Horses and Humans Research Foundation Welcomes Two New Board Members

Horses and Humans Research Foundation (HHRF) welcomes two new members to their board of directors.  Angie Francart, RN, BSN, MHA, RNFA, CNOR and Wade Johnson, MD recently joined the HHRF board bringing a variety of skills and expertise to support this equine assisted activity and therapy (EAA/T) research focused mission.

Ms. Angie Francart of Martinsburg, WV is a healthcare professional and equestrian for over 50 years.  She grew up riding and competing Arabian horses.  When Angie completed college she founded a non-profit thoroughbred rescue whose primary focus is to provide a soft landing for horses who can no longer race and or compete. She is also a safety coordinator for The United States Eventing Association and a professional athlete competing and training young riders in the discipline of eventing.  Ms. Francart is currently in the process of working towards her instructor and judging certification with The United States Eventing Association. When asked why the HHRF mission is important to her she shared, “The horse is a magnificent teacher for both physical and emotional balance. I often tell my students you must be 100% present when learning from the horse as it is a mind and body connection. You should listen to the horse with both your head and your heart. The horse’s ability to heal is multifaceted and has endless potential to all aspects of wellness if given the opportunity the partnership is extraordinary.”

Dr. Wade L Johnson of Williamsburg, Virginia is board certified in Psychiatry and Neurology. He practiced psychiatry in Newport News, Virginia for 28 years and is now enjoying retirement. Dr. Johnson began riding ponies at the age of six in Virginia.  By age seven, he was one of 12 riders on matched Shetland ponies who performed drills in local and state horse shows. Dr. Johnson last rode at age 21 when he was the mascot for the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. In 2006, Dr. Johnson heard a mother say at a therapeutic riding facility fund raising event, that her autistic daughter, at age 11, spoke for the first time in a therapeutic riding lesson while on a horse. He observed that was something he could not accomplish then, or today, as a psychiatrist. This was the beginning of his interest in the impact horses have on human illnesses. By 2010 he had been involved in two published studies regarding the impact of therapeutic riding on Autism.  As a result, he shares the same passion as other HHRF board members, to research the impact that horses have on human illnesses, physical and mental.

HHRF’s Executive Director, Ken Boyden, JD, EdD, states, “Both Dr. Wade and Ms. Francart bring to the HHRF board a breadth of expertise, wisdom, and compassion for both horses and humans. We are fortunate to have them join our board and help lead us as we pursue rigorous research in the field of human-horse interactions. The Horses and Humans Research Foundation benefits from our board leaders and from our financial supporters. If you are interested in being considered for Board nomination, or making a financial commitment to support or mission, please contact me at”

 Mission: Through sustained investment in rigorous research, HHRF serves as a catalyst to advance global knowledge of horse-human interactions and their impact on health and wellness.

Horses and Humans Research Foundation (HHRF) is dedicated to funding research to investigate the equine-assisted activities and therapies field. Since its founding, HHRF has awarded over $650,000 in professional research efforts led by fourteen research teams.

 HHRF is a non-endowed foundation dependent solely on donations. To make a donation and/or learn more about this and other Horses and Humans Research Foundation projects visit

Contact: Ken Boyden, JD, EdD, Executive Director, Horses and Humans Research Foundation
P.O. Box 23367
Chagrin Falls, OH 44022

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