ABOUT EQUINE EDUCATION FOUNDATION (EEF)
Expand mental health care through equine therapy to help heal communities.
Provide a safe therapeutic space for mental health individuals to heal and grow.
Equine Education Foundation (EEF) was founded in 2003 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization offering equine-therapy programs to children and adults suffering from physical and mental health ailments. Their specialty is Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), a proven therapeutic modality including an equine specialist, a mental health professional, and a horse. Based on the EAGALA Model, EEF has helped many suffering from mental illness, including depression and PTSD. They have a Veterans Program that provides free service to those in need, made possible by generous donors.
“At EEF, we show up every day ready to make a positive impact in the lives of our clients. We understand that the decision to reach out and ask for help can seem monumental, and we strive to make that powerful decision one that our clients will never regret. Too many people are unnecessarily slipping through the cracks, while the help they need is here.”
– Dave Long, President
As with all things, EEF has evolved its mission and purpose over the years but never lost sight of its primary initiative: To improve people’s lives through the power of horses.
In 1995 Dave Long was stationed in Colorado Springs, CO with the 4th Infantry Division when he met his future wife Maria Long, who was training for the 1996 Summer Olympics on the National Modern Pentathlon Team. In 2003, they founded EEF as a riding program. Soon after, they were approached by Colorado College students about forming a club team for their school. Within a year, and through the generous donations they received from the community, the Colorado College Equestrian Team was formed, and it’s still thriving today.
A year later, Dave and Maria moved to New Jersey to be closer to family, also relocating EEF but shifted its focus to Therapeutic Riding (TR). They served autistic children, those with sensory-motor deficit disorder, and other afflictions that were helped with close horse interactions. Dave and Maria enjoyed seeing their client’s amazing transformations, coming out of their shells and learning to enjoy a newfound joy in life.
While EEF still utilizes TR in some of its programs, the current focus is Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP). After attending an emotional EAP training event, Dave and Maria knew EAP is what they needed to offer to their clients. Its ability to help people suffering from all types of mental illnesses far exceeded anything they’ve offered in the past. And as a veteran, Dave experienced first-hand the positive power of horses as a healing modality for PTSD.