Cuse Quines program connects Syracuse youth with horses as a way to spread joy

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — For a few hours on Sundays, when the weather permits, Syracuse Parks are transformed into horse pens.

This is the vision of retired Syracuse Police Officer Julie Jones. She is the founder of Cuse Quines, which connects these young people to these mini donkeys and horse. It’s a partnership with The Haven at Skanda in Cazenovia.

“We’ve had two really tough years in this pandemic,” Jones explained, “Our city has a lot of violence and I would love to try to break that chain of violence and get kids to know that we really want to have a great earth and a great life for them.”

This program was made possible through donations and volunteers. The children are taught how to interact with the animals.

“They’re able to touch it, see what it’s consciousness is, groom it, look at the waves of the fur and just connect with this horse and forget about everything else that went on today, last night, this morning,” Jones said.

“I like the horses and the donkeys, at least I get to pet them before they go home,” said one participant, Laylani Blakes.

For Jones, she was able to see her vision in action. The lesson for everyone is: Find what gives you joy.

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