Heroes On Horseback
PO BOX 3678
BLUFFTON SC 29910-3678
Contact Information
Organization DBA (Doing Business As)
Organization DBA
Address PO BOX 3678
BLUFFTON , SC 299103678
Telephone (843) 757-5607
Fax (866) 292-0834
E-mail info@heroesonhorseback.org
Projected Annual Revenue $199,000.00 (2016)
Mission Statement Heroes on Horseback enriches our community and the lives of individuals with special needs by providing equine assisted activities and therapy in an effective, compassionate environment.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Robert Lee
Board Chair Karen Norwood
Board Chair Company Affiliation Heroes on Horseback
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2000
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
Revenue vs Expenses Area Graph - All Years

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Heroes on Horseback enriches our community and the lives of individuals with special needs by providing equine assisted activities and therapy in an effective, compassionate environment.
Background
Heroes on Horseback was founded in May 2000 by two dedicated and hard-working Hilton Head residents that had a passion to partner disabled children and adults with horses. The therapeutic horseback riding program began as a pilot program with 5 participants and 25 volunteers. The success of the pilot program led to the formation of a permanent Board of Directors which began planning for full operation in the fall of 2000. Enthusiastic consent to operate from Rose Hill Equestrian Center was obtained and suitable horses were available for Heroes on Horseback use. Adaptive equipment was purchased and the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association provided standards for Heroes on Horseback to follow. Volunteers were recruited and training was offered to educate volunteers on their role in the therapeutic riding session. Heroes on Horseback served 31 participants in 2001, including a Special Education class from the Hilton Head Elementary school. Heroes on Horseback had 123 volunteers by the year’s end.
Today, Heroes on Horseback is serving over 225 special needs individuals annually, including the Beaufort and Jasper County school districts. 
Heroes on Horseback’s (HOH) purpose is to enrich the lives of special needs individuals in the Lowcountry through equine assisted therapy. During the last year, HOH served children and adults with disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy, downs syndrome, ADD and ADHD, learning disabilities, muscular dystrophy, speech impairment, multiple sclerosis, stroke, brain trauma, and many others. The organization is now in its fifteenth year of operation. During the school year, HOH provides special needs children with therapeutic riding and associated activities five days per week, with additional therapeutic riding programs for six weeks in the summer. During the school year, HOH works with the Special Olympics program to serve most of the special education students in the Beaufort county school district. Our program consists of therapeutic riding, natural horsemanship, and equine-inspired arts and crafts, which together provide the special needs child with a combination of physical, emotional, and intellectual empowerment. Additionally, we provide Saturday programming for children not involved in the public school district. Special needs adults, including disabled veterans, also participate in equine-assisted therapeutic riding during the week.
 
Impact
Heroes on Horseback's accomplishments during the last year included:
  • Increasing the number of special needs individuals served by 10%.
  • Improving the knowledge and training of our certified instructors.
  • Securing and training one of our Special Olympians to compete in the 2015 World Summer Games. As an equestrian athlete on the 10-member Team USA, he won a silver medal in equestrian.
  • Creating a new equine-assisted therapeutic riding program for special needs adults.
  • Participating in a grass-roots special needs coalition to help improve services for our special needs community.
Our goals for this year, include:
  • Growing by 10%, the numbers of special needs adults served. 
  • Developing a new facility equestrian site.
 
 
 
