In Stable Hands
Cari Worley and I (Jen Ely) Grew up with a passion for horses. As young girls, we took riding lessons in an English barn nearby with Cari continuing to compete for the equestrian team in college. As it does for so many, we both got married and had kids, forcing our love for riding to pause outside of the occasional ride through the years.
Then, in April 2012, there was a herd of 56 horses rescued by The Arabian Rescue mission from a breeding farm in West Virginia. I was approached with the opportunity to home one of the geldings, so I adopted my very first horse at 40. He was 9 years old without a name, so I decided to call him Chance. That decision ended up being the beginning of our new life with horses. My sister purchased a horse soon after with the rest of our family joining in. Soon, we had a herd of 9 horses and 3 minis.
We were asked to bring a horse to VetsPlace, a local organization that offers temporary housing to homeless vets. It was after spending the afternoon watching the interaction between Shadow (the paint pictured) and the vets that Cari and I decided we needed to find a way to share the power of the horse and human bond. We attended an EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth & Learning Association) certification and founded In Stable Hands. Our primary focus with our nonprofit is providing equine-assisted growth and learning on the farm with also the goal to go mobile in order to reach high risk populations that would not traditionally have the ability to access our program. Since we founded, we have worked with schools, senior centers, veteran organizations, law enforcement, youth organizations, and Easter Seals.