Our Instructors

My goal at Hoof n HOPE is to offer joyful experiences to riders by incorporating the horse as the medium through which a participant develops the perception of intuition, feel, balance and timing that is integral to riding harmoniously in partnership with the horse. Hoof n HOPE riding programs help riders and non riders to develop compassion and empathy for animals, addresses the ‘Nature Deficit in Children’, promotes physical, emotional and educational improvements. Through the interaction with nature, incorporating music and the arts combined with the physical challenges of moving through space on a horse; this transformative process allows a person to make positive connections back to themselves. By developing the power of behavioral congruency (i.e. harmony) within a safe environment, one is able to achieve calmness for learning, build greater self esteem and self confidence, and lessen reactive behaviors. As the horse mirrors the rider’s emotional and behavioral inputs, the rider may develop clarity to see themselves reflected by the horse. Karen Gostenhofer

Karen Gostenhofer

Karen Gostenhofer
Hoof n HOPE Director

MS Landscape Architecture, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University
Morven Park International Equestrienne Institute, Leesburg, VA
Path International, Advanced Therapeutic Riding and Interactive Vaulting instructor
Art Institute of Philadelphia, PA Commercial Artist
Worcester Art Museum, MA, oil painting: landscapes, animal portraits
Worcester Center for Crafts – Sculpture
Salve Regina University, Newport Rhode Island: Expressive Arts Facilitator,
Centered Riding Instructor
Natural Horsemanship
TTeam for Horses and Dogs
Delta Society (Service Dogs)

Karen Gostenhofer is a therapeutic practitioner within animal assisted/expressive therapies. She has studied animal and human behaviors with an anthrozoological approach. Working for twenty years as a landscape architectural designer at Gostenhofer Designs; art and science are joined encompassing the natural, ecological and cultural aspects of ‘Genius Loci’ or ‘Spirit of Place’. Her equestrienne experiences naturally dovetail with an appreciation for ’The Great Outdoors’, understanding and educating others as to the landscape’s human and animal systems, and how horses can bring our attention to our own ‘inner landscape’.