Susan Edwards, a native of Montana, has been a supporter of Chinook Horses since the inception of the organization. Susan met Abigail, Founder and Director, through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) program at Rocky Mountain College in 2014.
Soon after, Susan attended a fundraising event and was captivated to learn that direct contact with horses can give a sense of empowerment through unspoken communication to individuals with learning disabilities or those coping with traumatic experiences.
Susan’s enthusiasm and passion for the organization are displayed often, as she attends several in-person and online fundraising events. These funds provide individuals and families the opportunity to engage, learn and thrive outside of the classroom and traditional therapeutic environments.
Nora & Sully the donkey
In 2021, Susan enrolled her nine-year-old granddaughter, Nora, in the summer Leadership Program. Through the program, Nora developed her communication and leadership skills, and also found a useful technique that helps her stay calm by analyzing and controlling her emotions and feelings when she starts to feel overwhelmed or hyper. This has provided her the ability to communicate more effectively. Susan believes her granddaughter’s experiences are a prime example of how everyone could benefit by attending the program, no matter your age.
Maverick & Punkin the pony
One of Susan’s favorite memories is the day Chinook Horses opened its doors to Sully the donkey and a pony named Punkin. Abigail wanted to make sure the donkey could adequately interact with the kids while adjusting to the barn life, so Susan’s grandkids, Maverick and Nora, were up for the task.
Maverick’s calm demeanor helped Sully, the donkey feel safe and they bonded instantly. Sully would follow Maverick around as opposed to the other kids who he ran away from. By the end of the day, Maverick and Nora were dressing up Sully and Punkin in a tutu and braiding their hair. Both equines are new to the program and proved themselves ready when working with Nora and Maverick!
Chinook Horses is honored to have Susan as a supporter and advocate of the organization! Susan continues to lead her family and the community in teaching the meaning and importance of giving back.