Needs
  1. Securing a permanent facility from which to operate and expand our program.
  2. Increase the number of adults and children we serve by 10%, or 20 special needs individuals. Cost: $9,000.
  3. Acquisition of a mobile ramp for mounting physically disabled participants. Cost: $10,000.
  4. Expand volunteer base by 50 individuals. Cost: $2,500.
  5. Acquire 2 additional therapy horses. Cost: $5,000.
CEO/Executive Director Statement
The current program cost to provide our equine-assisted therapy to a special needs individual is $450 per person per six-week session. Every participant receives an immediate subsidy of $150 per session, bringing the tuition down to $300 per participant. Most participants receive some level of additional tuition assistance, and many receive full assistance. HOH has never turned anyone away because of an inability to pay. Fully 80% of the cost to operate our equine-assisted therapeutic riding program is funded by contributed income.
Our participants benefit from our program through increased confidence, improved concentration, better self-awareness and self-discipline, and improved posture, balance, strength, flexibility and eye/hand coordination. The horse provides freedom of movement and excitement that no clinical setting can duplicate. Many of these benefits occur after only a couple of weeks of equine therapy. The improvements of many of our participants include the ability to take their first unassisted steps and a vastly improved verbal communications, including, in some cases, their first spoken words.
Through our equine-assisted therapy, there are significant positive impacts to our community. Many of our youth participants perform much better in the classroom and are better functioning at home, as their behavioral and physical improvements transfer from their experiences at our equine facility to their personal lives. There are numerous cases of special needs students graduating from high school and becoming employed at local businesses including hotels, retail stores, and grocery stores. One local graduate was recently named hospitality employee of the year for Hampton Inns.
The successes of three of our participants have brought much attention to our community through their participation in the Special Olympics World Games in 2011 in Greece, and in 2015 in Los Angeles. One of our participants competed for the ten-athlete equestrian team for the United States at the Los Angeles World Summer Games. He won silver medal in equestrian following in the footsteps of two predecessors, who brought back two gold and two bronze medals from Greece in 2011. The timeframe for these kinds of benefits are ongoing, as we continue to work with and challenge our special needs population to improve their lives. As a result of our program successes, especially through the Special Olympics program, we have been selected by South Carolina Special Olympics to manage the leadership of the Special Olympics equestrian program for the state of South Carolina. 
Board Chair Statement
Perhaps our two biggest challenges as a board is expanding our board membership and increasing our fundraising. While we are a governing board, our organization is small and the board is also a "working" board that supports the requirements of staff and volunteers. Located in a community with about 150 other non-profit organizations, no major corporate funders, and a limited donor base, fundraising is a significant challenge, especially for an organization whose mission includes providing therapeutic services regardless of ability to pay even a subsidized fee.
Our special needs population is among the most vulnerable segment of our community. Historically, this population has been excluded from the lives of an able-bodied population. Additionally, services provided by our community to improve the lives of special needs individuals have been vastly underfunded. Our organization has committed itself to improving the lives of special needs individuals through equine therapy, without adding to the financial burden of their families and caregivers. No one has ever been denied the benefits of the healing and empowerment of our program because of their lack of financial resources. The success of our equine therapy program focuses on creating the opportunity for inclusion for our special needs population, not exclusion.
Studies have shown that when special needs individuals are included in the daily lives of the able-bodied population, their lives improve, and they become higher functioning, and are able to contribute to the overall health of the community. Equine therapy is a unique, proven, and healthy approach to the empowerment of our special needs population. HOH holds the certification as a premiere-accredited center of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH, Int’l.), its highest level of accreditation. PATH is the world-wide organization that certifies organizations for equine therapy, with over 800 member centers. 
 
