Foxfire Eventing is an educational program centered around a youth-founded project. Through interaction with horses, the Foxfire extracurricular program teaches and fosters growth mindset, responsibility, leadership, peer mentorship, volunteerism, and animal welfare.

Foxfire’s mission is threefold:

  • To provide home and care for horses needing a second vocation after a first career ends; these horses then teach participants all aspects of horsemanship, care, barn management, riding, and competitive skills.

  • To provide a supportive and educational environment for youth outside of school, in which the organization will teach and support youth in horse care, equestrian education, and in skills and characteristics needed for success in many areas of life.

  • To make equestrianism and horse-related vocational learning accessible to youth from across the greater Richmond/central Virginia areas, from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.

By giving participants an authentic context in which to acquire and demonstrate skills and characteristics, Foxfire equips youth with a marketable skill set. This includes concrete, industry-specific skills necessary to multiple equestrian, educational, nutritional and medical career contexts, as well as a general set of horizontal or “soft” skills needed for almost every career, such as initiative, creativity, problem-solving, communication, and responsibility.

Foxfire maintains the following objectives to accomplish its mission:

  • Participants founded their own horse farm where program horses live. Under adult supervision, and working in teams, youth participants who learn within the program will provide daily direct care to the horses involved in the program.

  • Participants will engage in horsemanship instruction at least twice weekly, and at least two additional theoretical lessons per month.

  • Participants will set learning objectives and work with instructors and peers to develop strategies for reaching them.

  • Participants will communicate with relevant community members and business owners to help in the organization and responsibilities of running their farm.

  • Participants will volunteer with organizations in other aspects of the equestrian industry to make systems and events, and even daily life, better for animals and humans involved. Organizations include The Virginia Horse Trials, Eventing in Virginia, Surefire Horse Trials, New Vocations Horse Adoption, and The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, among others.