The Borrowed Freedom Program
The Borrowed Freedom EAA/T Scholarship Program
About The Program
Since its official beginnings in June of 2009, Borrowed Freedom EAA/T, Inc. has changed the lives of hundreds of at-risk youth and children and adults with special needs by giving them low cost or free access our Horsemanship, Adaptive (Therapeutic) Riding, Hippotherapy, Equine Assisted Learning and Equine Assisted Mental Health programs here at Epona Farm. The motto for this program is the Helen Thompson quote, "In riding a horse, we borrow freedom". Here on the Farm we also believe that nothing worthwhile is received without personal investment. The Borrowed Freedom program is based on the belief that everyone has something to give, especially when they give of themselves, so we ask those who choose our program to consider the services they receive as "borrowed". What they receive, they will also give. And with that, we will create a ripple effect life changing opportunities for our community.
What We Provide
Borrowed Freedom is a scholarship program that provides no cost access to the quality equine assisted services delivered at Epona Farm. We provide the financial assistance for individuals and families with demonstrated need. The scholarships are for 10 sessions of the Willis Ashley Foley Jr. Warriors and War Horses program for Veterans, the HOPE on Horseback program for women and girls, and on a limited, case by case basis, for Adaptive (Therapeutic) Riding, Equine Assisted Learning, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, and Hippotherapy.
What We Ask In Return
The amount charged for 10 sessions of equine assisted activities and therapies is $250-$550 each. However, the actual cost to deliver that 10 week session is approximately $1200 when you add in all the costs associated with the care of the horses. We meet the remaining financial need through our Farm fundraising, donor support, limited grants, and events. Neither Borrowed Freedom or Epona Farm Sanctuary receive reimbursement from insurance, nor are we funded by any state or federal government agency.
Because participants will be receiving a substantial gift of resources, we ask that families and participants who receive their services through the BFEAT Scholarship program give back to BFEAT and Epona Farm Sanctuary though our many fundraising drives, events, volunteerism and service through outreach initiatives.
The scholarships should be considered an investment made into yourself and others, not simply a monetary gift based on financial circumstances. We aren't offering a free riding program when it comes to these scholarships, instead, we use our program as a catalyst for change, where everyone works together for the greater good of the program and horses, just as we do for the good of the participant.
This system achieves several important levels of success including the financial health and stability of the program, a sense of community pride, improved sense of self-image and compassion, parents setting a charitable example for their children, and children learning the joys of volunteerism, and a healthy example of ethics and responsibility. Not only that, but it produces some pretty amazing horse people too.
How to receive scholarship based services
The first step is to become a client of Epona Farm. Once we receive your completed application, physicians releases, and other required documentation, you will either be placed on the waiting list, or if an opening is available, an evaluation visit will be scheduled. If Epona can offer beneficial services, a placement in our programming will be made. At that time you will be given a link to the BFEAT scholarship application. Please be aware that scholarships are based upon exceptional financial need and documented special health need, with the exception of the Warriors and War Horses program and the HOPE on Horseback program. These two programs are offered at no cost to eligible participants regardless of income. All equine assisted programming is delivered by Epona Farm Sanctuary and is available outside of the Borrowed Freedom scholarship program on a case by case basis for those who wish to self pay. Our services, with the exception of therapy delivered by your licensed therapist, is not covered under insurance.**
Please click here for rates, applications and schedules
**Equine Assisted Therapies including Hippotherapy and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy are initiated by your therapist as these are part of a prescribed medical treatment plan. We are unable to discuss the option of these services with the client until a proposed treatment plan has been discussed with your therapist and our program. If you are interested in Hippotherapy or Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, please have your therapist contact us at 607-241-7669. Thank you for your understanding.
How You Can Help
"Colleen's attention to detail across the board is one of the reasons why Borrow Freedom is such a success. The animals receive the best of care, the facility is exceptionally well maintained, and she tailors something individual for each of the clients. They are not just up on a horse for a ride, they are participants in their own therapy.
Borrowed Freedom also brings a wonderful sense of community to the riders and their families, the volunteers and the donors."
CDekker - GreatNonProfits.org review
BFEAT has three important scholarship drives each year. We host these through globalgiving.org which is an international giving platform for registered charities that are willing to undergo an extensive "vetting" process for transparency and sound practices for consideration for inclusion. Each project is limited in time and includes the amount we need in order to provide our scholarships for the Veterans program, the Women's program and our Therapeutic Riding and EFL/EFP programs.
To view our current program needs, please click on the give now button to visit our program page. Thank you!
Gifts to our Borrowed Freedom Program, an IRS Certified 501(c)(3) charitable organization (EIN# 27-0327968), are fully tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. The Borrowed Freedom program is registered with the NYS Attorney General’s Charities Bureau.
If you would like to mail your donation, please make your check payable to Borrowed Freedom EAAT, Inc. and mail it to us at
Epona Farm Sanctuary Foundation, Inc. c/o Colleen Cheechalk, Secretary
2520 Vestal Parkway E PMB313
Vestal, NY 13850