Our staff is completely volunteer and receives no compensation
Joy Hinterkopf is a Certification Horsemanship Association certified riding instructor, in both English and Western, jumping, and an additional certification as an Instructor of Riders with Disabilities (IRD). She has owned horses since age 10. She
has taught private riding lessons, directed a camp riding program, and was head instructor in a riding program focused on kids with life challenges. She attended one of the top collegiate equestrian horse programs in the country at Houghton University and has competed in dressage and jumping. She breeds and trains sport horses. She has a passion for sharing her love for horses in a safe, positive and fun environment, and allowing others to experience the healing presence of being with a horse.
Hope Hinterkopf has been on horses since before she was born, (in her mama’s belly). She got her first pony at 2 and horses have always been in her blood. Raised and homeschooled by her horse crazy mom, Joy, Hope began training horses and donkeys at age 10. She has been involved in rescuing horses, training youngsters, barn chores, and assisting her mom with riding instruction. Hope loves speed - galloping, running barrels, jumping, but always keeps the welfare of her horse and safety as a priority. She has been competing successfully in barrels this summer and she has a horse themed Youtube channel called PocothePony.
She enjoys working with kids and sharing her knowledge and skill.
Our horses are who make this program possible. Each one is special with a unique personality.
Moses has a tragic, yet hope-filled story. He was nearly killed by a stallion attack in the abandoned herd he lived in. After being driven through barb wire fence, starving, and dying from the massive, infected wounds, we found him standing on the side of I-40 trying to find some bites of grass. See the page with our story and check out the youtube video link here Amazing Rescue Story | An Abandoned Herd of Horses | Poco The Pony - YouTube
Zinnia came from the same abandoned herd Moses did. She is probably his sister. Hope adopted her when the herd was rehomed. Zinnia gave birth to a colt on May 28, 2023, but sadly he only lived for 5 weeks. She is in training with Hope and may be ready for the program this fall.
Arion was born May 28, 2023 to Zinnia. He and Moses (and Zinnia) all have the same father who was the alpha stallion in the rescued herd. Sadly the inbreeding caused genetic issues and other health issues and he passed at 5 weeks of age despite our best efforts to save him. We grieve the loss of this precious life.
Poco was purchased several years ago by Hope as an unstarted 8 year old gelding who had never been ridden before. Now several years later, he is a wonderful beginner lesson horse, successful barrel racer, and jumper. He does great English or Western and is a favorite with kids. Check out his youtube channel at Poco the Pony.
Sparkle is a big, beautiful Gypsy Vanner. She has lots of personality and is a great beginner and intermediate lesson horse. She goes English or Western and our participants enjoy vaulting and riding her bareback.
Snowflake is a gentle giant. She is a Percheron who used to be a carriage horse. She is very mellow, and despite her large size, her calm and quiet demeanor helps calm even a nervous rider. She is kind and sweet and can be used for our bigger riders, up to 220 lbs.
Anya is a 19 year old Thoroughbred Dutch Warmblood. She is Joy's dressage horse. She was retired from show jumping years ago. Anya's dad was in the 2008 Olympics as a show jumper. She is great for teaching intermediate riders how to canter and basics of dressage movements. She is very sensitive and kind.