My name is Kaycee and I am 12 years old. I am in seventh grade at Sunset middle school in Longmont. I started with Happiness Through Horses in August 2016 when I was going through a rough time. My mentor Kim and the horses really helped me through it. I am a different person today than I was then because now I am more confident and a lot of that is because of my time with the horses. I bonded with one of the horses name Lavender and when I didn’t really feel like I had any good friends she was always there for me. Kim and Lavender always put a smile on my face. Kim is like family to me and I can talk to her about any problem and she always has good advice. I’m now doing much better and in more of a leadership role with Happiness Through Horses. I love all the time I get to spend helping out. Kim always finds time for me to come see the horses even though she has a very busy schedule. Happiness Through Horses really deserves the name it has. Thank you for helping me.

I moved to Colorado in January of 2017 with my son after an unwanted divorce. All of my family is here so I did the only thing I could and packed up my entire life and my son JD and moved out here.

I met Kim Swaney through my mom who talked with Kim about JD. At the time he was very shy and was becoming more distant. Kim said she would love to meet him and introduce him to the horses.

We took JD out to the ranch.  Even when he didn’t respond, she taught him how to approach the horses and how to talk to them. Before the end of that session, he was smiling, grooming the horses, and even talked to her. He began asking to go see Kim and the horses. So, we set up weekly or biweekly dates for him to go out to the horses. He became very excited to help groom and walk them and then he got to start riding and as soon as he got on that horse Freckles he was so happy. He was very stiff and a little nervous but with the help of Kim and practice he became a natural on the horse.

Within a few short months my son, who would barely talk to family let alone a stranger has become very outgoing and happy. If it wasn’t for the program Happiness Through Horses I don’t think he would be doing as well as he is.

As for myself, I have found that volunteering with the horses has helped me when I feel depressed. I never thought shoveling horse poop could make you feel good, but when you get done you feel like you accomplished something and the horses are so loving. My favorite horse is Razz and he is such a gentle horse. He lets me wrap my arms around him and hug him and is always happy to see my car pull up. Having to deal with divorce and uproot your whole life is very stressful and depressing at times but being able to go and be with the horses has helped me to feel happiness and a purpose.  Most of all, it has helped my son JD

Catrena A.