Did you know?
If you know a Healthcare Worker or First Responder on the front lines of COVID-19, then you know they have suffered physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. The unprecedented mortality rates, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness will have a long lasting effects on them unless we can step in and help them to heal!
If you know a child with special needs or a Veteran who had previously been receiving treatment, then you are most likely aware of the setbacks they suffered during quarantine. Without the availability of their normal regiment of therapies as well as a complete disruption to their schedules and daily routines, parents and friends are reporting heartbreaking regression in their skills and development. Veterans are suffering from loneliness and isolation which can perpetuate their PTSD, depression and anxiety. Families are feeling overwhelmed and frustrated!
As the COVID-19 Pandemic continued and the serious challenges facing these populations became evident, Founder Laurie Bryceland knew that it was time to open the doors to Victory Hill Therapeutic Horsemanship! A dream she had been fostering for many years as she worked to learn all she could in the field in Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies, Equine Assisted Mental Health and Learning as well as non-profit management.
How It All Began…
Laurie began her career in EAAT in 2016 by Volunteering at WInslow Therapeutic Riding Center in Warwick, NY. In 2017 she earned her certification as a Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor with PATH Intl (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship). In the Fall of 2017, Laurie secured a position as the Assistant Executive Director at GAIT Therapeutic Riding Center in Milford, PA. Her background as an Elementary School Teacher, Veterinary Assistant, EMT, 10 years of experience owning and working with horses, having a son on the Autism spectrum, twenty years of experience as a Business Development and Life Coach and previous experience with successful non-profit fundraising made her an ideal choice for the position. In 2018, Laurie earned her certification as an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning and developed the “Horses 4 Heroes” program for Veterans and First Responders at GAIT. The COVID-19 crisis hit GAIT hard and due to a lack of funding the Board made the difficult decision to eliminate the position of Asst. Executive Director.
Laurie has always believed that God does not close one door without opening another and that out of misfortune grows opportunity! Losing her job at GAIT gave her the motivation to make her dream of opening a center in Orange County, NY a reality! In April of 2020, Victory Hill Therapeutic Horsemanship was born as it became a non-profit corporation in NY and quickly earned it’s Federal 501c3 designation. The staff, along with a dynamic and dedicated Board of Directors, have worked hard to assemble the best response team in the Equine Activities and Therapy (EAAT) industry. Victory Hill TH opened their doors in Greenville, NY in June 2020 in order to respond to the urgent needs of Healthcare Workers, Veterans, First Responders and children and adults with special needs.
Victory Hill TH’s goal is to offer much needed physical, cognitive, emotional and mental health support to our most vulnerable populations. After months of social distancing, we know how rejuvenating and healing equine activities and therapies are for the entire community. Please feel free to message Victory Hill TH with any questions, to volunteer or to donate!
Be well and stay safe!