In Focus posted November 1 2012
In Focus | Heather Henderson & Arion Therapeutic Farm
Heather Henderson is the founder of Arion Therapeutic Farm, located in South East Kelowna. Passionate about helping others, Heather founded Arion as a way to offer Equine Therapy and programs to those with disabilities. Arion is currently running a campaign to raise $100,000 to make their riding arena a year-round sanctuary for students, instructors, and horses. You can also mark down December 1st for Arion's Winter Wonderland for some family fun. We would like to thank Heather for her hard work within the community and for creating a haven for those in need. Read on below to learn more about Heather and Arion Therapeutic Farms.
How do people connect with you on Linkedin?
Realistically, they don't. I never have time to sit at the computer.
What do you always find yourself saying?
It will happen! No Plan-Bs. I want solutions.
If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
If you were to receive any existing public award, what award would you like to win?
I don't know, I've never thought about that
If you could spend a day with any historical figure, who would you choose?
Who inspires you?
The founder of Wind Reach, a similar farm in Ontario and Bermuda
What are 3 things on your bucket list?
First of all, to get a new bucket.
To ride a horse again before I die. I ride in my dreams all the time…but I'm not supposed to ride.
To have a sustainable, eco-friendly off-the-grid farm to live off the land.
If you had an enormous yacht, what would you name it?
If you could foresee a single day of your future in its entirety, what date would you select?
June 6th, 2014 - Son's birthday and I have a lot of weird meaning around the number six
What are you passionate about?
What has been your favourite day of your life, up to this point?
It's a toss-up between marriage and childbirth
What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Starting Arion Therapeutic Farm
Where is your favourite place to dine in Kelowna?
Mimi's (for gluten-free pizza)
What is your favourite activity or event in Kelowna?
Winter Wonderland at Arion Therapeutic Farm, Dec. 1-2
Logan Miller has a Neurodegenerative Disorder and uses therapeutic riding to fit back by building strength
What is the name of your business/organization?
What does your business/organization do?
Arion Farm gives people of all ages and challenges the opportunity to learn without boundaries, expand physical and mental abilities, and improve quality of life through the healing power of animals, recreation, fitness and the serenity of nature
Where can people find your business on Facebook?
What is your Twitter account?
If you could achieve one thing within your field, what would it be?
To create a sustainable place where those with challenges and their families know they will have a happy, productive future
Where do you want your business/organization to be in 5 years?
Bigger, better, self-sustaining
Who do you consider to be a forerunner within your field?
We like to think we're breaking our own trail
What 3 qualities do you feel that your business/organization exemplifies?
Compassion, strength, adventure
What would you like to say to your employees/volunteers?
How does your business/organization impact the community?
We're providing much-needed support services and a safe haven for those who need healing on every level
If you were trapped in an elevator with several wealthy investors from any field, which field would you want them to be experts in? What would say to them/talk about?
Fundraising, technology and construction development. We would talk about ways to free ourselves of dreary financial discussions and focus on developing new technology to help our clients with challenges achieve their dreams. Then the conversation would move to the beautiful holistic home of our dreams where we could grow our own food, never worry about a lighting bill, stay warm and cozy all winter and become a demonstration model for those who want to minimize their environmental footprint.
If I could change 1 thing about Kelowna, it would be
The grey sky in the winter and how difficult the cold can be for our clients and horses to weather.
What do you think makes Kelowna great?
The people. Hands down. The people here are generous to a fault, kind and always willing to pitch in when we need help.
Some general comments I would like to share are
Come up to Arion Therapeutic Farm and you'll immediately feel more relaxed…and then you'll get the giggles. Our faces are never serious, though our mission is quite grandiose.
This is a place where everyone is welcome and many, many people learn and have fun and even learn to have fun, all at the same time. We have three adult residential homes on site, certified by Community Living BC, and a fabulous petting farm with a new (blind) pony, alpaca, lamas, tubby old pig and pygmy goats. We do school tours, after school programs, birthday parties and seniors programming in effort to bring the able-bodied and the disabled together to share in our 12.5 acres of heaven.
The lifeblood of our operation is our therapeutic riding program and we're now 200 clients strong on this front. Therapeutic riding helps people young and old on a physical, cognitive and emotional level. The horse's gait closely resembles the human gate, so it allows those with mobility issues a chance to build the exact muscles they would use to walk or run without actually running or walking. Being up on the horse is a freeing experience many of our clients with challenges use to experience what it's like to roam free, the wind in your hair.
We're currently engaged in a major fundraising project to cover our therapeutic riding ring so we never need to take a break in the winter. Come on out and see what it's all about or connect with us at arionfarm.org
Jayes Derriksan has Down's Syndrome, but you would never know it to see him running around the farm.
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