Open Your Heart.

"I am related to everyone."

hun•ka•pi /hun-kah-pee/ - A Lakota word.

Our Name

The heritage of HUNKAPI is grounded in the idea of interrelatedness and the responsibility that emanates from it. The name HUNKAPI [hun-kah-pee] is from the Lakota Native American tribe and means: “we are all related."   Using the name HUNKAPI for our organization was inspired by a story that GaWaNi Pony Boy related in his book Horse Follow Closely where he describes the deep bond formed between Native Americans and their ponies. In the story, a bear enters an Indian’s camp, which causes the horse to whinny. The horse’s whinny wakes up the Indian and the Indian proceeds to frighten off the bear. Their bond enabled the horse to save the Indian and the Indian in turn to save the horse.  In choosing this powerful word HUNKAPI as our name, all involved are reminded of our need for and reliance on one another and the responsibility of forwarding that feeling.

We do this by regularly creating fresh experiences for our clients/participants that zing connection from head to toe.  The kind of zing that makes you realize you are alive and that life can be joyful. While you’re experiencing, the staff notice how deep are your sighs, how relaxed your jaw, whether there is the hint of a smile, a giggle of fear or one of happiness, whether your eyes are dilated with concern or smiling with joy.  We believe that facilitated, non-judgmental self-exploration of these physical reactions is the way to an open heart.  We know that when you exhale a little more deeply, and your body moves a little closer to what you were afraid of, we’ve facilitated the unraveling of one stress or trauma that has kept you from living right here, right now with openness. 

Our Horses Will Touch Your Heart and Change Your Life Forever

How We Started

In the late 1990s, research done at Arizona State University demonstrated that horseback riding had a positive effect on children with AD/HD and autism. The children showed greater self-esteem, reduced depression, and reduced anxiety, among other improvements. This led to the development of a therapeutic riding program at ASU known as Hunkapi, which later became an independent nonprofit organization in sun-drenched Scottsdale.

How We’ve Grown and Continue to Grow

Today Hunkapi offers Therapeutic Riding, Emotional Regulation, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy , and other services for both children and adults. These programs are led by a staff of Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH)-certified Instructors, therapists and teams of experienced volunteers. Hunkapi continues to lead the industry by offering integrative, unique and expansive holistic programs to the clients we serve.

Welcome to the Farm

Hunkapi Farms is a 10-acre farm located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Take a look into what the farm looks like on any given day and how you can help keep Hunkapi in Scottsdale and support our programs!

The Individuals We Serve

Hunkapi serves clientele with diagnoses such as:

AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER

ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER

OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER

EMOTIONAL DISORDER

ADDICTION DISORDER

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

The heritage of HUNKAPI is grounded in the idea of interrelatedness and the responsibility that emanates from it. The name HUNKAPI [hun-kah-pee] is from the Lakota Native American tribe and means “we are all related.”  Using the name HUNKAPI for our organization was inspired by a story that GaWaNi Pony Boy related in his book Horse Follow Closely where he describes the deep bond formed between Native Americans and their ponies. In the story, a bear enters an Indian’s camp, which causes the horse to whinny. The horse’s whinny wakes up the Indian and the Indian proceeds to frighten off the bear. Their bond enabled the horse to save the Indian and the Indian in turn to save the horse. In choosing this powerful word HUNKAPI as our name, all involved are reminded of our need for and reliance on one another and the responsibility of forwarding that feeling.

Love Grows Here

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The heritage of HUNKAPI is grounded in the idea of interrelatedness – our need for and reliance on one another - and the responsibility of forwarding that feeling.

Be a part of the Hunkapi community. Donate through Annual Membership - membership provides the reliable support Hunkapi needs to thrive - through Horse Sponsorship – the herd is the lifeblood of Hunkapi - or through a General Fund donation.

Your donation and support make a difference!

Our Programs

The Hunkapi programs all have one aim – to use the bond between horse and human as a catalyst for positive growth in the lives of our participants.

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Thank you for your interest in Hunkapi Programs! We are always looking for dedicated professionals to join our team. Below are the listings of jobs we are looking to fill.

If you would like to be considered for a position not listed below, please send your resume and cover sheet to love@hunkapi.org so we can keep you in mind if a position becomes available!

With Hearts Open Wide

Individuals and organizations that share our vision. We are grateful to them for their ongoing support.

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Business Address

Hunkapi Programs, Inc.

12051 N 96th St.

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Business Hours

Monday - Friday: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Saturday: 7:30 AM - 2:00 PM

Phone Number

(480) 393-0870