Board

Toni Erickson – Board Chair 

Somer Brady – Vice Chair and Business development director

Bonita Esquibel – Treasurer 

Amy Ronzani- Secretary

 

 

Steve Bennett – member

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.

Steve Bennett – member

Steve was born and raised in St Augustine Florida, where he lived until joining the Army in 1991. Steve was in for a total of 10 years and served in a variety of locations across the globe, up until 2001. Due to injuries whiles serving he was rated as a disabled veteran. Steve used his veterans benefits to earn a BS degree in Environmental Management.  He currently teaches wildland fire for Colorado State University, on military installations around the country who have wildland fire and urban interface issue. In between classes, Steve actively deploy on wildfires in a variety of leadership roles. He am married and has a 25-year-old daughter who still lives in Florida. Steve’s beautiful wife, Heather, is a realtor with The Colorado Real Estate Group.

“My interest in HTH is primarily rooted in the organization’s focus on teaching leadership. With so much of my work being rooted in leadership training and my own struggles with PTSD and finding purpose, I am equipped with a unique set of mental tools that could help these kids understand the concept of resistance and how to combat it through mindfulness and regaining their self-esteem. These kids need tools to help get themselves re-centered and find a sense of purpose. Whatever situation they are in, it is simply not their fault. They need to know that, and I want to help ensure that happens. “

 

Tina Wright – Equine Trainer/Coach and Caretaker Facilities Manager

 

 

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.

Somer Brady – Vice Chair and Business development director

Somer is a skilled business manager who serves as operations director for a large 24/7 veterinary hospital, a position she has held since 2007. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health Administration and is a certified Professional in Human Resources. She is determined to help others find their inner strength and allow that strength (rather than past or present struggles) define and drive them. 

As a teen and young adult Somer experienced firsthand the life changing effects of bonding with horses when she was fortunate enough to own two of her own. She believes those horses and their associated friendship, responsibility and trust, played a huge role in helping her develop the leadership skill set she has today. Somer is thrilled to be a part of Happiness Through Horses and to be able to help children find fulfillment in the same way she did. 

In her spare time, Somer spends as much time at our barn as possible! She lives in Frederick with her husband and two children. She has a special interest in nutrition, and runs a small business promoting health and wellness in her community. She enjoys camping, fishing, running, traveling, and experiencing life with her husband and kids by her side. 

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. 

Amy is the mother or four wonderful boys. She grew up being involved in 4H, mostly showing horses and participating in rodeos. Throughout Amy’s life she has been involved in many things ranging from daycare, to firefighting, to security, to medical.  She has always had a passion for horses and knows the joy and opportunities they provided for her. From a young age Amy knew that

She wanted to use horses to help children. “Not everyone who wants to be involved with them get the opportunity I was given.  I’ve always had the “Lotto dream” that I would buy a ranch and have horses available to any child that wanted or needed to be around horses”.
Amy came across HTH on Facebook and realized they were her lotto dream.  Amy began volunteering and absolutely loved and cherish everyone and everything this organization has to offer.  Amy is humbled to be part of the board and help make decisions that can help enrich the lives of not only the children in our community, but also the volunteers and of course the amazing animals.