Flying Change was founded in 1996, making it one of the nation’s first equine assisted growth and learning programs. Flying Change was created with the belief that the emotional skills developed in relationship with horses could be used to enrich all areas of human life. One by one, children, adults and their families discovered the dynamic power of learning new ways of living through interactive experiences with horses.
In 2001, Flying Change moved from Athens, Georgia to its current home base in Vinings, an upscale neighborhood in Atlanta and seemingly unlikely location for an equine assisted therapy program. Surrounded by wealthy homes and private schools, this new location allowed for an increase in services and programs, bringing an expansion not only of the mental health programs but the introduction of educational programming, as well.
Flying Change’s mission expanded in 2002 when the program accepted its first rescue horse for the psychotherapy program. From the start it was clear that incorporating rescued horses would allow Flying Change to benefit both the clients and the horses that had been abused and neglected; an environment was created where the clients were no longer just healing themselves, they were healing the horses. In 2004, Flying Change delved even further into benefiting horses through its programs by rescuing foals that had been orphaned or were to be sent to slaughter and using them in therapy with severely abused teens, thus beginning MercyFoal.
Today, Flying Change is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of equine assisted growth and learning. In addition to the pioneering services provided to the community, Flying Change has dedicated itself to promoting the specialty of equine therapy. In 2003 and 2007, Flying Change hosted the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association Level I Certification. In 2005, Executive Director Lissa Corcoran created First Strides and began sharing her experience and expertise though regular articles, presentations and consulting on the business principles of creating an equine therapy practice. Flying Change continues to educate others in the use of equine therapy through hosting the international symposium Healing With Horses and other workshops and trainings, and by consulting nationally and internationally in program development.
Beginning in 1996 with only one horse, one equine professional and 2 private practice therapists bringing clients to the barn, today, Flying Change has grown into an internationally recognized leader in the field of Equine Assisted Growth and Learning with multiple farms and pioneering programs in the fields of mental health, human development, education and animal welfare. Flying Change continues to further its mission and provide services to ever more populations.
Lissa Corcoran, Flying Change’s founder and Executive Director, was the first person in Georgia to be certified by both the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association and the National Association of Riding for the Handicapped, now known as PATH. She has been an active member of EAGALA and PATH since 2000. She was active in the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association’s Specialty Pilot Workshop in 2002, giving feedback to the standards committee in development of EFMHA’s upcoming national certification procedure. She served as a member of the EAGALA Board of Directors and has presented numerous workshops, demonstrations and trainings including the 2002 EFMHA National Conference and 2006 EAGALA Annual Conference. She currently acts as a consultant nationally and internationally in the field of EAP.