Freedom Hooves fundraiser brings in $10K, introduces new program director for equine therapy in Moffat County |

Freedom Hooves fundraiser brings in $10K, introduces new program director for equine therapy in Moffat County

Talisha Christiansen, left and Connie Sue Ellis are the program director and executive director for Freedom Hooves Therapeutic Riding of Northwest Colorado.
Andy Bockelman

Though it may not have had any mythic creatures in attendance, the latest event hosted by Freedom Hooves provided a good time nonetheless.

Freedom Hooves Therapeutic Riding of Northwest Colorado held its annual barbecue fundraiser Saturday at Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion, bringing in $10,000 for its efforts.

The organization, which provides equine-aided activities for health recovery through the region, provided auction items, face-painting and dinner among other happenings during the weekend gathering.

Initially, organizers had also planned to present a unicorn, which is something they have trotted out on several special occasions to bring a smile to the faces of people of all ages.

“Turns out they don’t really like the cold weather,” said Connie Sue Ellis, Freedom Hooves executive director.

Rather than the unicorn, Freedom Hooves was able to show off a new member of its staff: Program Director Talisha Christiansen, who will officially begin the job April 15.

Christiansen and her husband, Seth, are relocating to Moffat County from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She originally grew up in California and studied at Utah State University.

Christiansen said she is experienced in working with horses in both Western and English riding disciplines, competing at the college level, as well as being part of the USU Equine Experience program.

She said she looks forward to bringing her love for horses to Freedom Hooves and the clientele it serves.

“I’ve loved the communication and working with the board so far and learning all their program provides,” she said. “I really love the aspect of working with the community, and the level of outreach here has really impressed me.”

Freedom Hooves works with multiple experience levels ranging from veterans to developmentally disabled children and adults. The latest season for the program takes place from May to October.

For more information on services and costs, visit or call 970-701-9085.


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