Horse (Equine-assisted) Therapy Nonprofit Expands Its Zebulon NC Facilities and Offerings
By Kay Whatley, Editor
Kindred Spirits Farm clients and visitors will travel an extra mile down Massey Road now. The nonprofit moved to a new farm with brand new barn and amenities to keep the horses, and humans, comfortable.
Whether receiving therapy at the farm, going on a trail ride, or volunteering with barn chores, humans will have more space to roam — just like the horses!
Kindred Spirits Farm originally started offering equine-assisted therapy years ago at 4647 Massey Road, Zebulon NC, sharing space with a horse and hog farm, Sweetwater Farm. Horse therapy was offered at that location for seven years, with a number of horses participating.
In 2015, Kindred Spirits Farm founder, Kimberley A. Haselhuhn, RN, Equine Specialist, acquired land for the nonprofit. Building new facilities — including a brand new horse barn — took time. Therapy continued at Sweetwater Farm until the barn could be built and pasture made ready for the therapy horses. The new farm is 20 acres, just a mile down the road from the original Massey Road location.
The new farm is just down the road at 5591 Massey Road, Zebulon NC.
“We are all excited about our new home and new adventures,” Kim said.
New Facility Design
A four-stall barn was built in Spring 2016 with the therapy horses in mind. Each horse has its own stall, plus places to “hang out” while being brushed. Each stall has a padded wood floor for easier standing on four or two feet. Humans will find the barn with concrete walkways, tack room, restroom, and an office comfortable too.
The new four-stall barn, large riding arena, and obstacle course built in 2016, will enable Kindred Spirits Farm to expand its services for the community. The new facility provides room for their therapy horses and extra room for therapy sessions. It also gives the nonprofit the option of adding horses and client-therapy areas.
A nonprofit, Kindred Spirits Farm provides equine assisted therapy to all ages, guiding human clients as they struggle with mental or physical limitations, or work to overcome traumatic experiences at home, or overseas in the case of their work with veterans.
One of the goals of therapy with horses, led by a nurse therapist, is to improve overall communication skills. They work with individuals, and guide families through issues together.
Kindred Spirits Farm is a 501(c)3 non-profit family-oriented organization that provides individuals and families — who may be at risk socially, emotionally disabled, physically disabled, abused, traumatized, or neglected — with support and education to make positive life lasting changes through horses.
Working with the horses allows the individual or family to find new ways to communicate. They are challenged to connect and find ways to communicate with and watch the horses for behavioral cues. Families benefit, too, by stepping outside their normal dynamic and facing exercises together where the new member of their circle — the horse — gives them a different perspective on their interactions, guided by the therapist.
Kim Haselhuhn-R.N. E.S., is the founder of Kindred Spirits Farm. She is the mother of two teenage boys, and she also cares for the therapy horses and several dogs. She is the wife of a wonderful and very understanding husband of 25+ years. Kim has an extensive background in nursing specializing in neonatal intensive care, pediatric and infant surgery. With the intensity of her nursing job Kim’s horses were her salvation. She had been involved with horses for over 40 yrs — riding, competing, training and instructing. When she completed her level one with EAGALA — Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association — she pursued her dream of helping people through horses.
Teresa Rice is a great asset to Kindred Spirits Farm, with her strong business sense and background in accounting. Teresa is a life long horse woman with both competition and training experience (Clinton Anderson Method). She is passionate about Kindred Spirits Farm and its many possibilities.
About the Therapy Horses
For those familiar with the farm, therapy horses Nessa, Athena and Odie were moved to the new farm in June 2016, and therapy sessions began at the new farm.
- Nessa at 14 is young in Arabian years. She is a quiet and observant animal.
- Athena is the farm’s 23-year-old mare. She has plenty of life experiences and a calm confidence that comes with age, and helps with therapy.
- Odie is the “herd clown”; full of personality and character.
Monty, a paint horse who helped with thousands of therapy sessions over the years, has retired. This gentle equus developed a neurological problem. Animals, like humans, can reach an age where health issues slow them down. This is the case with Monty. He has been returned to the farm in Western NC where he was born, raised, and spent many happy years of his life. He’ll live out his days in happy pastures. It’s understandable that some clients will miss working with him.
Now that the barn and facilities are ready, and the therapy horses are settled, Kindred Spirits Farm is holding a public Open House in Fall 2016. A fun day is planned to let folks come and check out the nonprofit’s new facilities. Come to the Open House to meet the horses, therapist, and volunteers, check out the therapy session areas, walk the fields, and hang out in the new barn to brush or visit with the horses.
Kindred Spirits Farm’s new address is 5591 Massey Road, Zebulon NC. This new address is located near Route 264, between Zebulon NC and Middlesex NC.
Stop by the Open House to meet Kim Haselhuhn, nonprofit helpers, and — of course — the horse herd. There will be food, music, horse brushing, and more for the whole family. Visitors will be able to ask questions and pick up information on the nonprofit’s work with individuals and families.
Want to help this nonprofit finish its new facility? They are seeking a sponsor for mats within each of the horse stalls. Please email Kim Haselhuhn if you’d like to sponsor or donate.
Farm work is hard work! Individuals and groups are welcome to help with horse care, obstacle course maintenance, or stall cleaning. Schedule a group work day, or schedule a day for yourself or your family. You get to spend time with the horses, and help the nonprofit operate efficiently.
Kindred Spirits Farm offers individual, family, and group therapies. They also offer a Summer Camp for children. For more information, visit the nonprofit’s website at www.kindredspiritsfarmnc.com. Updates are frequently posted on the farm’s Facebook page.
To learn more about the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA), visit their website.
Ed. Note: Read this previous article on Kindred Spirits Farm from The Grey Area news issue on November 1, 2012.