Where special kids and horses shine

Welcome to Shining Hope Farms
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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’s Syndrome, Developmental Disabilities, Brain Injuries, Hypotomia, and the like. Our clients find wellness, strength, and hope on the back of a horse.

Shining Hope Farms’ 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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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 2017

Hours donated by our volunteers in 2017

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News & Events

Shining Hope Farms Hosts International Hippotherapy Workshop

We recently hosted an American Hippotherapy Association (AHA) Level II workshop at our Mt. Holly farm. Licensed speech, physical, and occupational therapists from all over the United States and as far as Northern Ireland were onsite for four days January 17-20 diving deep into hippotherapy as a treatment strategy.

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Speedway Children’s Charities Supports Shining Hope Farms for Eighth Year

It was announced last week during the Speedway Children’s Charities’ annual grant reception that one of the grantees receiving a portion of the $1,040,350 granted would be Mt. Holly based nonprofit Shining Hope Farms—a nonprofit that provides equine facilitated activities and therapies across their three locations in the western Piedmont region of North Carolina.

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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.”

The Best Time To Donate All Year!

The Community Foundation Run is a fundraiser through the Community Foundation of Gaston County that matches donations made by donors during the fundraising period!