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Freedom Hooves' Facility

Our facility offers the safety and security that enables us to provide services to meet many needs!

60' diameter Round Pen
Whether training or instructing, this round pen serves all of our various needs.
Indoor Arena
Our light and airy indoor arena provides shelter from the weather allowing lessons to continue throughout our summer and fall seasons.
Our Barn
Provides shelter and warmth as well as a great space to work with our horses.
Our Land
Miles of trails and beautiful views make any day at our facility a great one!
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Our Vision

It is our vision to become the foremost professional non-profit enriching people’s mind, body and spirit through partnership with horses.

Our Mission

Connecting the healing power of the horse with the needs of the community.

Our Values

Connecting the healing power of the horse with the needs of the community through:

Acceptance

We care for each individual and are committed to helping every person achieve personal goals.

Dedication

We to strive for the very best and never give up.

Collaboration

Together we can change lives. We work with many organizations, people groups, and individuals to make the world a better place.

Growth

Together we can change lives. We work with many organizations, people groups, and individuals to grow healthy citizens.

Harmony

Beauty, balance, and peace define our relationships. With everyone focused on caring for the mind, body, and spirit of one another, we make a difference.

Our Team

Connie Sue Ellis

Executive Director

With over 30 years of horsemanship experience and a background in education, along with a history of nonprofit leadership, Connie Sue joined our executive team in March 2019. A graduate of Oklahoma State University, she has made her home in Craig, Colorado for the past 11 years. Since Freedom Hooves’ inception in 2012, she has served in nearly every role possible in our organization: facility owner, volunteer, committee member, advisory board, interim program director, instructor, participant, and now executive director. She and her husband make their home warm and inviting as the hosts of the facility that Freedom Hooves calls home. In her current position, her goal is to train up the next generation of leaders, always willing to step aside and allow others to live more fully in the roles they embrace.​

Talisha Christiansen

Program Director

As a recent graduate of Utah State University, Talisha joined the Freedom Hooves executive team in April 2019. Her skills in communication and leadership, coupled with her talents with both horses and people, enable her to serve the community in Northwest Colorado in a way that provides a path to improving the mind, body, and spirit of its citizens. Her background in the equine world enhances her life goal of changing lives to bring health and harmony to individuals and families. Talisha is a PATH certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor who is continually striving to learn more so she can be more effective in her goals. Freedom Hooves soars under the helm of her leadership in our programs.

Jesse Gifford

Ranch Hand Supervisor

“I’ve worked as a farm/ranch hand at various times since grade school. After my honorable discharge from the united states navy in 1979, being a man excited by the temptation of parts unknown, I’ve worked my way around the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Colorado, finding employment in many capacities that include fire fighter, commercial salmon fishing. I’ve worked in the agricultural, timber, automotive, and oil/gas industries. I consider myself as a jack of many trades and a professional laborer. I came to Freedom Hooves in the spring of 2017 and was, very proudly, recognized as volunteer of the Year. In 2018 I was hired by FH as a supervisor for the ranch hand program and continued in that position for the 2019 season. Some of my intentions, concerning the ranch hands, are to help instill in them qualities of character built on a foundation of honesty, accountability, respect, and the importance of teamwork. My involvement and experiences with Freedom Hooves are definitely a shining star in my life.”

Alisha Sorensen

Center Assistant

My name is Alisha Sorensen. I am a mom of two amazing little boys and a wife to my best friend. I am currently studying nursing and am working towards my BSN I have a strong love for horses and strive to continue to grow my knowledge and My favorite activity with horses is simply riding bareback and trail riding. I have years of horse experience and am excited to learn and grow more!

A special THANKS to some special people.

Alisha Sorensen

Volunteer of the Year 2019

Rachel Peters

Youth Volunteer of the Year 2019

Jessica Whitecotton

2019 Ranch Hand Award

Skyler Gerini

Most Improved Ranch Hand Award 2019

Our horses are very special.

