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Hope Unbridled Uses Equine Therapy to Teach Children About Life

The equestrian program in Tupelo is known as a place where “hope rides on”

Hope Unbridled was launched in 2015 by Bobby and Sherry Jenkins and Terry Timmons. This nonprofit equine therapy program offers recreational riding, horsemanship programs, psychotherapy — and hope — to budding equestrians of all ages, abilities, or circumstances.

In 2008, Bobby and Sherry purchased land and began to develop Dream Catcher Stables at 103 Beckman Road, Tupelo.

“We dreamed that one day we would be a facility that was home to a PATH (International Handicap Riding Program),” Sherry said. “It has taken a little while, and we have certainly seen hard times, but we felt that this was God’s goal for us, and the Lord has kept us going.”

Then in 2015, the Jenkins partnered with Terry Timmons, a certified PATH instructor and an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning to begin Hope Unbridled Equestrian Program. 

“Terry and I were of like minds in that we wanted to develop a center that partnered with horses and affirmed the worth and beauty of each person,” Sherry exclaimed. “From our partnership, Hope Unbridled Equestrian Program was born. It was born with a vision to be a place where everyone, regardless of their life circumstances, affirmed their infinite value as a child of God. The horses give so much of themselves as they offer forgiveness, strength, patience, love, and joy!”

“Horseback riding is therapeutic for several reasons,” Sherry continued. “It helps with anxiety because when participants learn to control a 900-plus pound animal, they also learn self-control, boundaries, a sense of belonging, and a sense of leadership. From a physical standpoint, riding a horse improves core strength while teaching riders hand, eye, and leg coordination. Horseback riding releases serotonin, which provides a sense of well-being. Horses, who are herd animals, can pick up on a rider’s state of mind and respond intuitively.”

Hope Unbridled offers four core programs: Ride On, a riding program for special needs participants of any age; Stride Out, a leadership development horse-riding program for students from all walks of life who are looking to develop riding and horsemanship skills; HoofBeats of Hope, where a licensed mental health professional partners with horses in therapy sessions to address issues resulting from the traumatic effects of abuse, neglect, loss, depression, anxiety, chronic illness and addiction; and Stable Solutions, for at-risk youth ages 12-18, to teach positive life choices and confident coping skills. 

Hope Unbridled currently work with 35 students a week, with some families who drive from Oxford and Corinth to participate in their programs.

“Our goal is that everyone succeeds at who they are. We make a difference by giving people a place to belong, grow and find themselves,” Sherry said. “Horses are important, and they don’t judge you by your clothes, or if you can speak, walk, or the clothes you wear. It’s all about how you treat them.”

Hope Unbridled is opening its beautiful stables to the public on November 27 from 2:30-5:00 for an open house. For more information about Hope Unbridled Equestrian Program, visit their website here



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