10,000 Reasons for End of Year Giving

It's been a year full of progress and positive client changes at Project Horse, and we are so excited to have been given our biggest match challenge yet! It is so fitting that as we near our 10 year anniversary, we have been offered a $10,000 match challenge in appreciation of all the lives we have impacted and the healing work that we do each year.

From equine experiences promoting wellness, to therapy services dealing with trauma and depression, Project Horse provides a wide range of programs. 2017 has witnessed a near doubling of therapy services, along with the addition of several exciting wellness offerings, serving individuals of every age. We can't wait to see what next year will bring!

But we can't do all of this without the generous support of individuals and businesses in the community. Can you please help us expand our healing work in 2018?

Your gift today through the end of the year will have double the impact!

Warrior Herd Connections

Serving our country requires individuals to distance themselves from their families and focus on the big picture mission. Even after an honorable discharge or retirement from military service, it can be extremely difficult to regain the closeness once enjoyed with a spouse, partner, or family members of all ages. Project Horse launched the Warrior Herd initiative this fall to help close the distance between veterans and their loved ones, providing opportunities for relaxation and restoration in a natural environment (with the help of our highly skilled four-legged therapists).

The October 15th Warrior Herd Couples Workshop was held on a warm Sunday afternoon, and Killian, one of the younger but large members of our herd, chose to participate. At the end of the session Killian rubbed his head on one of the participants in a near-perfect moment of connection, illustrating the level of trust gained in such a relatively short span of time. It's truly amazing how deeply one can work, and how quickly things can emerge and progress, in an equine therapeutic setting.

Warrior Herd's next workshop is focused on family bonds and connections, and we have space available to serve 2 more families. The Warrior Herd Families Workshop will be held Saturday November 18. Please apply by November 13 for consideration for this Family Workshop. We are also now accepting applications for other upcoming Warrior Herd Couples, Family and Veterans workshops, as well as for the Warrior Herd Family Celebration Day on the Farm (July 2018) and the weeklong summer day camp for children who have lost a parent to combat (held August 2018.)

Feel free to apply for early acceptance into any of our cost-free Warrior Herd workshops and group programs. We again thank the generosity of our wonderful sponsors, VetsAid Foundation and Lockheed Martin, whose commitment to Project Horse provides full funding for the Warrior Herd pilot program and ensures that no veterans or their families pay any program fee!

Killian pictured with volunteer, Jeff Williams, honorably discharged in 2012

Killian pictured with volunteer, Jeff Williams, honorably discharged in 2012

Oktoberfest Fundraising Success

It was the perfect, crisp, fall evening for a fundraiser and we were so happy to see many of our friends and fans come out to support our healing efforts! The Mobile Minis™ were very excited to have a chance to enjoy the untouched lawn outside of the Gathering Building and it wasn't until towards the end of the evening that they were able to tear themselves away from the tempting grass. Then they started to pop their heads up to see everyone, especially when Project Horse therapist, Heather Kirby, brought guests over and started describing the minis individual talents in working with different kinds of clients. 

There were delicious beverages from Sunset Hills Vineyard and Old 690 Brewing Company, an authentic German spread by Culinary Occasions, and an amazing silent auction. All of us at Project Horse felt in great company as we spent the evening with new donors as well as long-time supporters, friends, family, and various members of the community! We were thrilled to have Dominion High School and Loudoun County Public Schools well represented, as well as Loudoun County Department of Family Services, the Loudoun County CSA and local members of our veterans community.

This was our first fundraiser of its kind and we are pleased to announce that the gross proceeds raised came to a total of:


We could not have accomplished this feat without the dedicated help of our volunteers and the generosity of our wonderful donors and sponsors. With that being said we have to extend our most sincere thanks (not arranged in order of importance) to:

The Grooming Gurus

Maria Kimble
Jan Bickhart
Suzanne Freeze
Kelly Griffitts Cole

Event Planning & Implementation

Melissa McDonald
JR McDonald
Holly Cunningham
Gail Kelly
Martha Briggs
Darcy Woessner
Andrew Woessner
Jeff Williams
Emily Williams

Sponsors & Silent Auction Donors

Holly Cunningham
John Cunningham
Angela Nunez
Fiona Fudge
Marriott Ranch
Salamander Resort & Spa
Melissa Lew
Sunset Hills Vineyard
Old 690 Brewing Company
Jack's Run Brewing Co.
Lothar's Butchery & Gourmet Sausages
Not Your Average Joe's (Reston)
Coach's Corner
Will Baskin
Laureanne Venter
My Plumber
Meredith Ehler
Culinary Occasions

