Friends For Pegasus Equine Non-Profit

By Dr. Maria Katsamanis

Established in 2016, Friends For Pegasus is a unique equine nonprofit working to improve the lives of both horses and humans. Based out of Amwell Ridge Farm in Ringoes, NJ under the tutelage of renowned horse trainer, author, clinician and psychologist Dr. Maria Katsamanis, Friends For Pegasus’ mission is to promote better understanding of equine wellness through the rehabilitation and transformation of horses who need a second chance. The process of restoring these equines to physical and mental wellness will serve to produce and disseminate educational materials, visual and literary, to promote improved behavioral training methods and supportive materials that will inspire and educate the general public as well as the international equestrian community. All horses enrolled in the program will be eligible for adoption.

Restoring and Transforming One Horse at a Time

The Horses

The goal is to provide step-by-step education of each horse accepted into this program and to document the development of each horse from A to Z.  There is a focus on incorporating a multidisciplinary team that creates comprehensive educational materials on nutrition, veterinary and hoof care, and training for the general public and the international equestrian community. Their mission is to demonstrate the use of compassionate and empirically validated training practices that address the physical and mental issues initially exhibited by the horses selected. The horse’s transformation into a masterpiece, into a sound and viable companion, will inspire and instill hope in those interested in adopting a horse. Horses accepted into the program will be evaluated by a veterinarian and selected based on their probability of recovery from physical injury. Appropriate candidates include horses from an auction house, abandoned horses, or sport horses that are no longer deemed usable for their chosen sport.

The Makeover Process

Horses selected undergo a complete makeover. Phase I is the restoration phase, recovery from injury, reaching appropriate weight, and achieving mental and physical health. Phase II is the transformation stage.  The hope is that the “dancer” that emerges will be comfortable in his time with a human and demonstrate how principles of classical horsemanship, when applied compassionately and appropriately, can create the ultimate masterpiece. These changes in the horse get documented step-by-step. The underlying belief for this nonprofit is that every horse deserves a second chance and can become an elegant and viable partner.

The Adoption Process

Many equine adoptions end up as unfulfilling relationships, often marked by a riding incident that leads to the horse being passed around and ultimately going back to an auction, or worse. The goal is to ensure that the horses helped will be reliable riding companions. New adoptees are prepared and educated to ensure the horse’s physical and mental health. Applications for adoption are reviewed by the Board to select an ideal human candidate who wishes to grow and learn together with his or her new equine partner. Determined to develop a lifelong partnership between adoptee and adopter, this nonprofit pledges to continue to educate and train the pair for up to one-year post adoption for free, if the horse remains stabled at Friends For Pegasus.

The Education Process

Funds from Friends For Pegasus are also allocated to produce educational seminars and workshops held throughout the year highlighting the step-by-step progress for horses enrolled in the program. Funding also allows for the production of visual educational materials that will systematically document the changes in and progress of each horse. The hope is that these materials will inspire and educate the public about compassionate and ethical training practices. In 2011, “Equitation in the French Tradition” was inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Heritage Representative List. It was determined that out of 106 training practices, methods from the French classical tradition were humane and took into account both the physical and mental wellness of the horse. The hope for Friends for Pegasus is to continue promoting classical training methods, coupled with new advancements in training, to the general public and the international equestrian community.

There are numerous ways you can support Friends for Pegasus.

Make a Pledge

Do you want a horse, but it’s not the right time in your life to own one? Do you want to be part of a horse’s life, but you are not sure how? Consider making a pledge to a horse in this program. Making a pledge to a horse gets you up close and personal to the entire process from start to finish. Your financial pledge can be specific to the horse you wish to support.  Donors receive weekly reports and photos that tell them just how important their support is in the making of a new life for a special horse. Whether you pledge $1 or $100, your monthly contribution supports the transformation of a horse who deserves a second chance.

Volunteers

Volunteers serve as the heart and soul of any organization. Volunteers who join this community are appreciated for the passion and dedication they bring.  Volunteers are welcomed, and their gifts and talents put to good use to be part of the transformation. If interested in finding out more, send an email to mskatsamani@gmail.com. Volunteer applications will be sent to potential volunteers and reviewed promptly. Currently, this nonprofit is looking for volunteers who have an interest or current experience in grant writing.

Sponsors

Sponsorships have also been welcomed to help promote this nonprofits mission.  In fact, their work would not be possible without the support of our loyal sponsor base.  The hope is that the educational component will help reach a wide audience. Friends for Pegasus welcomes the opportunity to partner with eligible sponsors and pledges that through the media visibility received, they can formally thank sponsors for their interest in this mission. Whether one wishes to be anonymous or an official public sponsor, it is welcomed and appreciated.

For more information on Friends For Pegasus visit http://www.friendsforpegasus.org/

Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/friendsforpegasus/

Dr. Maria Katsamanis holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and is the author of “The Alchemy of Lightness: What Happens Between Horse and Rider on a Molecular Level And How It Helps Achieve the Ultimate Connection”

http://www.mariakatsamanis.com/

 

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