Victoria Acres Equine Facility, Inc. was founded in May of 2012, by Erin Pashley the Executive Director and is dedicated to making a difference within our community. Ms. Pashley has extensive equine experience and has personally seen the benefit of horses providing healing. She imagined the impact that equines could have on individuals of all ages and abilities with a concentrated effort. It became her goal to provide empowering, encouraging and educational equine assisted opportunities to serve people living in the Capital Region community with a wide range of Developmental Disabilities, Physical Limitations, Mental Illness and Trauma.
This vision has become our driving mission “Promoting Empowerment, Encouragement and Education through Equine Assisted Therapies” to a wide range of very diverse individuals. Everyone has a story, a challenge they are facing. The Board of Directors believes that dedicated work with equines, professionals, and trained volunteers can help people heal and achieve great goals. From the girl who desperately wants to do something her typical peers do but is too afraid to try to ride and fail, to the Veteran returning stateside from Active Duty with a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder who needs time and encouragement to heal, to the young boy that has been bullied and beaten down and needs self-esteem enhancement and a safe place, to the adolescent child living with Autism who benefits greatly from the challenge of working with horses and gains a sense of calm after visiting the barn, or the individual who relies on a wheelchair to take them places who is put on the back of a horse to feel a different means of freedom and their muscles being able to experience the gait of the horse which is so similar to the human gait, and to so many more who haven’t been met yet. Victoria Acres Equine Facility, Inc. provides hope, and the opportunity to change lives one individual at a time.
Victoria Acres Equine Facility, Inc. provides six distinct programs at this time. They are:
Horse Sense Program Path International Therapeutic Riding Horses4Heroes – Back In The Saddle
Able Bodied Riding Lessons Groundworking Lessons
All programs offered at our facility provide a complex and exciting means of therapy, which produces tangible physical, psychological, cognitive, social and educational benefits to those Victoria Acres serves. In February of 2014, with the help of Congressman Paul Tonko, Victoria Acres Equine Facility, Inc. became a designated 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. With the mentoring help of High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center in Old Lyme, CT, the Executive Director Ms. Pashley and Vice-President of the Board, Ms. Isabella began to lay the foundation for the programs. July 2015 Victoria Acres began to formally lease the physical barn space and 10 acres from the current owner. The process of separating the two properties has begun.
In 2012 Victoria Acres served approximately 15 individuals within our community. In 2013 Victoria Acres served approximately 30 individuals and began partnerships with Schenectady ARC and the American Red Cross of Northeastern, NY. In 2014 Victoria Acres served 60 individuals and formed additional partnerships with Catholic Charities and The Autism Society of the Greater Capital Region. To say the least the Programs are growing.
As of July, 2015 Victoria Acres has currently served approximately 125 individuals and this number continues to grow on a weekly basis with the addition of our Veteran’s Program, Horse4Hereos – Back in the Saddle Program through a collaboration with Horses4Heroes in Las Vegas, NV, as well as the Boys @ the Barn program.
At this time, Victoria Acres Equine Facility is home to 11 horses, 4 mini horses, 2 donkeys, 4 Billy Goats and 2 juvenile milk goats. Of those animals, 8 horses and 2 donkeys are currently being used for programming.
There are many dedicated volunteers who operate under the guidance of professional program staff and certified equine trainers to meet the individual needs of those we serve.
Reach out on our Contact Page to learn more about any of our programs, how to volunteer, or other ways you can get involved.