Friday Standing Ovation, Presented by Ovation Riding

This week’s honoree: The Bear Spot Foundation.


Photo courtesy of The Bear Spot Foundation.

Each Friday Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization that is doing good work in the horse world. This week we salute The Bear Spot Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides therapeutic services to children, adolescents and their families.


Based out of Bear Spot Farm in Concord, Massachusetts, the Foundation has been using Equine Assisted Psychotherapy to help children and young adults with severe depression, anxiety and eating disorders for more than eight years.

“The Foundation’s mission is to bring the profound presence of the horse – the trust he can engender, the joy he can bring and the sense of collaboration and accomplishment that comes from working with such a powerful animal – into a directed therapeutic program. Here, client and therapist draw upon the capability and talents of the living horse.

“The Foundation is distinct in the field in the way in which it combines these elements.

Jane Karol, Psy.D. is the Foundation’s executive and program director. She is a psychotherapist with extensive experience treating children and adolescents as well as an accomplished dressage rider, trainer, instructor and competitor. In this video she discusses the Foundation’s unique programming:

Click here to read some short stories Jane has posted about the experiences of the children and adults that come to Bear Spot.

2015 is expected to be a big year for The Bear Spot Foundation, both in light of recent changes and new goals for advancing the program.

“We just retired our two lead therapy horses to Tennessee and are looking to bring a new horse into the program. In addition, the foundation is currently conducting research using an EEG to explore what is happening in the brain when we ride so we can better understand why EFP is a powerful therapeutic modality. This year we plan to extend the use of the EEG on the horses so as to explore what is going on in their brains as we work with them. Our hope is to enter into the emotional and physical world of the horse with scientific precision. This should help our relationship with horse be guided by a clear understanding of what they are experiencing, increasing our capacity for empathy in our work with them.


Photo courtesy of The Bear Spot Foundation.

The Bear Spot Foundation’s work is made possible through the support of individuals and foundations, and right now they could use our help. The Foundation has just five days remaining in an IndieGoGo campaign to raise funds to support the foundation’s therapeutic services, rescue horses and research. Click here or follow the link below for full details about this fundraising effort, including a detailed explanation of how funds will be used, the impact it will have on the Foundation, and gifts of gratitude for those who donate.

We applaud The Bear Spot Foundation for the great work they do and encourage Horse Nation readers to visit their website and Facebook page to learn more.

Go Riding!

Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.


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