Jill
Jill is a Percheron/Standardbred cross who has been a part of our therapy program for several years now. She spent her early days as a carriage horse for the Amish. She has been our most valuable partner, serving through adaptive vaulting, all horsemanship programs, and has even assisted us with Project Unicorn.
Jill
"I like being around Jill." Bobby
Jill
Jill
This mare LOVES being decorated!
Jill
Jill LOVES life.
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Jackson
Jackson shares a sire with Jill. They were born two weeks apart and have been together ever since. This amazing gelding is quite the athlete and has carried participants to show over jumps, on the flat, and at halter. He is another star on our team.
Jackson
What a majestic partner. His beauty is only surpassed by his kindness.
Jackson
Jackson LOVES being in parades! This image was captured at the Moffat County High School's Homecoming Parade 2019.
Jackson
Jackson's silhouette stands out in this sunset picture on a light snow day in Colorado.
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Libby
Libby is an older Quarter Horse mare born in Texas. She earns the title of "Most First Riders" at the ranch. She is a favorite and we'd love to thank whomever trained her! She's amazing.
Libby
Such a favorite team member!
Libby
A favorite choice for parades.
Libby
A solid choice at any show.
Libby
Always takes care of her rider and brings home lots of blue ribbons!
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Chance
Chance is a young Quarter Horse who is developing into an awesome therapy partner! Here he's sporting a ribbon in his first show.
Chance
He's patient with his training and eager to learn new things!
Chance
His first parade.
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Beastie
Beastie is a young Percheron/Belgian cross who stole our hearts in 2019!
Beastie
Beautiful, loving, gentle.
Beastie
Forever willing to take care of his rider.
Beastie
He loves parades!
Beastie
Making history in the first ever Equestrians with Disabilities class at the 2019 Moffat County Fair Open Horse Show.
Beastie
Earning ribbons in his first horse show!
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Rainy May
A young Mustang/Welsh cross, this mare is bold and loves life. She is the only horse who was born at Freedom Hooves!
Rainy May
Learning to be a therapy partner.
Rainy May
Her first parade.
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Little Miss
Little Miss is an older mare who came to us after a difficult life. She is kind and affectionate.

Board of Directors

Gar Williams

President

Gar Williams has returned to the board after a short break. He brings a wealth of knowledge from the state sector including law enforcement, fire mitigation and extensive EMT training. He has taught EMT courses at CMC and CNNC and earned his degree from Penn State University in Drafting and Design Engineering.

Rene Littlehawk

Vice-President

Rene Littlehawk has called Moffat County home for many years. She grew up on horses and continues to enjoy this passion. She enjoys her music and art as well, but her horses are always first.Rene is an outdoors person and spends what little time off she has horseback riding the wilds of Moffat county.For the past many years she has been a Direct Support Professional with Horizons Specialized Services, in Craig, another of her passions.

Tilila Gunderson

Secretary

Tilila Gunderson has a daughter who is completing her fourth season in the Freedom Hooves program and a son who participated in the 2019 season. She can see how Freedom Hooves benefits the community and individuals, and wants to be a part of the wonderful work that they provide to both. 

Gail Katz

Treasurer

Gail brings a wealth of professional experience to the Freedom Hooves’ Board of Directors with a background in nursing, education, administration along with service on non-profit boards. She raised her daughters to learn about and care for their six horses and understands how precious the relationship with a horse is, and how beautiful, to mind-body-spirit. She hopes to provide compassionate input and support of therapeutic horsemanship using her years as a horsewoman combined with the care that a nurse has, along with her love and respect for horses with at risk populations and individuals with special needs.

Carolyn Walsh

Board Member

Carolyn Walsh A longtime resident of Moffat County and an accomplished horsewoman, Carolyn brings both experience and enthusiasm to our Board of Directors. She volunteers for therapy, fund raising, Tuesday Night Training, and more.

Sal Dorsey

Board Member

Sal has been an animal enthusiast and horse owner for many years. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the board about the non-profit sector.

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