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​New Member Spotlight: H.O.O.V.E.S

Born and raised in Toledo, Amanda Held chose to come home after she served 4 years on active duty in 2003. A lifelong equestrian, Amanda is a veteran who now has 16 years combined service in the United States Air Force and Air National Guard. She has personally overcome PTSD and founded H.O.O.V.E.S (Healing Of Our Veterans Equine Service) with a vision to reach out to other veterans and share her healing experience.

Amanda joined the military in 1999 and was stationed at the Air Force Academy in 2003 where she was first introduced to “gentling” wild horses. In 2008 a gentleman shared the concept of equine assisted psychotherapy with Amanda and she knew she had found her lifelong calling. She immediately became certified and offers both corporate and veteran healing experiences. Amanda is one of 4,500 people across 50 countries certified as an equine specialist through EAGALA, the leading Equine Assisted Psychotherapy program in the world. Her thirteen employees are all rescued horses. In addition to her work with H.O.O.V.E.S., Amanda is still serving in the Air National Guard at the 122nd Fighter Wing in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

​“One of the biggest things horses can teach us is about leadership.” – Amanda Held, Founder H.O.O.V.E.S

Amanda’s business is founded on the belief that by interacting with horses, you can learn a great deal about yourself and the effectiveness of your communication skills. She uses very specific techniques with horses to help veterans heal, regain control and return to the life they fought to protect. Her goal is to help veterans like herself smoothly re-enter and transition to a civilian lifestyle when they have returned or retired from service. Volunteers are needed to help care for the facility and the horses. Amanda is currently looking to establish partnerships with businesses in the area to find volunteers, provide team building experiences, and help promote the H.O.O.V.E.S. program. The goal of the non-profit is to provide healing services to veterans at no-cost.

​“I’ve never seen someone go through this and walk away untouched.” – Amanda Held

Currently Amanda is creating a documentary of the program that will debut March 2018. They will be filming until November of this year and any person or organization that supports HOOVES this year will receive their name or the name of their business in the credits of the film.

Emily Dammeyer is the Communications Manager for the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce. Please email emily.dammeyer@toledochamber.com to submit a story for our blog.

link to article: http://www.toledochamber.com/blog/new-member-spotlight-hooves