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Horses Help Heroes

  "Returning freedom to those who fought for ours"

Horses Help Heroes is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) dedicated to making positive change in the lives of disabled veterans, their families and families who have lost loved ones while serving on active duty. We offer a variety of equine-related programs at no cost to our veterans and families.

We work with several licensed stables in Maryland, each offering different programs and benefits.  Horses Help Heroes runs many of its programs at the Big Purple Barn.  The Big Purple Barn is a 501(c)(3) horse sanctuary whose primary mission is to provide a top quality permanent home for special needs horses and ponies.  The barn provides for their medical, physical and emotional needs while allowing them to live out their life in comfort and care.

Kristy Alvarez, HHH Equine Specialist

Kristy combined her psychology degree and love of horses into a career focusing on helping both horses and people. In 2006, she founded an organization with the same mission, which later merged with Freedom Hill Horse Rescue in 2013 when she became President and Executive Director, a position she held through 2016. The story of her journey was published in Down the Aisle Horse Stories.

Kristy was certified by the Certified Horsemanship Association to teach riding and horsemanship lessons in 2004, and was certified by the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) in 2011 as an Equine Specialist.  As a Camp Fit trainer, Kristy uses the EAGALA model to help young people who suffer from childhood obesity to get fit with horses. 


Claire McCawley,    HHH Intern

Claire is a current student at Salisbury University that is graduating in May 2018 with a degree in social work. Claire has always had a passion for helping others and has experience working with military service members during her time as a student; providing unemployment, crisis intervention, and mental health services. Claire’s area of expertise is in macro social work and she currently interns at the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) in Baltimore, Maryland. She works with other licensed professionals from around the state in continuing education, administration, policy development, organizational planning, advocacy, and lobbying. Claire has owned and shown horses for more than 15 years and participated in the local 4-h and pony club. She plans to use her passion for helping others, experience with service members, and knowledge of horsemanship to assist program staff and participants in getting the most out of their experience. 

Great Escape Stables located in Bowie, MD is a 25 acres property with an indoor arena.  This allows the program for to run year round regardless of weather.  Great Escape provides riding instruction as well ground training for our veterans and their families.   

Horses Help Heroes

P.O Box 4271

Crofton, MD 21114