every four-legged animal that runs around this place, thank you for making this such an enjoyable fieldwork experience!
By: Jenna Shortsleeve
My experience at Healing H’Arts has transformed my life in unimaginable ways. I knew luck was with me when I was assigned this unique internship opportunity. I hit the proverbial jackpot of educational and professional development. The training, knowledge, and skills acquired during my time here have far exceeded my expectations. Personally, I have felt overjoyed with extraordinary happiness and love since being here. Perpetuating powerful energy and positive vibes, the impact of Healing H’Arts is seen and felt by everyone who enters the barn.
Surrounded by amazing people, majestic horses, and enthusiastic riders, there is never a bad day…or a dull moment. The expression “it takes a village” comes to mind thinking about the devoted volunteers who play their parts in nurturing this special place. The “Barn Family” epitomize the loyalty, compassion, and diligence essential for any family unit. The labors of love are clear to see and feel throughout the entire Healing H’Arts organization. And I want to thank everyone who has welcomed me with open arms into the “Family.”
Vital to its success are the horses, providing the heartbeat that runs the of program. These animals are truly magnificent and beautiful. Instantly I felt drawn to them, marveled at their huge personalities and gracious movements. Horses possess a raw, intuitive nature that allows them to mirror our own feelings. There is no dishonesty and no judgement, just a mutual trust and respect. An unparalleled sense of peace and happiness has come over me, and I feel calmer, bolder, and more confident than ever before.
Lastly, I want to address Kirsta herself, the visionary and creator of Healing H’Arts. Her motivation and dedication to her profession and her “Barn Family” is unmatched. Kirsta’s motor never stops as she spins all her plates. In addition to her mentorship, she has inspired me to follow my dreams, stay true to myself, and to walk through life with gratitude. Kirsta is a beacon of light and happiness, reminding everyone to be mindful and appreciate the world as it is right now. For me, Healing H’Arts has completely honored its name…my heart is healed, and my spirit is liberated.
|Sap Run Reimagined Virtual 5k |
Starting Friday, Oct. 9th– Friday, Oct. 16th,2020
Email: email@example.com (Amanda) For details and sponsor forms
Prizes available on Saturday, Oct. 17th
Drive-Thru Chili Dinner
Saturday, October 17th, 2020
Catered by: Dugan’s Country Grill
Pre-order Family meal by Wednesday, Oct. 14 @ firstname.lastname@example.org or (315)730-4339
Dinner Includes: Chili, cornbread, salad and cookies (feeds 4-6)
Cost: $40 per family meal
Individual meals available on the day of the event for $12 each until gone.
Drive thru pick up at Healing H’Arts Equestrian Center, Inc. starting at 4:00 PM
1354 Kings Corners Rd. Union Springs, NY 13160
Raffles, Raffles, Raffles
Will be posted on Facebook and Instagram ahead of time and tickets will be available at the Drive-thru Chili Dinner
See you on the flip side
We have all had to make tough decisions. In order to honor the health and wellness of our community, Healing H’arts Equestrian Center, Inc is temporarily closing until we can safely resume as directed by the experts in the field. Please be assured, during this time, Kirsta promises to take excellent care of your horses while you are away. You are all valued and loved immensely by the Healing H’Arts team. Stay well and see you on the flip side!
Our 4th annual Sap Run scheduled for Saturday, May 2nd, has also been cancelled. We hope to come up with another fundraiser soon. Thank you for your continued support!
The Healing H’Arts Equestrian Center is hosting a Riders & Volunteer Banquet! Let us Celebrate You!
- When: Saturday September 21st, 2019
- Time: 3pm -6pm
- Where: The Sugar Shak
- Bring your best chilli for a chilli cook off! OR enjoy a walking taco, we also will have ziti, and Water.
- Raffles will be held as well as Badges given to our riders! So come on out and join us. Let us celebrate you!
Welcome all of the Wells College kids for the 2019/2020 school year!
Autism Awareness Conference
Come see Sassy the pony at Finger Lakes Mall! Tuesday, April 16th 11 am -2 pm!
Volunteers come in all varieties. Today I had three students from Jordan Elbridge Middle school who helped me muck out stalls, brush horses, carry water and feed horses. They also got to observe a hippotherapy session. A big shout out to Katie, Emma and Ashley (we missed you Kiera)! If you would like to volunteer, we have a volunteer training on May 1st from 6:00-7:30 pm at Healing H’Arts Equestrian Center, Inc. There are so many opportunities to help out!
SAP RUN 2019
The third annual Sap Run 5k run/walk + pancakes will be held on Saturday, May 4th this year. Event starts at 10 am with sign-ups no earlier than 9:30 am. Special appearance from Perform4Purpose from 11-1! Healing H’arts would like to recognize our dairy community by promoting milk. Pre-registration is encouraged! All pre-registered participants will receive a T-shirt. If you are pre-registering for the event, could you please circle at the top either run OR walk. This will help us organize our participants on the big day. Runners receive trophies for first, second and third place.