Ariana Blaylock is an Equine Specialist. Horses have been her passion since an early age. “I fell head-over-heels for them,” she said. “I had about 2 years away from horses and it was the worst.” Now, Ariana uses her experience and knowledge of horses to help others as part of the team of staff members that operate Mahala’s Hope in Eden, WI.
Mahala’s Hope is a Non-Profit organization that assists women in recovery from substance abuse and trauma. The organization is run by a Board of Directors and staff members with the assistance of volunteers. Sandy Hardie is the Executive Director. She is a certified Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor and has had a life-long love for horses, too. Mahala’s Hope has been in this facility just over 2 years. They provide a residence for the women during their recovery process as they prepare to return to their communities. Most stay for 60-90 days connecting with nature and receiving emotional, psychological and spiritual care. The group strives to make the residence feel like a home for the women that stay there. It is a healing facility utilizing strictly nature. They also do leadership workshops and work with domestic violence groups. Equine experiential learning is used as part of the healing process for the clients of Mahala’s Hope. They benefit from the emotional connection to the horses and learn skills in leadership by gaining their trust.
“It is so great to help people with horses and see the outcome it has for our clients,” Ariana stated. “We are providing a space for the horses to be a part of the healing process. They have a voice and we allow our horses to be heard.” Weekly meetings are held at the facility for previous clients. Seeing the achievements of some of their past clients inspires Ariana to keep doing what she does and offers encouragement to the other women in the recovery program. The Non-Profit organization relies on the community for support and tries to give back as much as possible. They work with ASTOP, a sexual assault service provider in Fond du Lac, WI and they also have a local farmer that the residents go over by and help with farm work to gain experience.
Ariana loves to take care of animals. She has her own farm with 2 cats, 2 dogs and 2 horses. When she’s not with animals, she loves to read, bake, cook and do some ice fishing.
Thank you to Ariana and the team at Mahala’s Hope for sharing their story for this week’s Farmer Friday. Using the connection you have built from working with the horses, to help others as part of the recovery program, is definitely a benefit for our community. Best wishes for continued success!
#FarmerFriday ...post #104. To show our appreciation to our producer members Country Visions Cooperative will be giving a snapshot look of our customers and their operations in this feature each Friday