After The Finish Line Supports Reeses' Care


As many of you know, our beloved co-founder, Reeses, is a senior-age Thoroughbred mare with some on-going health challenges.

We are honored to have received generous support from a wonderful foundation who provides critical funds for Thoroughbreds, called After The Finish Line. Their grant will cover the cost of essential medical procedures, diagnostics, treatment and medications for Reeses, helping Project Horse to keep Reeses at optimal health & wellness!

On November 29, Reeses paid a visit to the Marion DuPont Equine Medical Center (EMC) in Leesburg, Virginia for a recheck of the growth behind her left eye socket. You may recall in December 2017 that a growth was discovered which necessitated the removal of her left eye. The surgery brought relief from pain and pressure (she had already lost sight in the eye several months prior).

The follow-up appointment, which consisted of a wellness check, CT scan and endoscopy, showed the growth was moving towards the sinus cavity - which is very good news!  It is hoped that when Reeses has her next follow-up in six months, a tissue sample can be obtained to determine what the growth is.

The staff at the EMC remarked how wonderful Reeses looked and that she was bright, alert and was showing no ill effects of the growth.

Project Horse staff continue to monitor Reeses for any changes that require intervention.  Reeses is enjoying life - as it should be!

We extend our heartfelt thanks to the generosity of After The Finish Line for providing a grant to ensure Reeses’ ongoing good health and comfort.

Please take a moment to check out the great ways After The Finish Line helps so many Thoroughbreds in need across the United States. And be sure to visit and LIKE their Facebook page!

#ATFL #healinghorse #healingthoroughbreds #therapyhorse #Reeses

Diamonds, Denim & Hope, Oh My!

Saturday was an absolutely wonderful evening, and we had so much fun celebrating our 10-year anniversary with everyone! On behalf of our volunteers and staff, we say thank you to Project Horse friends and fans, both old and new!

Diamonds, Denim & Hope was a successful fundraiser and a joyous celebration for Project Horse, and we hope everyone enjoys the beautiful photos that captured the evening. We thank our amazing volunteer photographer, Gail Kelly, for her great work!

Please take a minute to provide your feedback and suggestions below, so we can improve our next event! Our goal is to hear from everyone who was in attendance. Thank you!

I found the following to be true for the Diamonds, Denim & Hope event: *
I found the following to be true for the Diamonds, Denim & Hope event:
The venue was comfortable and pleasant.
The quality of the catered food was acceptable.
The flow of the evening's program was good.
The length of the event was fine.
I left with a better understanding of Project Horse's mission and the various populations they serve.
(Examples: have more live music, include dancing, add a live auction, offer tours of the barn, include option to meet some of the horses up close, hear more client stories/testimonials, have more silent auction items, skip dinner and just do a cocktail hour, observe a demo to see what a therapy or wellness session might look like)
I plan to attend another Project Horse fundraising evening in the future. *

Your feedback is extremely helpful! You may also email any comments, brief or in depth, directly to me @ Darcy Woessner, Executive Director. Thanks so much!

Project Horse Announces 10 Year Celebration

In partnership with rescued horses, thousands of people have been helped over the past decade

Project Horse Empowerment Center proudly marks its 10-year anniversary with a gala fundraiser on Saturday October 20, held on Trillium Farm in Lincoln. The gala, with a diamonds and denim theme, offers an opportunity for key stakeholders, volunteers and supporters to celebrate a decade of service and accomplishment, while raising mission-critical funds for the Loudoun-based nonprofit.

Gala attendees will enjoy live music, delicious wines by Sunset Hills Vineyard and a fabulous dinner by A Taste of New York Catering. The list of wonderful silent auction items continues to grow, and includes a private cooking class with dinner by James Beard award-winning Chef Dinah Corley, and an overnight stay and trail ride for two by Marriott Ranch.

In addition to a joyous celebration and fundraiser, attendees will learn how Project Horse has contributed to the wellbeing of the community over the past decade, impacting the lives of local veterans, families, at-risk teens, individuals with special needs, those dealing with addiction, and children with trauma exposure. Project Horse has achieved exceptional growth over the years and continues to expand community wellness and therapy offerings, and boasts a very experienced team of licensed therapists, facilitators, equine specialists and therapy horses.

Project Horse is one of the only equine therapy centers in the United States focused exclusively on mental health and wellness. The organization has repeatedly demonstrated the power of partnering with horses—in non-riding interactions—to effectively achieve personal growth and healing.

