Amanda Held, Founder

Having grown up and trained with horses all her life, in 2003 Amanda began working with them in a different fashion - to begin her healing process from depression, anxiety and PTSD.

 

Encouraged by personal results, Amanda enhanced her proficiency with formal training and certification in EAGALA, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and several other stress and trauma coaching modalities.

 

From her training and personal experience, she has developed her own method called Equine Integrated Wellness™. Today she practices and teaches this coaching method, helping over 300 veterans and family members combined to develop the current H.O.O.V.E.S. curriculum

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Military Bio 

Civilian Bio 

Meet The Team

Kelly Griffiths
Associate Director

Kelly spent over 30 years in the military and retired in 2019.  She is a combat veteran who served in Iraq and Qatar.  Kelly is originally from Pioneer, Ohio and joined the military to travel; joining certainly fulfilled all she imagined it would.  She traveled from Guam to Alaska and everywhere in between.  Retiring as a Service Disabled Veteran, and breast cancer survivor, Kelly wondered if the future held much for her, but in August of 2019, she participated in a HOOVES retreat, and it was a game-changer.  She decide what she wanted out of the next phase of her life. A Bachelor's of Arts in Counseling enabled  her to help veteran women transition back into civilian life with benefits they earned through a 1-year VA pilot program. She also received an Executive Coaching certificate from the International Coaching Federation.  After hours of volunteerism, she became the Associate Director of HOOVES. This position allows her to help veterans overcome trama, and live with purpose. Kelly has been married to Lt Col John Griffiths for 26 years and has 2 sons, Ethan and Seth, and a Pittie named Georgia.   

Justin Held
Facility Manager 

Ohio native Justin Held has been seeking adventure since day one. With his love for the outdoors he has never been able to sit still. From crushing miles on foot through the Appalachian Trail and hiking the Coast of Maui, to Fly fishing some of the nation’s most pristine rivers and streams. If it involves rad gear than he has done it! After battling an alcohol addiction for 20+ yrs, he learned tools that helped him experience deep healing. Since his recovery, he has set new goals in life and adventures. His mission and vision are to share these adventures with those who are seeking a new life of hope and healing. 

Madisyn Keifer
Director of
Volunteer Services

Madisyn is a lifelong equestrian with a deep passion for giving back to her community. Volunteering has been a part of her life since a young age. She believes in giving back to our community and serving those in need. Being a part of H.O.O.V.E.S combines many of Madisyn's joys in life.

Katy Hubbard
Director of
Youth Services

My name is Katy Hubbard.  I am married to my husband John, mother to Adeline (4) and Leo (2), a former high school teacher, and lifelong horse lover.  I have known Amanda and HOOVES since it began many years ago back at Riverbend Stables, but life took me away from northwest Ohio for eight years.  Through some life changes, my path led me back to Amanda and HOOVES.  Now I am the Director of Youth Services for HOOVES, where I facilitate youth workshops, hold one-on-one coaching sessions, and visit youth groups in the Toledo area.  My coaching includes helping teens realize their value, see their unlimited potential, and arming them with tools to help them navigate their ever changing world.

Chris Thielen
Barn
Manager

I come from a great line of Army servicemen. Grandfather, Father, Brother & 2 sons all served in the Army. I was raised in Norwalk, Ohio & moved to Toledo in 2010.

I am married and have 3 grown children. I am currently owned by 6 rescue dogs & 7 rescue birds that fill the void when not volunteering at HOOVES.

Some volunteer work I have done, Peewee basketball coach, 4-H advisor, Cub Scout den leader.

In 2019 my youngest son became one of the 22 by taking his own life on Thanksgiving Day. I was lost, confused, & going through serious depression. I had no idea how to function in the world we live in anymore. After 2 years of struggling, I saw Amanda on t.v. talking about HOOVES. I instantly got on my computer & looked them up wanting to do something to give back in Jeremy's name. I attended the orientation in Dec. of 2021 & started volunteering right after Christmas. In August of 2022 I attended Amanda's retreat & have since become a totally different person. I am still a work in progress, but HOOVES has given me so many opportunities to face my challenges & change my life.

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Instructors

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Tim Sixberry

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Heather Tarolli

Heather Tarolli is an Ohio based contemporary sculpture, who works primarily in metal, stained glass, and ceramics. She draws inspiration for her work, from her time as an Army veteran. She is currently the Rage Painting Instructor at H.O.O.V.E.S., full time student at the University of Toledo, pursuing her B.F.A. in sculpture, while also being a full-time mother of two.

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Adam Wilson

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Myah
McCroskey

Myah can be found bouncing around the barn caring for the horses, volunteering with retreats & events, and leading our Mini Monday classes.  She began at HOOVES as a volunteer in September 2020 in memory, and honor of her grandfather's service in the Korean War.  Myah attended the HOOVES October 2021 Women's Retreat.

Myah is a Licensed Advanced Cosmetologist and recently became a Substitute Cosmetology Instructor at Penta Career Center.  She is also a Provider through the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities for her twin sister Jennah who has cerebral palsy. 

Myah's classes at the farm are inclusive of all kiddos no matter their ability.  Her creativity transfers over to the Mini Monday classroom with each class including a craft project, time with our therapy miniature horses, and farm/barn tour.  If you have any questions or if your child has any specific needs, please feel free to reach out to her personally.

Equine Partners

These are our equine partners here at HOOVES that help us during retreats and other events.

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Hemi

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Sebastian 

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Zoey

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Elise

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Brigid

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Cash

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Ellie

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Cobie

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Montana

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Sahyann

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Molly

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Snickers

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Tulip

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Shelby 

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Twister

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Rain

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Gracie

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Pistol

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Petey

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Major (Donk)

Mini Partners

Our mini partners at HOOVES are just as important as the big ones!

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Patriot

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Freedom

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Mike

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Cookie

Charlie

Willie

Liberty

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Loomis & Fiona

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Sarge (Cow)

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Hamlet & Charolette

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