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments Heroes on Horseback is the largest equine therapy program serving Beaufort and Jasper counties, and is the only premier-accredited PATH, Int’l center in our region. We are one of the largest equine therapy programs in the state, and hold the distinction of training and sending three of the last 21 Special Olympians to represent the United States at the last two World Summer Games, in 2011 and 2015. Our equine therapy program has proven itself to be both innovative and creative, as illustrated by the therapeutic results our clients have experienced in their daily lives, results they didn’t experience using “traditional” therapies. We receive numerous referrals from teachers, caregivers, and clinical therapists, including referrals from the Veterans Administration in Washington, DC.
Areas of Service
Area
Beaufort County
Jasper County
We serve all of Beaufort and Jasper counties in South Carolina.
Board Chair
Board Chair Karen Norwood
Company Affiliation Heroes on Horseback
Term July 2013 to June 2016
Email knorwood@hargray.com
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Gail Bingham Board Secretary
George Cobb Board Member
Robert Lee Executive Director
Nancy MacKenzie Board Treasurer
Karen Norwood Board President
Richard Reed Board Member
Geoffry Wheatley Board Member
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 100
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 57
Female 43
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? No
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 7
Standing Committees
Executive
Volunteer
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Finance
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director/CEO Robert Lee
Experience Seven years as executive director for Heroes on Horseback. Previously, served nine years as a commercial banker and fifteen years as the CFO and President of a manufacturing company. Has 33 years of non-profit board experience, including serving as board treasurer and chairman for 15 years.
Senior Staff
NameTitle
Laura Kinsey Equestrian Director
Staff
Full Time Staff 2
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 150
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100%
Plans
Organization has a Strategic Plan? No
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? No
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Diversity Policy
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Collaborations
Special Olympics, Beaufort County School District, Jasper County School District, Beaufort County Department of Special Needs, Beaufort County Disabilities Coalition.
Awards
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Premiere AccreditationPATH, Int'l/2010
Programs
Description Heroes on Horseback enriches the lives of special needs individuals in the Lowcountry through equine assisted therapy. We serve children and adults with disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy, downs syndrome, ADD and ADHD, learning disabilities, muscular dystrophy, speech impairment, multiple sclerosis, stroke, brain trauma, and many others. We provides special needs children with therapeutic riding and associated activities five days per week, with additional therapeutic riding programs in the summer. We work with the Special Olympics program to serve most of the special education students in the Beaufort county school district. Our program consists of therapeutic riding, natural horsemanship, and equine-inspired arts and crafts, which together provide the special needs child with a combination of physical, emotional, and intellectual empowerment. Special needs adults, including disabled veterans, also participate in equine-assisted therapeutic riding during the week.
Budget 196000
Short Term Success Every participant is evaluated. The goals of the participants are projected achievements, while objectives are specific and rider centered. Examples of goals include increased self-esteem and assertive skills, improved balance or control skills, while objectives are measured by performance & criteria. An objective might be that the rider correctly halts 3 out of 5 times during a lesson, or being able to understand, comprehend, and perform certain tasks as instructed by the instructor. Assessments and evaluations are made by everyone involved in the therapeutic riding experience of the individual: the instructor; the side-walkers and horse leaders working with each rider; and the ground activities coordinators. Progress is discussed with the caregivers so that additional therapeutic activities can be planned for.
Participants with disabilities improve through measured auditory communication, behavior improvement, social interaction and physical improvements.
Long Term Success

Retained Physical and/or behavioral improvements of short term success, depending on special needs diagnosis.

Strategy Yes
Program Success Monitored BY

Long term evaluation of the results include the riders' improvement after a session and subsequent sessions as noted in the progress notes. Short term assessments include the daily class progress notes. Riders with disabilities improve not just through their skill level but also improvement in auditory communication, behavior improvement, social interaction and physical improvements. Assessments are made by the instructors and/or medical professionals. Additionally, the feedback of teachers, parents, and aids is incorporated into the overall assessment of the riders’ progress.

Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year 2016
Projected Revenue $199,000.00
Projected Expenses $195,535.00
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$130,833$43,504$56,902
Administration Expense$17,924$124,506$97,352
Fundraising Expense$30,468----
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.091.060.98
Program Expense/Total Expenses73%26%37%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue27%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$60,029$42,799$32,317
Current Assets$56,373$40,538$30,056
Long-Term Liabilities$0----
Current Liabilities$1,421$1,427$1,535
Total Net Assets$58,609$41,372$30,782
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities39.6728.4119.58
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountKentucky Derby Party $81,625 -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnnual Fund $23,685 -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountChildren's Relief Fund $20,000 -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
Registration Exempt July 2016
Nonprofit Heroes On Horseback
Address PO BOX 3678
BLUFFTON , SC 299103678
Primary Phone (843) 757-5607
CEO/Executive Director Robert Lee
Board Chair Karen Norwood
Board Chair Company Affiliation Heroes on Horseback
Year of Incorporation 2000