I was the first therapist to work at Project Horse, and now we have 6 clinicians on our team! The organization has grown and evolved significantly, but we still don’t offer any riding. It’s a unique but powerful approach, and I believe it’s what makes this modality so effective for a wide variety of people. It enables a client to gain the awareness and skills needed for a truly collaborative, safe relationship with a horse. The skills built in the paddock are the very same valuable skills that help people thrive in all relationships and everyday life.
— Florinda Reid, LPC, RPT-S, Lansdowne, Virginia

This year, Project Horse is pleased to thank Lockheed Martin, Summit Insurance Services and My Plumber for generous corporate support. Corporate sponsorship opportunities are still available, accommodating organizations of any size. In addition to annual benefits and exposure, all sponsors receive tickets to the October 20 gala. Individual gala tickets are also available and must be reserved in advance. Event proceeds and sponsorships will benefit Project Horse and help replenish their Foster Scholarship Fund. The Foster Fund provides financial assistance so families in need can access equine therapy and wellness services.

May Open House Recap

Our Open House weekend was not only a great success, but we were honored by very special visitors and official acknowledgments of achievement! 

Saturday May 19th: Military & Veterans Appreciation Day

On the first day of our Open House weekend, we honored and thanked veterans and military service members, and their families. We had a touching ceremony where the Greater Loudoun American Legion Honor Guard presented colors, with a beautiful acapella rendition of the national anthem by Will Baskin.

We had three fabulous speakers who joined Project Horse in giving thanks to those who serve and those who have sacrificed:

  • Chair Phyllis J. Randall of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors

  • State Senator Jennifer Wexton of Virginia's 33rd District

  • Victor Angry, Former Command Sergeant Major of the Army National Guard

Project Horse was very proud to be acknowledged and thanked by our special guests, for our Warrior Herd military family initiative and for our general wellness and therapy work over the past decade in the community.

See all the May 19th highlights on our Facebook page!

Sunday May 20th: Project Horse's 10-Year Anniversary

The second day of our Open House provided an opportunity to celebrate our 10-year anniversary. We had an array of special guests, lots of much-needed sunshine, hay rides, horse time, and great activities for all to enjoy.

The afternoon of our 10-year celebration was kicked off with a fascinating demonstration by Michael Alway of Alway Horsemanship. Michael worked with Foster, Project Horse's most challenging rescue. Michael demonstrated the power of kindness, patience and positive support when working with horses... which incidentally mimics how Project Horse works with each and every client.

After Michael's demo, we received a surprise visit from the Mayor of Purcellville, Kwasi Fraser!  The Mayor read a proclamation honoring Project Horse for 10 years of excellent service to the community, AND then the Mayor proclaimed May 21st as Project Horse Day in Purcellville! We are so thrilled to receive such an honor!

Dave Stegmaier, the Director of Community Outreach for Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, also visited. He presented a Congressional certificate of appreciation, congratulating all of us at Project Horse on our 10-year anniversary.

Our founding horse Reeses was also honored on Sunday! Reeses was inducted into the International Healing Horse Registry, nominated by our very own Heather Kirby, LCSW.

We concluded the fantastic afternoon, and weekend, with live music by  Eli Pafumi of RitaRita , and the announcement of our raffle winners. Rosemary Pollard was the winner of the 50/50 CA$H Raffle. Then Rosemary made a touching gesture, donating her winnings back to Project Horse! Rosemary, we are so grateful for you and all you do to support Project Horse (and Reeses - Rosemary helps sponsor Reeses through our Herd Hero program ).

We are so grateful to everyone who came out to join in our very special weekend of celebration!

Please enjoy all of the May 20th highlights on our Facebook page.

Victor Angry, Chair Phyllis Randall and Senator Jennifer Wexton at the Project Horse Empowerment Center in May

Victor Angry, Chair Phyllis Randall and Senator Jennifer Wexton at the Project Horse Empowerment Center in May

Victor Angry and Reeses

Victor Angry and Reeses

Michael Alway with Foster

Michael Alway with Foster

Dave Stegmaier, Darcy & Andrew Woessner, and Mayor Kwasi Fraser

Dave Stegmaier, Darcy & Andrew Woessner, and Mayor Kwasi Fraser

Reeses, our co-founder

Reeses, our co-founder

We're so thankful for our sponsors & volunteers!

Project Horse could not have put on such a  successful and memorable Open House Weekend without all of you - thanks for all of your generosity.

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