Why We Do It


The LEAD with Horses mission:  Positive change and personal growth through horses; LEAD with Horses promotes Leadership, Education, and Active Development for the children & youth of Western Nevada.


Philosophy


LEAD promotes Leadership, Education, & Active Development through hands-on activities with horses. Horses provide the catalyst for positive change and personal growth.

Every child deserves a chance to thrive. Children need opportunities to explore, attain, and reach beyond their potential.

LEAD nurtures and cultivates the strengths and abilities of our children and youth – to realize the promise of individuals and the collective community. The capacity for positive growth and development is tremendous during childhood and adolescence. Unfortunately, many youth do not thrive in traditional educational and therapeutic settings, and their development is inhibited.

LEAD combines proven educational and therapeutic approaches with the power of horses to support, encourage, and empower young people in Washoe County and surrounding communities. Using a strength-based, experiential approach, LEAD provides structure and guidance to assist young people in finding their own solutions and inspiration.

We bring children, youth and families out of the classroom or the office and into a new environment with limitless opportunities for learning and development. LEAD offers opportunities to develop wide-ranging skills that can be carried over to other contexts through equine-assisted activities.

LEAD programs provide an emotional, physical, and intellectual experience. Horses build a stronger sense of self. Equine assisted activities are experiential and project-based. Put simply, clients learn by doing!

 


A Brief History of LEAD with Horses


Since its inception, LEAD has offered quality educational programming to children and adolescents, provided supplemental therapeutic activities for clients of mental health professionals, and forged new community partnerships. In fall 2015, LEAD transitioned to non-profit status to better serve the community. We envision serving more foster children, youth at risk, and other underserved populations.

LEAD with Horses realizes a dream to bring horses and children together for positive growth and development. LEAD was founded in 2013 by Casey Wold and Jeane Spada-Allgood. Casey and Jeane met as therapeutic equine instructors with a mental health agency. They created LEAD after the agency ended the horse program, but the inspiration to create LEAD came long before then.

Casey and Jeane worked in traditional education and mental health settings. While recognizing the importance of this work, they could see that not all children thrive in these environments. Their experiences with horses and humans demonstrated that equine assisted activities are a powerful and effective means to reach those who may be struggling in traditional settings. As horse owners and enthusiasts, Casey and Jeane understand first hand the power of horses as teachers, companions, and guides. As instructors they recognize the horse’s ability to provide avenues for growth and development to children and youth.


Who can benefit from equine assisted activities?


Anyone can benefit from educational and therapeutic equine programs! Families, couples, adolescents, and children can all benefit from a quality "horse therapy." NO previous horse experience is required. LEAD programs are ideal for building leadership and social skills and for children and adolescents with a variety of emotional and behavioral challenges.

Equine assisted activities can address a wide range of mental health and human development challenges, including:

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Anxiety

Eating Disorders

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Grief

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Depression

Relationship Problems & Communication Needs

Anger Management

Behavioral Problems

This experiential approach to skill development is excellent for:

 

Communication

Social Skills

Leadership

Resilience

Planning & Problem-Solving

Sensory Integration

Emotional and Behavioral Regulation

Cooperation

Decision Making

Coping Skills