Would you like to sponsor a UECP Session?
Sponsorship contributions can be paid via PayPal in one of two ways (please note "UECP" in the comments either way!):
Directly to Unbridled, LLC:
Checks made out to Unbridled LLC with "UECP" in the note line can also be mailed to 5743 Sauldam Road, Ravenel, SC 29470.
Through our partnering organization, Sweet J's Clubhouse 501(c)3 (Federal EIN 87-2424727), for charitable tax purposes.
The average UECP session lasts 2-3 hours and includes up to five participants. The total cost per session is $300.
Any sponsor contributing $3,000 or more annually (covering the cost of 10 sessions) will qualify as a Herd Leader and be invited to participate in a customized equine-inspired experience of their own at the Unbridled farm.
Note: Participants in the Urban Equine Connection Program are required to write a note of appreciation and lessons learned at the end of their session to be shared with the sponsors whose generosity make this amazing program possible.
Click here to order Kimberly Mill's book:
1. To help inner-city or suburban children and families who don't typically have access to horses learn about the natural lives and emotional intelligence of horses in a safe, welcoming environment. No riding involved.
2. To nurture empathy, as well as love and respect for the natural world, self and others, by facilitating paradigm-shifting small-group experiences with horses. The power of this program lies in the magic of bringing horses and humans together who (individually and collectively) share the struggle of learning to cope effectively with challenging life circumstances.
3. To promote authentic connections built on compassion, honesty, listening, freedom of choice, freedom of expression, healthy boundaries, mutual curiosity and a deep sense of wonder and exploration.
Alternative to Traditional Therapy
Formal therapy and counseling are often seen as taboo within the UECP's target population, and this perception gets perpetuated well beyond the family unit. In many cases, the church is considered the only safe place for individuals and families to go for help. And women, across various cultures, often carry the burden of being the glue that keeps everyone (and everything) together. Mistrust of experts who don’t come from within one’s own community (i.e. ‘’We don’t talk to outsiders about our family problems”) is a major obstacle when it comes to getting needed support for mental and emotional health. Any activity that “suggests” therapy is often met with resistance. Experiential learning with horses is NOT therapy, but it is very therapeutic!
4. To facilitate organic interactions that are equally respectful and healing for the humans and the horses.
Author Kimberly Mills
& daughter JaKiyah
The Urban Equine Connection Program (UECP)
A Sacred Space for Vulnerability
One of the most important factors when facilitating transformational experiences, especially for youth, is creating a safe, relaxing and calm environment where vulnerability feels natural. Horses and other animals can really help with this.
The Unbridled Farm is not your typical equestrian establishment or business facility. It’s Kim Hallin’s private residence and the three special horses who provide the foundation for The Urban Equine Connection Program are members of her family. The only “job” these horses have is to be authentic, to honor their true nature and to share their innate gifts for connecting with the participants at a highly intuitive level.
Any experience of stepping outside of one's normal routine and comfort zone, or confronting and overcoming fears is deeply empowering. When a child (or adult) can also realize that hesitations they’ve been harboring are based largely in misunderstanding and misperception, they begin to recognize the benefit of questioning preconceived notions and beliefs about other things too. This opens up a whole new world of possibility, particularly when the participant can be gently encouraged to look for potential in other places they might never have imagined it could exist – including within themselves and others.
When horses are given the autonomy, freedom of choice and opportunity to express their true nature authentically, they behave very differently than when they feel constrained, controlled or manipulated. The same is true for us. When a person of any age witnesses and experiences this different way of being - both with horses and with themselves - a lightbulb of monumental proportions gets turned on.
And from there, the possibilities are endless…
In almost all cases, newsworthy images, stories and photographs of horses create some level of misunderstanding about horses. And yet, most people hold a deep fascination for horses and are eager to learn more, even if they feel nervous or afraid. Unfortunately, horses are not easily accessible to people living without significant financial means or some personal connections within the horse industry.
Meanwhile, just about every horse living in captivity has experienced challenging situations, inconsiderate handling and unnatural (i.e. stressful) living conditions doled out by human hands. Rarely do horses have the opportunity to interact with humans in any capacity other than as beasts of burden, sport or hobby. It’s truly beautiful to see the trust, confidence and curiosity that blooms when individuals of both species come together in friendship!
When participants visit Unbridled, they quickly recognize they have arrived somewhere special. Children are always accompanied by a familiar, trusted and responsible adult. Kim graciously welcomes the guests into her home and introduces her animals as beloved members of the family, all of which helps to create an intimate atmosphere and feelings of safety.
Click her to order Kim Hallin's book:
Most urban and suburban children and families today never have the opportunity to interact directly with horses. Their perceptions about horses (and other large animals) are often based in images portrayed in movies or on TV, in news stories or through personal accounts offered by friends and family members who’ve had (sometimes frightening or traumatic) experiences with large animals. In some cases, direct personal experiences with mounted police or interactions with working carriage horses in downtown settings have created inaccurate perceptions of the true nature of horses - and our relationships with them.
Kim Hallin would like to express love and appreciation to her co-founding partners for the Urban Equine Connection Program: