About Us

Our Mission

Horses4Heroes mission is to provide affordable outdoor recreational programs for children, ages 2 to 17, whose parents are Active Duty service members, Veterans, First Responders and to offer mental health and wellness programs with horses to veterans and First Responders, recovering addicts, survivors of domestic abuse, violence, trauma and trafficking and at-risk youth and teens.

Our Mission

Our History

Serving local heroes and their families since 2006

 

In the aftermath of 9/11 and with war raging in Iraq and Afghanistan, Sydney Knott and her family wanted to show their support for local service members and First Responders.  Horse crazy horse lovers the Knotts decided to open up their small ranch for free horse rides.  Weekly visits and impromptu Thursday night barbecues eventually evolved into non-profit Horses4Heroes!

 

Motivated by the Middle East conflicts and largescale deployments, separating families for months at a time, there also was a local tragedy that crystallized the mission and vision for the non-profit.  In February 2006, LVMPD Sgt Henry Prendes was killed during a domestic violence call.  His daughter attended Faith Lutheran along with the Knott daughters.  The community’s outpouring of grief and support was profound and impressive.  Yet Ms. Knott thought that it would be just as impressive to show support for officers and their families while they are alive, to say “thank you” in person for their service and sacrifice.

 

Today, Horses4Heroes’ mission remains to serve local heroes and their families, including Active Duty service members, Veterans, Law Enforcement Officers, Fire Fighters/EMTs, teachers and healthcare workers, as well as those in the community who need a hand up, not a hand out.  Since the organization’s founding in November 2006, Horses4Heroes has introduced more than 10,000 men, women and children to horses here in Las Vegas and throughout the country via its network of affiliates.  Horses are known for their calming effect and their ability to reduce stress, anxiety, and feelings of loneliness and depression.

 

In Las Vegas, the non-profit operates The Ranch Las Vegas, a 2-25-acre ranch which serves as its headquarters and flagship facility.  Here a small staff of part-time riding instructors, aptly supported by a dedicated group of volunteers, runs a busy schedule and cares for 20 horses, five miniature horses and a barnyard of farm animals including goats, pot-bellied pigs, rabbits, a sheep, a llama, a miniature steer, and Jinx, The Rooster!

 

Over the past 17 years, horses have made a difference in thousands of lives.  During the summer of 2020, a difficult summer for local law enforcement, Horses4Heroes hosted Summer Evenings at the Ranch, every Saturday for seven weeks.  These families were able to visit the ranch, enjoy a light dinner and watch their kids ride horses, all in the safety and privacy of the fenced ranch.  The outings were described as a much-needed opportunity to “pump the brakes.”

 

Providing a safe place for children, teens and adults is an important part of the mission.  The Ranch Las Vegas often is described as a “YMCA with horses.  Here the organization provides family friendly activities from horseback riding lessons to horse rides to interactions with miniature horses and farm animals, as well as archery, corn hole, and horseshoes or opportunities to simply hang out under a shade tree.  Summer Camps are popular at the ranch for ages 4 to 12.  High school and college students serve as camp counselors during eight, one-week camps.  No School Day camps are offered throughout the year, whenever the kids are out of school. 

 

Programs like camps, riding lessons, birthday parties and field trips serve the community as well as generate revenue to support operations and fund free sessions for Veterans and First Responders with PTSD.  The Ranch’s fixed monthly expenses exceed $25,000.  Donations account for 25% of the monthly revenue, the rest is generated through programs.  Proceeds also support free and low-cost workshops for Equine Therapy program participants.

 

Horses4Heroes is proud of its track record and is grateful to the support of its members, volunteers, agencies and community partners.  Over the years, Horses4Heroes’ community partners have included Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada, Shade Tree, Crossroads of Southern Nevada, Clark County School District, The Lionheart, The Nestled, the VA of Southern Nevada, Heroes in the Rough, Nevada Department of Veterans Services, Junior League of Las Vegas, and local charter schools.

Why Horses4Heroes

When we first introduced Horses4Heroes to Las Vegas in 2006, we received an anonymous email from Nellis AFB.  It touched our hearts then and strengthens our resolve today to fulfill our mission to serve these local heroes and their families.

“””””

“Children that have parents deployed might need a friend. There are some good friends and there are bad friends, but the best friend in the world is a horse.  Horses can listen to you and really make you happy if you are down. Some kids may have a hole in their heart from their parent’s absence, and the horse could fill that hole with his love.  You may not know it but this organization means more to these kids than you may think.

“Now for the parents who are deployed. Some parents might not worry about their kids because they are so worried about getting killed and some parents worry about their kids all the time and how they are doing and if they are being taken care of.  For the parents that worry about their kids this organization may help. They will know that their kids are enjoying themselves and maybe aren’t thinking about the war and the welfare of their parents. Since they are worrying less about their kids it will help them fight better and give them a better chance at staying alive.  Now H4H is helping protect our country.”

Anonymous Email sent to Horses4Heroes from Nellis AFB

Why horses4heroes

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