Circle A Home for Horses

Double Appeal, barn name Bailey, with her family the Henschel’s.
  • Services

    Rehabilitation, Retraining/Adoption, Equine-Assisted

  • Location

    Virginia Beach, Virgina

  • Founded


  • Average Number of Thoroughbreds


In 2014, Circle A Home for Horses was established in the southern farmland area of the resort city of Virginia Beach, VA. Alicia Mahar, founder and executive director, turned her horse farm into a place of healing for both horses and humans.

Equine therapy is practiced on the farm, utilizing donated and rescued Thoroughbreds. Therapy programs are the focus of Circle A Home for Horses. However, rehabilitated and retrained Thoroughbreds are the foundation that makes all things possible.

Since its founding, Circle A Home for Horses has helped hundreds of Thoroughbreds. More importantly, its horses have touched the lives of thousands of disadvantaged children and adolescents labeled at-risk. Equine therapy has been integrated into therapy programs for adults and children in treatment for substance abuse, depression, addiction, personality disorder, anxiety, PTSD, and other related disorders. Although people facilitate the interaction between horses and humans, horses provide a comforting and genuine environment to promote human physical and mental healing.

As prey animals, horses have evolved to be extremely sensitive and always present in the moment. Horses are intuitive and can read human emotions, body language, and facial expressions. Their kind and quiet nature facilitates the healing of troubled minds through acceptance and security. Not all our Thoroughbreds become therapy horses, many go on to write the second chapter of their lives in adopted homes. Circle A Home for Horses has helped 800 horses since 2014.

With a strong and dedicated board of directors and a devoted and committed volunteer base, all horses receive firsthand care while in rehabilitation and are in individually designed retraining programs based on the best discipline for the horse.

Each adoption application is carefully reviewed to ensure the best match for the horse and the new owner.

In 2019, Circle A Home for Horses proudly sent Cat Fiftyfive, generously donated by Matt Schera, to The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program championships at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Cat Fiftyfive and his experienced rider, Jen Smith Cobb, won the Dressage Intro Division.

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