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October 24, 2020
A Flip-Flops Kind of Guy Speaks Out About Horses!

Thanks to Ariat International, sponsor of the EQUUS Foundation Champions program, five volunteers from equine charities across the United States receive a free pair of boots each quarter from Ariat in recognition of their volunteer service.

We are proud to announce that the five volunteers selected by random draw for the third quarter of 2020 are: Richard Hickey, Honey Jaks, Sarah Miller, John Snyder, and Ruth Tietz. These five volunteers represent the tens of thousands of individuals who contribute their time to keep horses safe and healthy at equine charities across the United States. We admire their dedication and as Honey Jaks wisely stated, " It really is Horses Healing People Healing Horses"

Honey Jaks
Hope for Horses, Inc.
Galt, CA
EQUUS Foundation
Honey Jaks (right) with Bailey and Lynn Grismore, Hope for Horses Board Chair

Honey was raised with horses until he was around 12, when Baseball became his primary interest. However, when he decided he wanted to volunteer; he gravitated back towards the horses. "Volunteering at Hope For Horses allows me to show up when I can, and leave the ranch feeling good about doing something I enjoy for others and their horses. I gain great pleasure seeing the results of my efforts. While I'm no rider, I do enjoy the company of horse folks."

Honey tends to take on the jobs around the ranch that others are not too fond of with his biggest contribution being when he takes care of the weeds in the Winter & Spring. He is even referred to as 'The Whacker of Weeds' and considers himself a good 'extra pair of hands' when it comes to ranch projects. As a flip-flops kind of guy, Honey is looking forward to trading in his flip flops for his new Ariat boots. He said, "These boots will serve me well in my volunteer efforts! Thank you Ariat!"

Sarah Miller
BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding & Educational Center
Harvard, IL
EQUUS Foundation
Sarah Miller with Clayton (left) and Roanie (right)

Sarah grew up in northern Illinois and has been around horses on and off for most of her life. She started volunteering at BraveHearts in October of 2018. At the time, she was looking for a place to volunteer, and since she had always loved horses, thought BraveHearts would be a great fit.

"BraveHearts certainly has wonderful horses that are a joy to be with and I have absolutely loved working with them over the past couple of years! Having the opportunity to witness the incredible impact that working with the horses can have on people has been an amazing experience. And spending time with the staff, volunteers, and riders at BraveHearts is something that I always look forward to!"

John Snyder
The Equus Effect
Sharon, CT
EQUUS Foundation
John Snyder and Tango

John is a sixty-nine-year-old retired New York businessman and also a State Certified Recovery Support Specialist, dividing his volunteer time between High Watch Recovery Center in Kent, CT, and The Equus Effect in Sharon, CT.

"I first experienced Experiential Learning with Horses at High Watch and immediately benefitted from the program. To be taught how to center yourself and be in the moment while connecting with an "only in the moment" creature is awe-inspiring. It is only in the moment when we are truly ourselves and can truly connect with others."

John commends Jane Strong and David Sonatore for the strong, solid program they have put together at The Equus Effect, saying that "kindness and understanding are evident from your first moments there." His volunteer experience at The Equus Effect leaves him feeling better about himself and those around him, and he has yet to meet anyone who doesn't agree. He believes that everyone can benefit from this program!

Ruth Tietz
Unbridled Thoroughbred Foundation
Coxsackie, NY
EQUUS Foundation
Ruth Tietz and Touching My Toes

Ruth has been involved with Susan Kayne and the Unbridled Thoroughbred Foundation for a few years now. They met at a "Horse Matchmaker Clinic" at a different rescue, where Ruth was volunteering at the time.

Ruth was so impressed with Susan's knowledge of, and compassion for equines that she knew she needed to be involved in whatever Susan was doing!

Ruth and her husband spend a couple of days a month at the rescue with Susan and the other devoted volunteers caring for the gentle equine souls that reside there.

"It is a true blessing to be a part of the process of watching these frightened, broken horses be made whole again through loving kindness and great care of both their physical beings and fragile spirits. I learn more about horses every time we visit! Unbridled Thoroughbred Foundation is truly love in action! I'm honored to be a part of such a wonderful equine rescue organization."

Richard Hickey
Hope's Legacy Equine Rescue, Inc.
Afton, VA
EQUUS Foundation
Richard Hickey with Hope's Legacy horse, Bobby Earl

Richard Hickey has been volunteering with Hope's Legacy Equine Rescue since 2008. He was never much of a horse person, but his wife, Maya Proulx, Founder and Executive Director of Hope's Legacy is. So Rich started helping out when Maya needed an extra set of hands. These days he does everything from assist with transporting horses to building bridges and mowing grass.

Learn more about Champions here

ABOUT EQUUS FOUNDATION: The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, is the only national animal welfare charity in the United States 100% dedicated to protecting America's horses and strengthening the bond between people and horses. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: equusfoundation.org.

ABOUT ARIAT INTERNATIONAL: Ariat International, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of innovative performance equestrian footwear, apparel and belts. Featuring a patented technology designed to deliver stability, durability and comfort, Ariat pioneered the application of advanced athletic shoe technology into English riding boots and authentic Western boots. Ariat products are sold in a network of retail outlets throughout the world. For more information about Ariat products or for the Ariat retailer nearest you, contact Ariat at 800.899.8141 or visit www.ariat.com.