Chuy and Frankie are the parents of two beautiful twin daughters, Journey and Zaig, who have autism. Because of their autism, Journey and Zaig lost all of their speech and communication skills. Their therapist recommended hippotherapy at Hoofbeats with Heart.
At first, the parents were nervous to put their girls in a new environment, filled with unfamiliar sights and sounds. In the beginning, it was difficult and overwhelming for the little three-year-olds. However, once Journey and Zaig were introduced to the horses, they transformed right before their parents’ eyes. Chuy and Frankie were amazed. The twins loved feeling the horses’ coats and manes, feeding them, and riding.
Zaig was a natural at riding, surprising both her parents and the trainer she was with that day. She smiled and hummed atop the horse on her very first day. On the way home, Chuy and Frankie were talking about whether Journey had enjoyed the session or not.
Chuy shares, “At that very moment, during our conversation, Journey reached out to touch me on my arm and said, clear as a bell, “mom.” Completely shocked at hearing her beautiful voice after so many months, I turned to see her smiling at me, making spontaneous direct eye contact, and then started to tear up as she nodded her head up-and-down really fast and giggled. We can’t thank Hoofbeats with Heart enough for giving us back our little girls.”
Since 2007, Hoofbeats with Heart has provided exceptional therapeutic services to their Arizona community. Run solely by dedicate volunteers, Hoofbeats with Heart offers a variety of programs. Their programs, therapeutic riding, hippotherapy, equine facilitated learning, and equine facilitated psychotherapy, are all ran by nationally certified instructors.
They also offer a program called “Hoofbeats at Home,” bringing traditional in-home therapies for those who are unable to participate in equine therapy. They also have an on-site therapy studio. Truly, Hoofbeats with Heart works to provide their valuable services to all who need them, regardless of disability, age, or background.
The programs are made to benefit children and adults like Journey and Zaig. Kelley Hullihen, founder of Hoofbeats with Heart, shares that “the unconditional love of the horse is proven to reduce anxiety, encourage interaction and offer a haven where riders can feel a sense of empowerment.”
Hoofbeats with Heart currently has 8 horses offering their unconditional love to the riders and staff at the barn. Riley, a 24-year-old Quarter Horse gelding is the go-to horse. He’s used in all of the programs and is always reliable and trustworthy. At the barn, there’s a variety of horses, including a Pony mare, an Appaloosa mare, and retired show horses and barrel horses.
How to Contact This Farm:
43491 N Coyote Rd
San Tan Valley, AZ 85140