In 2013, SMART's Hope Reins! program was created and named by our wonderful volunteer and friend, Shari Elliott. It is in her honor and memory that the Shari Goldwyn Elliott Memorial Scholarship Fund was established--and it is supported by her family, many friends and SMART volunteers who loved her so much.
SMARTís Hope Reins! program is designed to enhance the quality of life, physical strength, and emotional health of breast cancer survivors. The program offers an all encompassing equine assisted activities and horsemanship program that includes learning about and participating in the daily care of our horses, leading the horse and leadership skills, preparing the horse to be ridden and driven and learning to ride and drive. Here is what the participants of our pilot program had to say about their experience:
It is a joy and a privilege to be part of the Hope Reins! program. I look forward to it each week. It is a wonderful way to learn and grow past my everyday struggles with breast cancer and interact with other women living beyond the confines of breast cancer. What an inspiring program.
SMART has been instrumental in my treatment for stage IV breast cancer, as well as overcoming personal obstacles I have had all of my life! I have found that the bonding with these beautiful horses is very healing for me whether I am grooming, riding or driving. I can feel 'normal' when I am there and I get so excited the night before, I can barely sleep! Amazing program and God Bless SMART for giving women in treatment this fabulous opportunity.
Spending time with Norman and other horses at SMART takes away sadness, depression, taunting thoughts about the cancer. Feeling good about self, smiling, and energizing from their unconditional love is what makes my life happier
How grateful I am to be a part of this program. I wish this for others. It is such a wonderful feeling to get away from your cares and let your mind and body move forward. Iíve met and enjoy the company of a great group of gals. It is so rewarding to hear their laughter and see their smiles as we all let our cares go and relax as we learn about our horses, who seem to know more about us. The mounts are all well trained and the instructors are the BEST. They, too, know what we need to encourage us to be strong in body and spirit. Again, Iím very thankful for this program and all who make it possible. God Bless.
We gratefully acknowledge the following individuals for providing financial support for the Hope Reins! program:
Jesus Mares ~ Marlane Richter ~ Diana & Bob Staab
SMART’s ultimate goal is to open the Hope Reins program up to individuals of all ages who have been diagnosed with any form of cancer. Please contact us if you are interested in more information about this program or would like to provide financial support! We’d love to hear from you!
941-322-2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org