Julie Puentes

Julie Puentes Picture
  • Name

    Julie Puentes
  • Title

    Executive Director
  • Organization Name

    The HorseLink
  • Number of Years as Executive Director

    I have served as ED for 10 years since I founded the organization.
  • What does your organization do?

    Our mission is two-fold.

    We provide:
    *Renewed purpose and a loving, permanent home to horses in need.
    *Equine-assisted learning programs (for people) that instill resilience and empowerment.

    We link humans and horses together for mutual benefit and healing.
  • How did you become interested in this work?

    I have ridden, owned, and showed horses my entire life and knew the need for an affordable option for horse retirement. Horses who must retire from age or injury are usually healthy and used to having a purpose and high human interaction, so they are perfect to work with people especially those who have never been around horses before.

    I have also been a facilitator in equine-assisted learning for fifteen years, so I know firsthand the profound impact they can have on the human spirit. My own experiences with horses during challenging times informs this knowing as well.

    When I understood my background in psychology, coaching, and leadership could intersect with my love of horses it was like a light bulb went off in my head. It wasn’t so much I became interested as I felt compelled and knew the work I was supposed to do.
  • What drives your passion?

    My love of horses and my love for helping people to access their strength and personal power to heal from challenging situations and trauma.
  • Do you have a mentor or a role model?

    No one person. I honestly feel like I have something to learn from just about everyone I meet. The number of people who have supported and inspired me the last ten years is too many to list.
  • What's the biggest challenge in your work?

    Getting it all done with limited financial resources.
  • What's the best advice that you have ever received?

    Stay true to yourself and the organization’s mission and it will work out.
  • What are your top tips for new Executive Directors?

    1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
    2. Connect with other ED’s and listen, listen, listen
    3. When you get discouraged (and we all do), spend a day being involved in an activity within your organization to reconnect with the work and be reminded of the difference your organization makes