Thanks to Our Board Members

Sharon Hogan
Courtney Marshall
Cassi Spigle
John Browning
Jeff Kimble
Tom Morley
Darcy Woessner
Andrew Woessner

A Special Thanks to

Regina Vall
Heather Kirby
Christine Vitkus
Lockheed Martin, a corporate sponsor of our Warrior Herd™ Initiative

VetsAid Grant Awarded to Project Horse

Project Horse is excited to announce that we have been selected as one of only 10 local nonprofits to be awarded a grant from VetsAid. Funding for grant awards is coming from the first annual VetsAid "Concert for Our Veterans", to be held September 20, 2017 in Fairfax, Virginia.

What is VetsAid?

VetsAid is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by rock legend Joe Walsh to raise and disperse sorely needed funds to veterans groups across the country that are serving the men and women who served our country with the dignity, compassion and honor they deserve.
— VetsAid

Project Horse's winning grant proposal describes a 12-month pilot program which we have just launched. The program, called Warrior Herd, focuses on strengthening veterans' families and the pilot year offers:

  • 5 workshops which focus on couples (veterans reconnecting with their significant others)  **the September workshop was held 9/17**
  • 5 workshops which focus on strengthening family connections
  • a Family Day at the farm for all members of the military (active, inactive, veterans, reservists) and their families
  • a weeklong summer camp for children who have lost a parent in combat

All programs will be FREE to participants. The VetsAid grant will cover approximately 50% of the cost of the Warrior Herd pilot. The other 50% of funds to deliver Warrior Herd still need to be raised, and Project Horse is seeking support for this innovative program from businesses and corporations with a commitment to our nation's military.

If you are interested in donating or participating in this program, or would simply like more information, please contact us today!

First Responders Wellness Workshop


Project Horse is looking forward to giving back to the community by offering free workshops for first responders.

If you are a first responder, come enjoy some relaxation in a peaceful setting with our healing herd.

  • Promotes calmness and connecting

  • Enhances trust and communication skills

  • Develops stronger coping skills and stress management

    Project Horse is offering 2 hour monthly wellness workshops at no cost. First responders are often exposed to sights, sounds and smells that can leave them feeling overwhelmed. Come join our monthly wellness sessions the 2nd Monday of every month! Join other first responders for this restorative, non- riding, no-pressure workshop. 

Join Us: Oktoberfest Fall Fundraiser!


Project Horse Empowerment Center


Our Oktoberfest Fall Fundraiser!


September 30th, 2017

5pm – 8pm

  • please join us for some serious fun and delicious German fare
  • sip delicious wines from Sunset Hills Vineyard
  • taste craft brews by Old 690 Brewery
  • meet our horse and human staff, learn how they partner in healing, and discover their restorative power
  • explore our silent auction items including a trail ride and overnight getaway from the Marriott Ranch, beer and wine tasting trips, an equine personal development program and trail ride from Salamander Resort & Spa, a gift basket of locally grown and raised items, a miraculous makeover & massage, designer jewelry, a private horse yoga class, and more!

Tickets: $50 each

Bring friends: $275 for 6 tickets

All proceeds will benefit Project Horse and help replenish our Foster Scholarship Fund for families in need.

Thank you to our Event Sponsors!

Walk-In and Get to Know Project Horse


This summer and fall we are excited to offer our first Walk-In Workshops at our new facility. We have Walk-In Workshops designed for individuals who want to try out our wellness programs without having to register in advance. These workshops are affordably priced to give everyone the opportunity to try out equine assisted learning. We've scheduled these with your busy schedules in mind on weekends and weekday evenings. Each workshop is designed with specific goals in mind, such as reconnection for our weekend warriors, insight for new empty nesters, and unplugging and connecting with the natural world for teens.

What workshops are scheduled?

Monday, Aug 14
6 – 7:30 PM
Registration from 5:45 – 6 PM

  • Empty Nesters (our Executive Director will be participating as a new empty nester!)

