THT’s Destination Hope
Horses Helping Humans, Humans Helping Horses…
“Herd dynamics and wellness are communicated within the emotional fabric threaded between horse and man, more important than a race, more impactful than a ribbon.” ~Kerry M Thomas
For as long as I have been involved in the horse industry, I have had a deep-rooted interest in the unique relationship between horses and humans. The most captivating part for me has always been the sentient horse and the very unique ways this communicates with the emotional parts of ourselves. Beyond any race track, indoor or outdoor arena, there lies our intrinsic relationship. Well above the highest rail, shining brighter than any show-sheen in the sun, the captivating depth found looking back through us from the eyes of the horse reflects all the honesty and wonder of a child’s imagination.
There are many analogous parameters that connect the human experience with those of the horse, from their idiosyncratic individual nature to the more social craving group dynamic. The partnership between human and horse has not come to fruition, (long before the horse was for sport, where companion was at the core of their role), by happenstance. The herd dynamics as a social template comfortably fits the elemental nature, of human nature. That relationship, though beset with the physical beauty of the animal, is harmonized with ourselves through the emotional enrichment with which they provide.
As we at THT Bloodstock continue to work to investigate, evaluate, analyze and endeavor to provide the equestrian industry with leading innovation in athletic services, there has been an even more profound rider for me personally. I have been both witness to and receiver of the beautiful and powerfully cathartic benefits that the interaction between human and horse can provide. Having a caregivers’ nature, I am the most satisfied with my life’s journey when doing all I can to help others in need, especially on an emotional level. As I work to grow my vision of THT Bloodstock, I not only want to continue to represent a view from the hoof as an industry service, but to take what we discover and help in the far more important venture of nurturing human wellness.
I have for many years been both familiar and directly involved with NPO’s that focus on the horse as an avenue for wellness. I’ve been in the trenches from creating interactive programs and developing training protocols to being on the board-of-directors. I know the incredible struggles experienced of trying to stay afloat. Struggles that are paradoxically juxtaposed with the incredible benefits provided to the clients and their families that make those efforts worth it. These benefits both current and untapped, far outweigh the burden of survival. I believe that a bright light of hope should be shown upon it and a central beacon of aid and assistance on multiple levels, should be created. A centralized location where need meets resource, this is my goal.
During my involvement I have come to realize that one of the best ways to offer aid to individual programs was to create a way that could provide assistance for many. A destination that is a resource of hope for the challenges faced. My ambitious long-term goal is that THT’s Destination Hope will become a go-to resource, providing both herd dynamic coaching/training & evaluation services for horses, therapists and volunteers. Educational seminars and clinics, assistance with events and fund raising, sponsoring horses, consulting on interactive program development and supporting program beneficiaries, all being available through this initiative. Advancing research in the multitude of ways that horses provide safe quarter for emotional challenges is an area I strongly wish to press forward with through Destination Hope. Horses assist greatly in team building, life skills, and problem solving through unspoken communication regardless of who you are or where you’re from, for horses speak not through the voice of vanity, but through the vulnerable tone of emotion.
I have written extensively about the benefits found within the herd dynamics and want to continue to advance the effort forward in defining new ways that the human/horse communicative relationship can enhance emotional & cognitive wellness innovation; benefitting total life experience. In addition, I plan to use my THT TV channel, A View From The Hoof, as a platform to showcase horse focused therapy programs and help bring their efforts to a broader audience.
The big question that has to be answered when one has big goals ahead of them is, how? It is the nature of human nature, to want instant gratification from that which we desire. It is also reality that that, is unlikely.
As much as I want to help everyone all the time, it is impossible to do. What is possible to do, is to plant the seed of a project that can grow into something that can be a source and a resource, of sanctuary. The emotional communication ability of horses has innumerable untapped benefits and, in my opinion, these should be explored. I want to up the game, if you will, in wellness therapies through advancements in what I define as Reflective Learning Therapy. Using the horses interpretive and associative aspect to identify emotional strain and mitigate the trauma and suffering it causes, allows for the creation of pathways that support cognitive and communicative wellness. I have learned much about how to do this, but there is so much more to learn and discover. Reflective Learning Therapy is exciting for me because
of all the potential it has in a multiplicity of areas such as facilitating emotional communication to process trauma, the recognition of our emotional-footprint, problem solving and relationship skills. The herd dynamics house a depth of emotional health and wellness potential, I intend to do all I can in order to advance them.
All programs need a launching pad, and as we work toward bringing THT’s Destination Hope to life and begin to define the scope of positive impact it can have, I decided to merge this with my passion for art and fashion. From these two were born THT Rugged Posh, a developing line of gear that can be found at the THT Store link on our website. The Rugged Posh line is and always will be a fluid and in-motion creative project directly supporting our Destination Hope initiatives because for me I never wanted “just another online store” for the sake of it, that just doesn’t light my fire. As Destination Hope really started to come in to vision for me after several years of nurturing along depth & clarity to Reflective Learning Therapy, creating a store to seed & support the larger project was appealing. THT’s Rugged Posh now had a higher purpose to serve.
Insert excitement! I am nothing if not impetuous once an idea I’ve been mentally chewing on for years suddenly has light shined upon it. I envision it’s potential, and my creative process is relentless in seeing that potential through. When you buy our products the proceeds from the store are channeled into lifting Destination Hope from idea to action. You are not just a contributor but you become a part of someone’s hope for tomorrow.
As THT’s Destination Hope grows we will be creating its own page. A platform where you can learn more about the programs, people & horses we’re collectively helping and to keep updated on the ongoing research and applications of Reflective Learning Therapy. If you’re interested in visiting our store you can do so by clicking the link below or clicking on the THT Store button on the website.
Horse therapy NPO’s, volunteers, therapists, program directors, researchers, universities and anyone who wants to be on a contact list to be informed about resources & information as they are made available and/or be a part of our efforts to further Reflective Learning Therapy, message us. If you have someone in mind you think might benefit from Reflective Learning Therapy and wish to speak directly with me about creating a specific interactive program for them, please reach out. we want to help. In addition, you can sponsor herd dynamic seminars and clinics, inquire about purchasing THT Herd Dynamic services for an NPO of your choosing, (see our Sport-Horse Services), sponsor a program specifically created for an individual in need, or even inquire about carrying Rugged Posh Gear in your store.
THT’s Rugged Posh Store link here: https://www.thtbloodstock.com/tht-store
Our Destination Hope Mascot
Our Destination Hope Mascot
The Story of Tink
As we kicked off our Destination Hope initiative, the idea of having a mascot for the program had been in the back of my mind for quite some time leading up to launch. A mascot that would both represent our work in the human/horse wellness arena and be fun for kids of all ages. Thanks to the great artistic talents of a local young artist, Sam, I was gifted an original piece for that purpose.
Why the name “Tink”?
As timing would have it, the mascot was ready to be introduced on an incredibly special day of the year, July 24th. I lost my father to cancer in May of 2002, a very difficult time for all of us as a family. My dad was an incredible human being, and though I am sad I do not have him today to help guide and advise me through life's ups and downs, I am thankful for having a beautiful childhood with memories and lessons abundant from my dad that I have carried forward in life. Growing up, he had a nickname for me, ‘Tink’.
My dad was the kind of man who never backed away from helping someone in need, he was a quiet but solid foundation not just for our family, but for many he had touched through the years. Creating Destination Hope was an idea that was, as I look back, nurtured by the example of my dad Ken. As a special, personal tribute to him, on the date of his birthday, it was clear what the name of the mascot was, and Tink was born, July 24th, 2022.
*To see more work from the artist, follow on Instagram @pip.cosplays