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Horse Thrive

Impacting Service Horses Naturally

Horse thrive is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping service horses thrive and live a healthier, more natural lifestyle.  We are dedicated to learning and sharing our education, wisdom, experiences and expertise.  We want to empower others to grow and become better horse advocates.  We stand committed in helping our service horse organizations transition out of traditional, protocols that hinder health, vitality and happiness, and move towards a progressive natural horse culture designed to add health, longevity, comfort and the ability to thrive.

Staying true to our values and vision, our resources will solely be used to promote our mission.  We don’t take salaries and are not sponsored by any company to sell their products.  We only use products we deem natural and that promote natural horse health, comfort and longevity.

The horse thrive team’s focus is aimed at working with service horse organizations that use horses in mounted patrol units, equine therapeutic organizations, and veterans’ programs.  Our hope is for these organizations to implement and embrace these healthy concepts and be willing to pass this knowledge to others.

Contact the horse thrive team to set up an in person or virtual meeting to hear our innovative path towards healthier and happier working service horses.

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” -Mark Twain

Greg Sokoloski

Greg an experienced Houston Police Officer, Mounted Patrol Officer for 36 years, an evolving horseman, and educator and true horse advocate.  His passion to create a culture providing horses with the best care and resources available is unmatched.

  • Houston Police Officer 1981-1984

  • Senior Officer/Trainer Mounted Unit 1984-2017

  • Instrumental in bringing the barefoot program to the Houston Mounted Police Unit and all 40 horses were transistioned to barefoot by 2006.

  • Evolving Horseman and Barefoot Trimmer.

  • His story is noteworthy, as he educates others through speaking engagements, clinics, articles,and guest appearances on podcasts.

  • Partnering in the creation of the Horse Thrive non-profit- Taking his message and experience into the field through trimming, training, and sharing his expertise with others.

  • Other passions include flying, golfing, traveling, family and spending time outdoors.

 

Greg graduated from the Houston Police Academy in 1981, and sought to be a good cop and provided true service to the people of the City of Houston.  In 1984 he was accepted into the Mounted Unit which was being started for a trial period of one year.  Greg had no horse experience, but the unit was looking for good police officers and would train the officers in their riding school.  They grew from a fourteen horse herd to forty two horses at their peak. This growth only occured from the success of the unit and their commitment to Crime, Community and Crowds.  Police horses are an amazing asset and do an incredible job working on the streets of Houston.

During 1984 to the end of 1990's Greg grew into a very accomplished horseman and started to help with training of the horses and officers.  Their training and horse care practices were based on the United States Cavalry.  This consisted of stalls, two flakes of hay a day, and many pounds of bagged horse feed, and metal shoes.

 

In the late 1990's he started really observing and taking note of these traditional practices.  They were having a lot of lameness, colic, skin, and behavior issues with their horses and handled them the traditional way.  This meant medicines, different options with metal shoes and traditional vet practices.  They were retiring or euthanizing many horses  Greg still believed had the ability to serve.  They needed changes and the horses were yelling at them to change.

Greg was able to analyse the vast records kept of all past, retired, deceased and present horses.  This was eye opening.  Many of the practices and constant medications were just prolonging and not changing the lameness, colic, and other maladies plaguing their police horses.  This was costing the city and taxpayers a lot of money.

Greg promoted changing from metal shoes to barefoot, and in 2002 started pulling shoes and beginning to work the horses barefoot.  He met with a lot of resistance, threats, and very little support in the beginning.  With each successful transistion, the barefoot movement in the unit became stronger.  In 2006 all of our horses were barefoot, living and working much longer, with less behavioral issues and saving the City of Houston, the police department, and taxpayers thousands of dollars.

After retiring in 2017 he went to work for Panther Creek Inspiration Ranch as their horse manager and continued to educate others and trim their horses into a healthier, longer, and happier life.  Greg was approached by a hoof boot company willing to donate boots to any therapeutic horse facility in getting their horses out of metal shoes, He knew more was needed than just donating boots.

At Horse Thrive, we do not want to give or sell products but have a comprehensive program of principles, resources and services to programs in the Therapeutic, Law Enforcement and Veterans programs that establish a culture of providing their horses with the best care and resources available.

Greg believes on account of his experiences with the Mounted Patrol horses, he has found the second most important day of his life-Welcome to Horse Thrive!

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“Purpose is the reason you journey. Passion is the fire that lights your way.” 

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Linda howard

 Linda a passionate Horse Advocate, and researcher, with as extensive knowledge of quality nutritional practices, EAGALA Equine Specialist, and true believer in the tangible impact of the human-horse connection.  Her passion brings awareness to improve the health and quality of life of service horses is inspiring.

  • Equine Coordinator, advocating and caring for Therapeutic Horses

  • Completed Dr. Eleanor Kellon's NRC Plus Equine Nutrition Course.

  • EAGALA Equine Specialist since 2017

  • Research Junki, Nutrition Geek, and always curious about new ways to help horses.

  • Partnering in the creation of Horse Thrive non-profit-taking her message to others through research, problem solving, innovation and Equine Nutrition awareness.

  • Other passions include her horse Samson, Music, Traveling, Family, and enjoying Nature.

Linda’s purpose and passion emerged listening to a compelling radio interview featuring Dr. James Dobson and Kim Meeder. Kim spoke of her ranch in Bend, Oregon, where she and her husband pair abused and neglected horses with emotionally wounded children and families. The story inspired Linda to volunteer at a local equine therapeutic ranch. There she began her journey of discovery into the amazing therapeutic nature of horses, and the benefits they can provide for people with special needs, both physical or emotional.

 

Observing first- hand the tangible impact of the human-horse connection, Linda developed a strong interest in the health and quality of life of service horses. The ranch followed natural horse care principles, and the horses flourished in that environment. Linda accepted a position as Equine Coordinator, advocating and caring for the ranch’s therapy horses. She had a unique opportunity to learn about horses’ diets, exercise needs, hoof trimming fundamentals, medical, chiropractic and dental care. She developed natural care protocols, with a strong foundation and
emphasis from the horse’s point of view.

 

Linda rescued her horse Samson, a Norwegian Fjord with COPD, insulin resistance and behavioral issues commonly observed in abused and neglected equines. She considers him her best teacher, and is motivated to research on behalf of his health and well-being.

 

She completed Dr. Eleanor Keller’s NRC Plus Equine Nutrition Course to gain a greater technical knowledge of equine nutrition, and their daily nutrient requirements. The course emphasized a clean and simple diet as being paramount to horse health; 90% of health issues can be alleviated by such a diet. Applying her knowledge about quality balanced nutrition to her own horse, Samson is now beautiful and healthy, both physically and mentally. He is barefoot, happy and thriving, moving freely with his herd at Henry’s Home in Conroe, Texas- a horse and human sanctuary that serves veterans and first responders. In addition, Linda has been EAGALA certified as an Equine Specialist since 2017.

 

Linda applied primary principles she has learned to give horses a happier and healthier life and Horse Thrive emerged and began efforts to help empower service horse organizations with a better understanding of natural horse care, so their horses would likewise benefit and THRIVE.