Kim has been riding and working with horses since she was 10 (and we won't say how many years ago that was...). Kim has a heart for riding and teaching others to ride. At one point in her life she worked in group homes with the developmentally disabled and simultaneously worked with some of the same clients as a certified therapeutic riding Instructor. Kim enjoys working with the wonderful participants, volunteers and horses at Horses of Hope!
Chris Hepp joined our staff three years ago and is currently our Trainer for our staf of five AMAZING horses. Chris volunteered at HoH 12 years ago for 2 summers and is back to stay. Chris is a grandma and happily retired.
Chris has owned horses for years and taken several clinics back and has followed Buck Brannaman’s techniques.If you ask Chris, she will tell you she has had the greatest horse of all time, Jackson.Chris has known Jackson since he was 6 months old. Chris donated her well trained horse to our Program last summer in hopes he could help other horse people learn to ride.Chris wants Jackson to be a member of the team with this one thought – “If one horse like Jackson, can make more people, than just myself, happy and feel good, then he is worth everything”.
Chris feels blessed enough to possibly make a difference in some lives with a great program, great people and lovely horses.“I have had horses for years and have always been educating myself on the best possible way to have a relationship with horses and keep them healthy and in a good mind set while riding.I try and do what is right for the horse which has never failed me. I’ve studied Buck Brannaman for years and followed his teachings which have really worked for me. I love the Lord and have strong faith that carries me through any adversity I’ve ever faced in my life. God led my horse to you which led me to HoH”.
Sue add to our list of Amazing leaders at HoH and H&H. Sue has over 50 years of experience with horses. Sue has had horses much of her life and it rubbed off on her girls. She has horses of her own at home and has a long list of horse related love and experience. Sue was a 4H leader for several years, DC (District Commissioner) for Lion Country Pony Club and Secretary for LCPC for 10 years. Sue is also a Committee Member for the Special Olympics PA Summer Games Equestrian Events for 8 years.
Sue has volunteered with Horses of Hope and Heroes & Horses for eight years and has no intention of quitting anytime soon. In Fact, Sue started her own program in May 2023 called “The In-Hand Connection” program. Sue will be teaching about horses, how to groom them, how to lead them, thus connecting with them. This will be a ground working program, no riding. Sue believes in making a connection doesn’t have to be on the back of a horse and she wants to show you how.
Jodie is a loving mother and gram. Jodie has been a local business owner for ten years and grew up with horses and had a few of her own. She has worked with kids for many years and after moving back to area, she was looking for something to fill the void of horses and she learned about HOH. Jodie volunteered for a few years at lessons before taking on the Volunteer Coordinator position, while still helping with lessons. Jodie finds everyone and everything at the farm Very rewarding especially the love she has for all our participants. Everyone at the farm, to include the Boyz, make a huge difference on daily basis and Jodie is beyond grateful to be a part of this organization.
Laurie Bower is one of our horse handler volunteers. She is a retired experienced farm and animal nutritional consultant. She loves working with the people and horses at HOH.
Amanda is a loving mother of 3 children. Currently, Amanda is an ongoing caseworker with Lycoming County Children & Youth. In her previous career she had worked with children and adults with disabilities. During this time is when Amanda first came to the barn. Seeing what the horses did for her client amazed her and she just knew she had to be a part of such a wonderful program. Amanda has been volunteering with Horses of Hope many years now and never plans to leave. She always says she is a selfish volunteer because she gets so much out of volunteering with Horses of Hope, she not only does it for others but for her own pleasure as well. Amanda grew up with horses and definitely missed being in the barn. Amanda is currently the Feeder/Horse Health Coordinator for horses of hope.
Amy is retired, but currently volunteers as Outreach Coordinator with Horses of Hope. Amy was in the military for 10 years, after which she worked for 8 years with the Military Child Education Coalition on the Parent-to-Parent Teams on different military installations. Amy is married to Steven Kowatch, a retired soldier. They have been married for 25 years and have two children ages 19 and 22 and reside in Lock Haven.
Ex. Director of Horses of Hope Laurie Flanagan came to Clinton County to attend Lock Haven University in 1988. She attained her BS in Health and Physical Education, but instead of teaching, pursued a 10-year career overseeing group homes for individuals with special needs. After getting married and starting a family, she saw a need for additional services for the special people of Clinton County. With a lifetime love of horses and learning about the healing effects of therapeutic riding available in other areas of the state, she realized how good these services would be for the local community. With a lot of prayer, hard work and help from our amazing community, Horses of Hope started offering hope and healing in 2009.
Program Director of Horses of Hope and Founder of Heroes & Horses, Vickie Hancock was born and raised in Bellefonte and moved to the Lock Haven area in 1995 where she met her husband and started their full-time business. Together they have four kids, (of which two sons have served in the military), and 8 grandchildren. Coming from a family with a long military history, Vickie has dedicated much of her life to Veterans and military personnel in our community. In 2015, she expanded that dedication by founding Heroes & Horses. Since the founding of this Veteran’s program, many Veterans’ lives have been transformed and saved!