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I was resistant to the idea of coming to Stirrup Hope at first. I wondered if more “therapy” was really something I needed. I can resoundingly say that I am so glad I decided to take a chance on Stirrup Hope despite my initial resistance. First, this place isn’t strictly therapy but it is therapeutic. The farm is so peaceful. The facilitators are wonderful both individually and as a team. They are incredibly attentive and always ensuring that each visit remains safe from start to finish. Then there’s the animals, I love every single one of them. The horses and donkeys are so relational that I refer to them as my friends. Each horse is a large animal but they are all so gentle. The mini donkeys come up to me now and give me a hug each time I sit around them. I have been so impacted by it all that whenever a stressful situation comes up in my life my brain instinctively thinks, “I need to go hang out with my buddies.” The noise of life quiets when I’m at the farm. The staff at Stirrup Hope have worked to create and maintain a welcoming, peaceful environment. I think one of my favorite aspects of Stirrup Hope is that no one, both the humans and the animals, is being disingenuous. I know what to expect each time I come which is yet another invaluable quality. I wouldn’t have believed you had you told me when I first started coming that I would genuinely grow to love Stirrup Hope and also end up writing a testimonial to tell everyone how great this place is. Yet, here I am happily writing a testimonial to tell people and to tell you how great this place really is."


My visit to Stirrup Hope was the first time that my mind was able to be still in a long time. I wasn't waiting for someone to need me, or worrying about the next task that I needed to accomplish. As the mother of an adoptive child that faces daily trauma based fears, I know that I need to care for myself in order to appropriately be available for him and my family.
My mind was completely at rest and I was less anxious. I just existed and it was such a gift.

Laura T

Stirrup Hope is for children and adults of all ages and needs. My children benefit from the time spent with the horses and being outside. I come away less anxious and overwhelmed as well. It is a blessing.

                                                         I love Stirrup Hope!

     I personally love horses and the peace I feel around them is very emotionally comforting.

       Winston Churchill once said, "The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man."     

  I have read that horses have a high level of emotional intelligence and can read our emotions.

                  The first time that I visited, I felt it was a "secret gold mine of the Pee Dee".


Michelle H

Megan B

Stirrup Hope is a breath of fresh air to the Florence community. From the moment you drive through the gates, you can feel a sense of calmness. [...] The moment our son met the animals, a huge smile appeared on his face. He loved petting horses and feeding the donkeys and ducks. The sensory boards along the wooded trails are absolutely amazing. I'm so thankful that there is a finally a place that children with trauma or disabilities can go find their happy.
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