Heart of Horse Sense

Helping Veterans and At-Risk Youth in Western North Carolina

Our Programs

At-Risk Youth

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) & Learning (EAL) , are especially suited for youth, in that they are not office-based interventions.

Heart of Horse Sense supports both EAP and EAL programs in the WNC area, specifically the Children First/Communities in Schools program of Buncombe County. In this program, youth get an opportunity to practice important lifeskills, like communication, self-advocacy, dealing with fear and anxiety, and more!

Heart of Horse Sense also support individual therapy for at-risk youth, through EAP. EAP is engaging, interesting and does not require youth to be verbal about their thoughts and feelings. Instead, it allows them the opportunity to try out new behaviors and get feedback from an unbiased source: the horse.  For some youth this is the "last chance corral", in that everything else has been tried and nothing has worked. Horses can make a difference when nothing else does!

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There is need in our own community!

Below is information about the lives of youth in the Children First/Communities in Schools program of Buncombe County: 

  • One in four children are living in poverty in Buncombe County. Last year, there were over 500 students classified as homeless living in Buncombe County. That is enough students to fill an entire elementary school. Research has linked child poverty with societal costs including academic under achievement, higher dropout rates, higher rates of teen pregnancy, higher costs of crime, and poorer overall health outcomes.
  • 54% of Asheville City and Buncombe County students are on free and reduced lunch. And 54% of Asheville City and Buncombe County students are on free and reduced lunch.
  • The unemployment rate for Buncombe County has stayed at an average 7.7% since 2011. However, many people who are currently employed are underemployed - working at minimum wage and having to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. One in five American adults work in jobs that pay “poverty-level wages,” and the current minimum wage is lower, in inflation-adjusted terms, than it was in 1968.
  • A single parent would have to work 82 hours a week at minimum wage in order to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment in Asheville.
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