Horses and Humans Research Foundation (HHRF) Board Members are Active in the Equine Industry

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Horses and Humans Research Foundation Board Members have a lot to celebrate this month.  The board enthusiastically welcomed Tara Mahoney, to the board.  Tara is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. She majored in Neuroscience and holds a Master’s in Counseling with certifications in Forensic Psychology and Veteran Behavioral Health.  Since 1996, Tara has counseled in diverse settings including a correctional facility, NYC homeless shelter for veterans, in-patient psychiatric hospital, Vet Center, Family Drug Court, DBT Out-Patient Clinic and private practice.

Her current role as CEO and Co-Founder of Equine Immersion Programs (EIP) is the highlight of her career. She is honored to serve those who have served- veterans, active duty service members, law enforcement/first responders as well as their families and supports. EIP provides trauma informed equine assisted learning to heal the Invisible Wounds of War (PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, Military Sexual Trauma and Moral Injury).

Tara shares that she “is proud to support HHRF’s mission to fund and share research as it is vital for the field to explore efficacy and best practices.”

HHRF Executive Director, Dr. Pebbles Turbeville stated, “We are so excited to have Tara on the HHRF board. She has been and still is a great asset on the HHRF education committee and has been our moderator for some of our webinars. A true advocate.”

HHRF is also thrilled to announce that Octavia Brown, Ed.M, D.H.L. received the EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award at the Pegasus Awards Dinner during the US Equestrian Annual Meeting in January. The EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation established the Humanitarian Award to honor a member of the equestrian world who has devoted considerable personal time to making the quality of life of our equine partners paramount.

For over 50 years, Octavia has been a pioneer in the development and growth of therapeutic riding in the United States, as well as internationally. She has dedicated her life to ensuring accessibility to horses for the disabled. A founding board member of the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, now known as PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International), she also served as president of the Federation of Riding for the Disabled International and Horses in Education and Therapy International.

Octavia is now serving on the HHRF Board for a second time since its founding in 2004.  Dr. Pebbles Turbeville, HHRF Executive Director stated “Octavia brings such value to our board and chairs our active education committee. It is an honor to work with her and see how she is helping move programs forward. She is always up for a challenge and is a very global thinker about the EAS field.”

Last but not least, HHRF encourages everyone to check out our own Dr. Mark Crisman’s upcoming webinar “New Advances with Equine Diseases- Lyme, EHV, PHF, and More!”   To register for this free webinar sponsored by Rutgers on February 8th visit  Dr. Crisman is a Senior Veterinarian, Equine Technical Services with Zoetis.

Contribute to HHRF today and help ensure that EAS research and education continues. For more information about HHRF, to view pictures and videos and learn more about our board members visit the website

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.

CONTACT: Pebbles Turbeville, HHRF Executive Director, or