Volunteering – Opening Eyes and Hearts!

Thanks to Ariat International, five deserving volunteers at equine charities across the United States receive a $270 Gift Card for Ariat Boots each quarter. Ariat International sponsors the EQUUS Foundation Champions program, which aims to stimulate and reward volunteerism on behalf of horses.

The EQUUS Foundation would like to congratulate the winners for the third quarter of 2023:

Lezah Hanna, Jo-Anne Helotes, River Rousseau, Michelle Sauers, and Nancy Spiesman. The EQUUS Foundation is grateful for volunteers like these who dedicate their time to keeping horses safe and healthy and aiding the charities and horses that serve people in need.

Lezah Hanna

Hasty’s Haven Inc,

Liberty, South Carolina

Lezah Hanna has volunteered for Hasty’s Haven since its founding in 2020. It was a great way to use her talents in photography and graphics to help horses in need. Lezah’s first task was to design and maintain the organization’s website. She has become Hasty Haven’s official photographer and visits the organization several times a month to take photos of the equine to post on the website and to share on socials.

“I’ve seen some of the worst cases of equine abuse come through Hasty’s. It’s really opened my eyes to the important work they are doing,” said Hanna. “Before I started volunteering, I was blind to the extent of abuse and neglect towards equine. I hope to continue supporting Hasty’s Haven as long as I am able.”

Jo-Anne Helotes

Healing with Horses Ranch

Manor, Texas

Jo-Anne Helotes has always had a passion for horses and rode whenever she could on trips throughout the world. In May of this year, on a trip to Mexico with her goddaughter, Helotes had a riding experience that left her knowing that horses had to be a part of her life.

“After that trip,” said Helotes, “I became completely horse-obsessed and knew that I needed find a way to work with horses.” She found Healing with Horses Ranch and started volunteering in September. “I am training to attain the PATH Intl. CTRI and ESMHL certifications and have never been happier!”

River Rousseau

Therapeutic Riding at Centenary (TRAC)

Hackettstown, New Jersey

River Rousseau is a sophomore at Centenary University studying Equine Training and Instruction. In addition to her hands-on work with horses as part of her studies, Rousseau has been volunteering with Therapeutic Riding at Centenary (TRAC) for the past year.

“I value every minute of it! I love doing anything with horses, on the ground and in the saddle, and particularly enjoy learning how humans and horses process stimuli together.”

Michelle Sauers

Rose of Sharon Equestrian School, Inc.

Glen Arm, Maryland

Michelle Sauer grew up riding and has always had a love for horses. What drew her to Rose of Sharon Equestrian School (ROSES) was the need to fulfill a volunteer requirement for high school graduation. The little miracles that she witnessed and the impact of the horses on every life that walked through the doors at ROSES stayed with her through college and as she found her career path.

Now, 15 years later, says Sauer, “I’m back with an even greater appreciation of the unique ability of horses to connect with humans. ROSES will always hold a dear place in my heart.”

Nancy Spiesman

Maryland Therapeutic Riding, Inc.

Crownsville, Maryland

Nancy Spiesman began riding when she was eight years old and has been fortunate to continue riding as an adult. She said she especially enjoys riding when wearing her Ariat boots and is looking forward to receiving her new pair.

“It has been my great joy and privilege to be associated with Maryland Therapeutic Riding since 2011, as a volunteer and board member,” said Spiesman. “Seeing children connect with horses while they expand their world, their abilities, and their community is a gift.”

Learn more about Champions here

ABOUT EQUUS FOUNDATION: The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, is the only national animal welfare charity in the United States 100% dedicated to protecting America’s horses from peril and strengthening the bond between people and horses. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: equusfoundation.org.

ABOUT ARIAT INTERNATIONAL: Ariat International, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of innovative performance equestrian footwear, apparel and belts. Featuring a patented technology designed to deliver stability, durability and comfort, Ariat pioneered the application of advanced athletic shoe technology into English riding boots and authentic Western boots. Ariat products are sold in a network of retail outlets throughout the world. For more information about Ariat products or for the Ariat retailer nearest you, contact Ariat at 800.899.8141 or visit ariat.com.

View release and photos online here

Contact: Lynn Coakley