TOC News and Announcements

The latest news, updates and announcements from TOC

Healing Arenas, Inc. introduces the “Stable Journeys” Pilot Project

Retired Racehorses Utilized in EAGALA Model Program

Escalon, CA: “Stable Journeys,” a new program designed by Healing Arenas, Inc., will serve the area’s underserved amputee population and their families. The initiative pairs EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) certified mental health professionals and equine specialists with adoptable retired racehorses in a program to help amputees adapt to permanent life change by the loss of a limb(s).

“Horses help with the emotional transition to life without a limb(s). Overcoming the emotional obstacles, feeling loved, empowered and accepted are essential steps in maintaining a full life,” explained Julie Baker, Founder and President of Healing Arenas, Inc. “We are looking forward to providing tools for people to succeed while helping the horses prepare for their new careers after racing.”

“Being an amputee is not the end of our life. It’s the beginning of a different one. Thank God someone cares to design a program to help us,” said Donna Nadalin, amputee since 2008.

“Stable Journey’s” permanent location is yet to be determined, dependent on the stakeholder partnerships now being formed. Donations to fund the pilot are appreciated in order to gather the evidential data to apply for grants to sustain the permanent program.

“It’s only through partnerships with the community, the TRF and EAGALA that these projects can exist. We thank everyone tremendously for their support,” emphasizes Baker.

The Healing Arenas, Inc. mission is “to support emotional healing through equine interaction and provide safe and restorative homes for retired racehorses.” Established as a non-profit 501c3 organization, it is sponsored in part by the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF). It is the first program in the country to utilize retired racehorses for the emotional healing of this population. The TRF was established in 1983 to save retired racehorses from neglect and abuse.

The “Stable Journeys” project benefits both horse and human, much like other projects offered by Healing Arenas, such as Second Chances California (SCC). SCC offers EAGALA personal growth and development services, as well as a vocational program to teach new life skills to probationers for their re-entry into society after incarceration.

EAGALA is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization developed in 1999 to address the need for resources, education and professionalism in the fields of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning. With over 4000 members in 49 countries, the association has set the standard for professional excellence in how horses and humans work together to improve the quality of life and mental health of individuals, families and groups worldwide.

For more information, contact Julie Baker 209.988.7800 (