Board

Toni Erickson – Board Chair 

Bonita Esquibel – Treasurer  

 

Marian Hobbs – member

Shauna White – member

Kim Swaney

Founder/ Executive Director

Kim grew up in a military family, frequently moving from place to place until she was 12 years old with an older sister, and a special needs little brother who has since passed. Settling in Colorado was a blessing as this was where she eventually met her husband, Chris, of 29 years. Together they are raising 3 beautiful, smart and talented daughters. Kim is compassionate and heart centered.

Kim is the founder of Happiness Through Horses. She finds the work challenging and very rewarding. Her life and professional experiences with children solidifies her passion to spending life dedicated to the well being of children, and young adults in her community.  We started this foundation to bring much needed resources to families that normally would not have the opportunities to heal and learn through horses. This work allows Kim to bring her favorite things (Horses) together with her calling and passion which is kids. Our work with at risk youth has just begun. “We are so excited to be on the path to changing many lives for the better that will not only impact families but whole communities.”

Kim has worked in many professional worlds, banking, retail, childcare, veterinary assistant, Property inspection and preservation and held many nonprofit volunteer positions.  Her life experiences have helped her become an expert in the field of youth development. In 2016 Kim was honored to be nominated and chosen as one of the Women of Vision through The Women of Influence in northern Colorado. In her spare time, Kim likes to spend quality time with her family and friends traveling and creating life experiences. Being Philanthropic at heart, Kim believes strongly in collaboration and being involved in various ways to be of service to other people with challenges in life.

Bonita Esquibel – Treasurer 

Bonita grew up in Minnesota. She was born in Omaha, Nebraska and moved several times before landing in Minnesota.  As a proud and engaged mother, she raised three of her own children and four step-children. She studied to be a paralegal. She has an Associate’s Degree and was employed by an attorney for over seven years. Later she became a computer tech working for the Forest Service, Scottrade, and other businesses. In September 2015 she opened a limousine business in Longmont, Colorado.
When Bonita met Kim Swaney and Happiness Through Horses in February 2017, she fell in love with its mission of helping vulnerable children who are truly our future. She has abundant compassion for our children today who are faced with numerous difficult challenges. She also adores horses and has expressed, “I have always been an animal lover and now even more so with the horses. I never thought that cleaning the horse’s pens could be so therapeutic, but it is; and it’s such a good feeling knowing that the horses are being taken care of and enjoy having a clean pen.” Bonita loves lending HTH her expertise with computers and she volunteers in many other indispensable capacities.

Marian Hobbs – Lifelong Horse woman. Owner and director of Learning Unlimited Tutoring located in Longmont

 

Toni Erickson – Board Chair

Toni Erickson, MSW, LCSW is a psychotherapist, life and relationship coach, educator, and writer. Currently, she is very excited to be part of Happiness Through Horses serving as Chair of the Board of Directors.

Between the ages of eight and thirteen Toni’s family owned seven horses which were boarded about an hour’s drive from her home in Salt Lake City. This began her love affair with these wonderful animals. Her favorite horses were Peanuts, her very own brown and white Paint, and Sport, a retired race horse of her father’s.

Toni raised four outstanding children who now have families of her own. Many of those years were as a single parent. She received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Utah and worked as a medical social work at the University of Utah Hospital.

In 1990 she married her wonderful husband Eric and moved to Boulder where she has had a private practice for the past 28 years. Professionally, Toni has worked with children, couples, and families. She was a mediator and child custody evaluator/special advocate for several years; and she also created and taught a program for divorcing parents for over six years called “Hope for Our Children.”

Now semi-retired, she has an opportunity to pursue many of her varied interests which include: family, music, writing, art, pottery, nature, gardening, reading, her spiritual path, and of course horses.  Her book, Keeping Romance Alive After Children Arrive, was printed and released in early 2017.

Shauna White – member

When Shauna met Kim Swaney, the two of them discovered a great desire to combine their love of horses and their longing to help children. And so, in 2013 they co-founded Happiness Through Horses.  Shauna grew up in Cheyenne Wyoming and later moved to Longmont CO. In 2013 she graduated from Skyline High School and in 2017 she graduated from Colorado State with a degree in Agricultural Education.
She loves sharing her passion for horses with people of all ages. From a very young age Shauna would find any way she could to work with and be around horses, from cleaning stalls, scrubbing waters, riding, driving, and as her experience grew giving lessons and training. Her love for them led her to rescue a Mustang horse that was hundreds of pounds underweight and untouched by humans. She trained Capri to be her “partner in crime and teacher to all.” Presently she lives in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin with Capri, her boyfriend Jaden, and her border collie Piper. She works as an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor, and is working to start another chapter of Happiness Through Horses. Her goal is to make a positive difference in one life every day.