📞 (585) 749-9885
Read what some of our longtime volunteers have to say about Matt and his program:
As a long time volunteer with A Horse’s Friend, I felt the need to put my thoughts to paper. Matt Doward and his incredible group of volunteers have provided and are providing a service to inner city youth that I believe is unmatched in the Rochester area. I have watched first hand as numerous children have passed through this wonderful program and come out with a better understanding of team work, pride and most importantly, a better understanding of themselves and what they can achieve. Many of these kids come into the program afraid of many of the programs aspects. Cleaning up horse manure has to be at the top of that list! Just walking into the barn can elicit screams of “yech” or “I’m not going in there”! A few weeks later and these same kids are filling wheelbarrows with piles of manure and actually loving every minute of it. The transformation from scared children to brave young adults in just a few weeks is a sight everyone should see.
Matt’s program operates well outside the box for many educators, politicians and even financial supporters. These are the people who most need to see firsthand how well the program works and the benefits it can provide. The sight of watching a child learn his or her ability to overcome their fears is a wonderful sight indeed.
If you are reading this letter, you must have at least considered helping Matt and his incredible program.
I highly suggest you visit the barn and see it for yourself and if not then believe me when I tell you that the kids that experience A Horse’s Friend program come away stronger and better prepared for the real world ahead.
I have volunteered with AHF for 15 years. I have done everything from muck stalls to manage business operations for Matt. He undoubtedly is one of the hardest working men I have ever met. His passion and perseverance is admirable. When many others would have quit he never did and never wants to. He has been there for the kids and his horses 24/7 for 17 years.
More than 18 years ago he donated a kidney to his brother to save his life (he has never told anyone). It was at that point he decided that it was time to give back and A Horse's Friend was born. Combining his passion for giving back with his love of horses from his childhood experiences, he has built a vital and necessary program. Please help make this program survive, spread the word. 323,000,000 people in the USA if everyone just gave $1, think of what we could do. I challenge you.
I am a teacher, a wife, a daughter, and a volunteer. All these things are very important to me and they make me who I am today. Each one makes me stronger and I am definitely a better person because of A Horse’s Friend. For the past 10 years I have worked with Matt Doward and his program horses. It all started when I moved down the street from the farm and someone left a program flyer in my door. It was a natural fit for me to work with horses and children while helping my community. Not only has my riding ability improved, but my work ethic and appreciation to teach kids the world of horses. I have learned to communicate more efficiently and been able to overcome obstacles that stand in my way. Thank you Matt and Rebecca for believing in me to join your family and this important program. I don’t know what I will do without this program in my life so I will do everything in my power to support you and help you stay in your home.