Abby du Fretay

Dear Horses in the Hood,

Hello Kathy,

Shields for Families, services children and families within the Watts area. Our families for the majority are single women and their children who faced great economic hardships to say the very least. Our clients live within a community which is plagued with violence and great uncertainty. It is not uncommon that our clients are unable to play outdoors, due to the dangers that prevail within the neighborhood.

Horses in the Hood, allows our clients the opportunity to experience the outdoors and all its splendor without the worry of neighborhood violence. Our clients are introduced to many new stimuli such as the mountains, ocean, and horses. Horses in the Hood and the week long experience breeds confidence and empowerment to our clients. The majority of our clients begin the week experience nervous and shy, but by the middle of the first day our clients posses self-belief and an eagerness to learn.

Horses in the Hood provides our clients from Watts with a life alternating experience which most likely would never be offer to the children in Watts, California. These children are able to take away not only the skill of horsemanship, but also an increased self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment. The last day of Horses in the Hood sums up the wonders of the week long experience when our clients family members cheer with delight as they watch their children showcase their skills. Horses in the Hood not only empowers our clients, but Horses in the Hood also brings our clients and families together and I believe there is no better outcome.

Abby du Fretay, MSW, Shields for Families, SBMH