"A horse doesn’t care how much you know, until he knows how much you care."
For us, it's personal
Like most life journeys, determining when ours began is difficult. Everything we have experienced in life has prepared and led us to this point.
However, there have been some key events that definitively moved us down the road. Understanding some of those will help you understand
a bit more about us and our work at Excel Kids.
We are blessed to have five of our seven children adopted, and four of those five, adopted through foster care. Dr. Artman and his wife,
were great encouragement regarding the positive impact that foster care can have. Because he understood the unique challenges that our
children faced, he was able to council us and recommend care professionals that would be able to provide the right therapies for our children.
I admit, I was a skeptic. Therapy took a lot of time out of Jamie's schedule. However, it didn't take long to see the tremendous positive impact
that the children's therapy provided.
Once the epiphany happened, we had moved from asking, "Is therapy really helpful?" to asking, "How do we make this available to more
children?" We struggled with that question for some time, with no real solutions. Our present work began as a dream. In the dream, children
were playing and enjoying therapy without even realizing it. They were playing games, riding horses, enjoying the indoor
facilities of a recreation center, tending small gardens to call their own, and caring for small farm animals.
When we shared that vision with the children's therapists, many of them agreed to help with the effort. Many of our present board members
have been instrumental in working with our children and are helping us move the dream from vision to reality. If you feel like this
work is something you would like to support or participate in, please drop us an email.
Thank you for dropping by and checking out what is happening at Excel Kids.
John & Jamie Guyer
Our Team Comes in All Shapes and Sizes
The picture above is a great example of life we enjoy on our team. As we worked in the pasture, our horse team decided they needed
to come see how they could help (and hopefully earn a treat).
We are incredbily blessed and grateful to have an amazing team of people and animals. Together we form the Excel Kids team and everyone plays a part. Here are some of
the amazing folks, fur and feathers that make up our incredible team.
John Guyer - Founder & Director
Jamie Guyer - Con-Founder & Operations
Grace Green - Social Media Outreach
Dr. Michael Artman (Pediatrics)
Nazaly Miller (PT, PCS, BOC/O)
Our Animal Team
Keep on scrolling to see the team!
I joined the family in January of 2015, coming from a rescue in Clayton, NC. I was originally
brought to the rescue due to neglect, but boy howdy do I make up for it these days!
Humans and TREATS! Those are my favorite things. And dinner! Dinner and treats! Did I
mention that I like treats?
I may not be flashy, showy, or grand, but I love my life as a therapeutic horse and would love
to help you over whatever hurdles you're facing in life. (P.S. that is completely figurative ... I
actually don't have a clue yet how to safely make it over jumps!)
I joined the family in March of 2015, after a few owners, some great and some really not great.
I was donated to Excel Kids by one of my great owners who wanted me to have a job where I
would be treated well ( aka. Spoiled *wink wink*).
Some of my history has taught me to be afraid of humans who approach me too quickly or
forcefully, but I am learning little by little that there are people that will never touch me with
the intent to hurt. Aaaaand that people often come with peppermints. Bonus!
I may look a little too fancy for a therapeutic farm, but I love my family and my job. Most
importantly, I love connecting with people!
I joined the family in June of 2016. I am a mini horse. I might be the littlest (and clearly
the cutest), but I have a big heart. I like to conserve my energy so I don't move too fast
(most of the time). I am also one of the most patient horses you will meet.
I am told all this makes me a great therapy horse. Of course! I am obviously great!
I really like it when I am groomed. It is important to keep my mane looking
fabulous. I can give rides with my styling little saddle, but since I am small, you would
have to be small as well.
The family joined me August of 2018. It is a good thing too. It is a wonder these boys can get
out of their stalls in the morning. As the only mare (beautiful female) I am the Queen Bee,
and don't forget it!
I am a mountain horse so I can carry larger riders. I like treats, a lot, and as you can
plainly see, they like me as well!
When we are riding you need to remember that I have my opinoins about, well, everything!
As a mare, of course, I am always right, but I am happy for you to figure that eventually. If you
ask nicely we can go where you want (but there better be treats at the end!)
I joined the family in April of 2020. No, I am not a mare (crazy horse like Bella Rose),
even though I am named after a flower. It is because I am so sweet (especially if you
I am a pony. That means I am a bit bigger than Ferdinand, but smaller than everyone
else. That also means I can be a little unpredicatable! Life is too short so live
in a routine!
I am also a Paint, like Oreo, but my dark hair looks like I am wearing pants (like you
2-Legs). My pants are more convenient though. I never have to worry about finding them!
Dude! I joined the family in March of 2021 and I came from the same Farm as Buttercup.
We are buddies, but now that I think about it, everyone is my buddy.
I am blonde (no blonde jokes y'all) but I am mostly just a chill dude. Some of the
family likes to argue about food. Food is good, but nothing is worth arguing over.
Can't we all just get along?
I am the biggest of the family so I can carry bigger 2-legs. I also have some fancy
shoes on my front hooves. They make a nice clippy-clop sound in the barn. Dude!
Jack & Annie
We joined the family in February of 2019. Our momma couldn't take care of us so we had
to drink from a bottle when we were little. They call us bottle babies. That just means
we think the kitchen, where we grew up is where we belong!
We have a neat playground in our paddock. If you come visit us, you can climb like a
goat. Well, you can try. We are pretty impressive climbers! We have even been on top
of that big green deere with wheels (that is a funny looking deere)
We are also twins but we are different. Jack thinks he is a good climber, but I am way better!
Bawk Bawk Bawk Bawk. Oh sorry, we are so used to talking to each other, we forget you
"scrawny wings" don't understand us. What is up with your wings, by the way? Those are the
most useless wings we have ever seen, and we are chickens! We hardly ever use our wings
Some of us are older, but don't call us old! We are just more experienced! Our names are: Chicken,
Ducky, Carmel, Hei Hei, and Acorn.
The young girls are: Holly, Penny, Sunny, Honey, Cookie, and Phoenix. We don't lay eggs yet, but
when we do we will leave brown, blue and white eggs. They are going to be awesome!