Saturday, Sep 16
10 AM – 12 PM
Registration from 9:45 – 10 AM

  • Weekend Warriors (for active duty/retired military and their significant others)

Sunday, Sep 17
10 AM – 12 PM
Registration from 9:45 – 10 AM

No registration is required and walk-ins are welcome, but if you'd like to ask us any questions or RSVP in advance you can do so below!

Who Won Our First Annual 50/50 Cash Raffle?

What a whirlwind of a weekend! We couldn't have done it without all of the help from our dedicated and talented volunteers. We would also like to thank our generous sponsors who donated to our raffle, as well as the wonderful vendors who braved the chilly weekend weather to spend time with all of our visitors.

Special Thanks to...

Amber Taylor Photography 
Scratch n All
Patricia Schenk
Hopps Art Lounge
Dominion Equine Welfare

Shout-out to Our Sponsors

We loved getting to meet new people and seeing old friends. It was also a great opportunity for the healing herd to show visitors what it means to be a therapy horse. Throughout the farm tour people were drawn to Reeses to meet with our co-founder and enjoy her healing energy, they were fascinated by Foster's story of trauma and recovery, and they were ready to engage and participate in our hands-on demonstrations to get some one-on-one time with the healing herd.

Did you miss the farm tour? You can see some of the fun, thanks to Amber Taylor's amazing photography here!

Who Won Our First Annual 50/50 Cash Raffle?

Jenny Conaty won $340 with ticket #0007

Jenny Conaty won $340 with ticket #0007

Congratulations Jenny!

A Thousand Thanks to Our Volunteers!

Jan Bickhart
Nicole Cassella
Cailyn Cowart
Kelly Cregan
Maddie Fortin
Julia Friedl
Jeff Kimble
Maria Kimble
Heather Kirby
Tanya Matthews
Alex Miller
Amber Pompell
Marilyn Pompell
Loretta Retone
Amanda Rissman
Heather Scott
Sofia Thompson
Emily Williams
Jeff Williams
Andrew Woessner
Darcy Woessner
Emily Woessner

You Helped Us Raise $7,013 for Give Choose!

Thank you so much to everyone who donated and those who shared our posts on social media! Your support makes it possible for us to fulfill our mission of helping people heal and grow through a mutually beneficial partnership with our rescued horses.

We are also grateful to be a part of a community that believes in supporting nonprofits! It was wonderful to see companies offering prizes as incentives to donate, and we are incredibly grateful for the generous match from longtime Project Horse supporter Len Baer.

Your support helps us provide innovative client programs as well as keep our healing herd happy and healthy! We couldn't do it without you!

Catch Up on Our Videos on YouTube!

Did you miss out on Give Choose? You can make a difference today by sponsoring a horse!

Our Co-Founder Reeses Needs Your Support!


In late March we began to notice some changes in our co-founder, Reeses, and behaviors that indicated she might be having vision problems.  During her spring physical, our veterinarian determined that Reeses had age-related changes in her eye and a cataract forming and that these were likely impacting her vision… not unusual for a horse who just turned 25!

We continued to monitor Reeses and noticed further behavioral changes, so we contacted the vet again.  A more comprehensive eye exam found that Reeses has virtually lost all sight in her left eye.  At this time we do not know the reason why, as there has been no injury or disease of the eye and the pressures in her eyes are normal. Thankfully she does have sight in her right eye, although it is also showing some age-related changes.

Reeses is now being given a daily prescription eye ointment to keep her right eye as healthy as possible, hopefully preventing any vision loss in that eye.

Reeses is adjusting well to this change in her situation, and we will adjust with her, ensuring Reeses gets all the additional support and care she needs.  She is still an active member of our healing herd, and continues to love interacting with people.  We are learning to adjust how we interact with her, being mindful of her limited vision. For example, it's ideal to approach Reeses on her right (good vision) side. It's also important to speak to Reeses while approaching her, to be sure we don't accidentally startle her.

Horses who have compromised or no vision can survive, and even thrive, with some accommodations made for them.  They, too, have to work at becoming accustomed to a new "normal" and with support it is possible. We are still trying to determine the next medical steps in helping Reeses, including a variety of diagnostic tests. She will remain on the prescription eye ointment for as long as it helps her right eye remain as healthy as possible. We will keep you posted on other developments!

In the meantime, can you please help support Reeses, our co-founder?


Become her herd hero and choose to sponsor her today!


If you would like to learn more about horses with compromised or no sight, please visit http://blindhorses.org/index.html.