HALTER's mission is to use animals, especially miniature horses, to provide support and enhance the lives of others. This non-profit corporation was founded in August 2001 to train miniature horses as Pet Therapy animals for use by special needs children. HALTER actively participates in programs designed to meet the needs of all children to help them live fuller, happier lives.
HALTER also assists at-risk teenagers by offering opportunities to participate in training and riding programs. These programs improve self-confidence, while allowing the opportunity for the participants to help others. As an extension of the at-risk teen program, HALTER provides a supportive, constructive environment for teenagers with court appointed community service to complete their hours of obligation.
HALTER, Inc. is an equal opportunity organization. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, income or handicap.
Our Board Members:
President- Maria Pigozzi
Founder and mother of 5. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Houston and a Master's from Capella University. She is pursuing her BCBA certification. She is the driving force behind HALTER's success.
President of Equine Operations- Charlie Andrews
Captain of the Knights of Mayhem full contact jousting team from the National Geographic show "The Knights of Mayhem," 10 time world champion heavy armor, MMA fighter, life time equestrian. He served in the Navy and is the father of 2 boys and a girl. Charlie has spent his life working and training horses. He has done it all in the horse world; jumping and dressage, rodeo and roping, and has jousted on some of the best war horses ever. He is also a renowned clinician. Charlie brings a worldly knowledge to our riding, horse training and management program.
Treasurer- Gail Dunn
Gail is one of the founders of HALTER Inc. She is the mother of 3 and grandmother to two beautiful grandsons. She has bachelor's degree in Journalism and a Master's degree in Educational Technology Leadership. She has run her own successful business and has been a middle school teacher for the last 18 years. When not at HALTER, she provides training for teachers. She has given riding lessons, run camps and handles our Scout programs.
Just a little info about us: HALTER was founded in 2001 by our President, Maria Pigozzi and Treasurer, Gail Dunn. Ms. Maria 's daughter, Franchesca, has congenital heart disease, and that inspired Ms. Maria to help other special needs children. Franchesca has undergone 3 open heart surgeries, and she will need another open heart surgery in the future, but she is healthy and an integral part of HALTER.
Through the years we have adapted our programs to fit the needs of our Special families. We have participated in special needs classes, in horse shows, have hosted our own shows, and we have taken the horses to schools, churches and camps for children. We are the only organization in Houston that uses the miniature horses for our lead line program to help get the benefits to children with special needs at an earlier age and with a size appropriate horse. We are also the only non profit that takes their horses to the beach to better benefit our special needs children especially the children with Autism. We have now made this a day camp program and have opened up registration to anyone not just HALTER participants.
We have grown to make a difference in the lives of 1000's of children with our programs, fundraisers and off site events. We feel money should never be the reason a child does not benefit from HALTER so we have waited as long as we could to increase program fees, the prices of feed have more than doubled in the last 15 years and we increased some program fees June 2016. We rely on the generous people and companies that support the work we do with the children.
Over the years we have partnered with United Cerebral Palsy, Special Olympics, the Downs Syndrome Association, Champions Kids Camp, The Briarwood School, The Brookwood Community, and The West View School. We look forward to always improving the lives of children with our animals.
We are the little organization that does great big things for special needs children and their families.
Other companies/ organizations that have supported us:
The Memorial Exchange Club HCDE-Texas.org
Cy-Fair Women's Club Knights of Columbus
Ace Hardware Lowes
Home Depot Sherwin Williams
HMC Taste of Texas
Admiral Rigging Dynamos
HEB Alamo Drafthouse
Wheel of Fortune Disney
LA Fitness Supercuts
Cottage Door Gourmet Gift Baskets
Alex and Ani
Sam Houston Raceway
Black Pearl Tattoo Parlor
Hippie Princess Boutique
Atlantis Casino Resort
Sticks and Stones
The Cracker Barrel
Petunia Pickle Bottom
Waves of Impact