Turning Tragedy Into Triumph, About Barnabas Horse Foundation

In the midst of a trial no family should ever have to experience, God placed a vision on Sue McKinney’s heart she could not ignore.

Seeing the healing that came to a loved one from being around the family’s horses, she combined her love of horses and children and began this foundation in 2011. Initially Barnabas, which means “encourager,” began offering equine-assisted psychotherapy to abused and traumatized children, seeing their first clients in January 2013. Because of the high need for alternative therapies in Horry and Georgetown Counties, Barnabas Horse Foundation also began serving women in crisis, partnering with the Rape Crisis Center and the Family Justice Center in 2014.

With much prayer and discussion, in 2015, Barnabas launched a safe haven for active military members and veterans who now battle post-traumatic stress syndrome, making every Monday morning Veteran’s Day at the farm. With the rapid growth in the program, over 533% in three years, the board decided to hold off on adding any further programs. However, God wasn’t finished with Barnabas yet!

In 2021, Barnabas added an equine-assisted learning program for First Responders, providing a relaxing, safe environment to process through the trauma and stress of being on the frontlines serving those in need.

The only alternative therapy program recognized by the SC Attorney General’s Office since 2016, Barnabas has been the proud recipient of the VOCA grant. This grant provides salaries for three full-time and one part-time staff members to meet the needs of victims of crime.

Barnabas continues to expand the trauma-focused, equine-assisted psychotherapy, coaching, and learning programs, partnering with local agencies to offer services to human trafficking survivors. If there is a need in our community, Barnabas Horse Foundation will strive to provide a safe and brave space for healing.

Out of one family’s tragedy and heartbreak, came a foundation that shares love, hope, and healing through fellowship with horses for those who have walked a similar path. To God be the glory forever and ever!

Our Purpose:

To encourage hope and healing through fellowship with horses.

Our Vision:

To facilitate healing of the mind, body, and spirit
through the grace and strength of the horse.

Our Mission:

To provide equine-assisted services for survivors of crime, veterans, and first responders to improve their quality of life and relationships through horse and human interaction.