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Detroit Horse Power

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Founder & Executive Director: David Silver

How many years have you been riding/ been working with horses?
20+ years - As a Three Day Event rider, I was fortunate to compete through the One Star (now Two Star) level and work for Boyd Martin in 2009. I stepped back from competitive riding during college, knowing I could return to the horse community later in life. I feel so lucky to have combined my equestrian background with my passion for education and commitment to equity in this nonprofit journey with Detroit Horse Power since 2015.

Describe your personal goals and overall hope and vision for the Equestrian Community in terms of expanding and sharing horses and equestrian sports with individuals from all walks of life:
Detroit Horse Power’s vision is that youth growing up in the city of Detroit can have the kind of life-changing access to the benefits of horses that I was so privileged to have when I was growing up. The social-emotional skills: perseverance, empathy, responsible risk-taking, confidence and self-control that horses teach us are important for all young people, but it is especially critical for under-resourced youth with far more barriers on their path to success to access the unique skill-building that horses can offer.

How do you feel equestrian sports can better diversify our equestrian communities?
The equestrian community can: (1) make existing facilities accessible to youth who ordinarily wouldn’t access the benefits of horses by partnering with youth-serving nonprofit organizations; and (2) invest in the infrastructure to add horses in under-resourced communities like Detroit where vacant land needs new and creative purposes like an urban equestrian center.

What are ways you/ your organization have successfully introduced horses to new individuals in our community?
Since 2015, Detroit Horse Power has introduced more than 500 Detroit youth to horses and the life lessons they teach us through free summer horse camps and after-school programs that we offer utilizing generous partner barns around southeast Michigan. We are preparing to break ground in Fall 2024 on a 14-acre urban equestrian center within Detroit’s city limits that will make our youth programming scalable and accessible while turning blight into a community asset and strengthening the communities in which our students grow up.

 

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