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LOPE Scholarship Program Horses and People Teaching Each Other

Program Overview

Changing lives one horse at a time

The best teachers learn the most from their students. In 14 years, each of the hundreds of LOPE horses has taught us deeply about horsemanship, life philosophy, and even our own nature. This real-world knowledge is acquired through hard-won, hands-on experience. LOPE’s daily work presents a veritable classroom of ongoing learning opportunities, and our new Scholarship Program will enable LOPE horses and people to learn from each other in structured, practical and meaningful ways.

In a virtuous circle, the LOPE Scholarship Program will benefit both at-risk horses and deserving students as they teach each other though consistent, practical and purpose-driven work.

LOPE will provide scholarships to both horses and people

No horse should miss out on the chance to succeed simply because they lack key tools. LOPE horses will be given long-term education, so they can be more adoptable and less at-risk in the future. And deserving students (junior and young adult) will learn how to handle, ride and assist in the training of the LOPE horses. In addition to the LOPE adoption horses, LOPE will acquire two permanent lesson mounts to teach students advanced horsemanship skills.

Inspiring young people and expanding their education through horsemanship

Through the tradition of horsemanship and the values it teaches, the Scholarship Program will educate and inspire students. LOPE will offer tailored learning paths to different types of students passionate about horsemanship. Junior Internships will be available for promising teenage equestrians (meet our first two Junior Interns). And aspiring young trainers will be offered Horsemanship Scholar spots for advanced work with the LOPE horses.

Beyond the LOPE classroom, the Scholarship Program will fund opportunities for the interns and scholars to attend clinics, schooling shows and other off-site horse education events with the LOPE horses. In this way, the Scholarship Program will promote the pursuit of excellence and compassionate leadership skills for our students.

In a virtuous circle, the LOPE Scholarship Program will benefit both at-risk horses and deserving students as they teach each other though consistent, practical and purpose-driven work.

Program Start-Up Needs

As a first step, LOPE will need to identify, train and provide care for two lesson horse mounts. It is key to the program that there be permanent, well-trained horses for the students to learn from. LOPE will need to raise funds to cover the horses’ acquisition, training and care costs for the first year.

Additionally, the scholarship program will require a budget for clinics, schooling show and other horse event fees (so that the horses and students can learn from quality off-site activities). A stipend toward lessons with discipline-specific experts (such as lessons with jumping instructors for horses and students with aptitude for that sport) are important as well.

Program Funding

The annual cost of the program will be $15,000 (including care costs of two lesson horses and fees for students to attend horse events/lessons/clinics). For the program to launch fully, we MUST start 2017 with the $15,000 annual budget already raised.

Why is the timing so urgent? Because we have to act immediately to secure the key teachers, interns, horses and students that are critical to the Scholarship Program’s success. The window of opportunity will close especially fast for the horses and students who need our help the most. The Scholarship Program already has a waiting list of junior interns, young scholars and at-risk horses eager for help and education.

With your help, LOPE can fully launch the scholarship program on January 1, 2017.

  • Will you consider helping a gifted high-school girl learn how to become a compassionate leader and humane horsemanship trainer?
  • Or helping the aspiring, young trainer from a low-income background? With your donation, she can receive in-depth, career education that she could never afford on her own.

And most of all, your donation will help the at-risk horses. From the nervous mare who needs to build trust, to the teenage gelding with an old injury and mischievous personality, to the sensitive filly who hides a heart of gold under a defensive grouchy face – all of these horses face an uncertain future because they aren’t perfect. They need practical training, patient handling and longer-term education to build the job skills that will give them a safe future.

With your gift to the Scholarship Program, you can help young people and at-risk horses learn from each other — and give each of them the chance to change their lives (one horse at a time).

Donate to the Scholarship Fund Now!

Getting Started: Meet Our Inaugural Junior Interns

We have invited two talented high school equestrians to become our inaugural junior interns for the LOPE Scholarship Program. Kaitlyn Baker and Laine Walls have shown dedication to the horses they have owned and ridden for the past few years. They both have worked hard to help horses develop their full potential as riding companions and show mounts. Most of all, they have demonstrated the values of compassion and discipline needed in the field of horsemanship. We are honored to have Kaitlyn and Laine join the LOPE program!

Kaitlyn Baker


“I have many goals with my horse, Magnum, but my main show goal is to win All Around Stock Horse at the State 4-H Horse Show one year. I also want to win a buckle in 2017 reining shows. I would like to learn how to better work with different horses, and adapt how I work with them based on what their personality calls for. I feel that once I learn this, it will help me work with many other horses, not just mine. I also want to learn groundwork and how to properly gain a horse’s respect on the ground, as well as under saddle. I have always loved working with horses, as well as many other animals and would love to be a vet someday. I am hoping this internship will open doors and expose new opportunities that will help me in that journey.”

Laine Walls


“I have been riding since I was five years old and I have been showing for three years. My goals as a rider are to go to recognized shows on the A-circuit and work with young horses. Not too long ago, my thoroughbred (Oliver) had to be euthanized due to a bad landing on a jump (which resulted in a fractured shoulder). I had been riding him for two years (and owned him for one year). He taught me so much about riding and the basics of owning a horse. I miss him a lot, but I am excited to be working with some of the LOPE horses. I know I will learn a lot from this great program.”

LOPE will be regularly updating our Facebook page with updates on Laine and Kaitlyn. Please stay tuned and keep up with their adventures at LOPE.

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Paddock Foundation American Association of Equine Technicians and Assistants Sam Houston Race Park
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