Who We Are

Shining Hope Farms was founded in 2002 by Paul and Milinda Kirkpatrick in response to the needs in the community to provide therapeutic services in an enriching farm environment. The purpose of the farms’ services is to improve the quality of life of the participants as well as their families. Shining Hope Farms’ programs have been structured to serve individuals and groups with a variety of disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, developmental disabilities, brain injuries, and hypotonia, as well as those in need of mental health support. Our clients find wellness, strength, and hope on the back of a horse.

How We Serve

Therapy Services

We offer equine assisted therapies including physical and occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and mental health counseling.

Therapeutic Riding

An equine-assisted activity for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional, and social well-being of individuals with special needs.

Veterans Services

Saddles and Salutes is a program at Shining Hope Farms that serves Veterans as a part of their community support system for Veteran wellness.

Our Mission

Shining Hope Farms is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enable children and adults to reach their full potential through the use of equine assisted activities and therapies.

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Fishing boat on a trailer with shining hope farms logo on the side.

Sign up for our inaugural Charity Bass Fishing Tournament!

This event will support our mission of enabling children and adults to reach their full potential through the use of equine assisted activities and therapies.


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Our Impact

Through the impact of our volunteers and donors, Shining Hope Farms has been successfully able to make our rehabilitative and recreational programs accessible to the poor and needy in our community by making the programs free-of-charge to the majority of participants.

Participants per week across our three locations

Number of volunteers that helped our program in 2020

Hours donated by our volunteers in 2020

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News & Events

Noah’s Story

Noah was born at 25 weeks and weighed 1 lb. 15 oz. Shortly after birth Noah had a stroke. He was diagnosed with prematurity, developmental delay, and significant gastro intestinal complications as an infant, resulting in the need for a feeding tube. Not long after his second birthday, Noah began receiving Occupational Therapy services at Shining Hope Farms, which utilized Hippotherapy (from the Greek “hippo” meaning “horse”) as a treatment strategy.

Noah is now five years old and has been receiving Occupational Therapy for 3 years. During that time Noah has improved his core strength, balance and normalized his tone allowing him to stand and take 10 – 20 steps with one hand assistance. These improvements have also enabled him to maintain his position on his horse. The horse that Noah rides for his treatment sessions is Captain Hook, or Cappy for short.

Noah’s mom says, “Coming to Shining Hope Farms to ride Cappy and to visit the wonderful staff is the highlight of Noah’s week. Noah was barely able to sit up on his own when he first came to the farm for Hippotherapy. Today because of Hippotherapy, his muscles are significantly stronger and he is cruising and learning to walk on his own. Peace surrounds our family as soon as we enter the farm. We are so grateful to have such a remarkable place for Noah to come to. He tells everyone he meets about the farm and Cappy. Noah would not be where is or who he is today without the people and horses of Shining Hope Farms.”


Have Your Donation Matched Today!

Gaston Community Foundation Run Shining Hope Farms​The Community Foundation Run is a Gaston Community Foundation fundraiser that matches donations made to registered Gaston County nonprofits like us! Everything leads up to their 5K run / 2K walk taking place April 1st at the CaroMont Health Park. This is the best way to donate all year as your dollar is instantly matched…increasing your impact!