After a rocky start to 2019, Detroit Horse Power founder David Silver brings a new perspective to his organization.

In 2015, David Silver brought a unique experience to Detroit’s youth.

Known as Detroit Horse Power, this organization gives the kids and teens an opportunity to learn how to ride and take care of horses. In turn, the horses also teach kids social emotional skills they may not learn otherwise.

During the first year, Silver had only 18 students in his summer horse camp. Over the past four years, over 100 students joined in at different barns throughout Michigan.

Courtesy of Peter Walle

Silver developed a year-long after-school program in 2017 that engages students from all over Metro Detroit. Over the past two years, 26 students completed the program.

In 2019, Detroit Horse Power’s programming came to a sudden halt. While Silver was on his way home from visiting his family, a pickup truck lost control on the icy roads and hit Silver’s car head on. His girlfriend and dog were in the car, but only Silver sustained injuries.

Silver spent a month in two different hospitals healing from a fractured skull. After his time in the hospital, he went to physical therapy and occupational therapy. He currently participates in an occupational therapy program three days a week due to limitations with his left hand.

During the three months following the accident, Silver took a break from Detroit Horse Power to focus on his recovery and treatment.

Once he was able to use a computer again, Silver stayed in contact with his colleagues from Detroit Horse Power and allowed them to resume operating the business.

On April 8, Silver was finally able to return to work full time.

“I was very excited to be back and to work with our students in the community,” Silver said. “It felt good to be back in the saddle.”

Experiencing a tragedy like this has put a lot in perspective for Silver.

“The accident has made me realized how important relationships are in my life,” Silver said. “I am intensely grateful for my family, my girlfriend and especially Detroit Horse Power’s team for stepping up and juggling a lot.”

Detroit Horse Power student
Courtesy of Peter Walle

Silver continues to grow his organization and educate youth in Detroit about horses.

“We focus on five core character traits: perseverance, empathy, responsible risk taking, confidence and self-control,” Silver said. “Horses can teach these social emotional skills to the youth and allow them to grow in character development.”

Detroit Horse Power is also working with Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, which employs 14-24-year-olds during the summer.

“It’s amazing to see our kids who have been with us since the beginning start to teach beginner students,” Silver said. “It’s great to see this go full circle.”

With the growth of the organization, Silver is getting closer to his goal of repurposing a vacant lot in Detroit for their own benefit.

Courtesy of Peter Walle

“We travel a great distance for our youth to experience horse barns,” Silver said. “We are extremely grateful for the barns that allow us to use their space, but we are looking forward to the day we can turn an eyesore into a community asset and strengthen the fabric of the neighborhood.”

If you would like to donate or volunteer with Detroit Horse Power, head to their website detroithorsepower.org to learn more.

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