«Return to News ListingExecutive Director Message – Summer 2022

August 9, 2022 – 

It’s a busy time for all of us – getting children back to school, end of summer vacations, weed pulling from all this rain, etc, etc. Here at NMCTR, summer sessions have wrapped up, as have our weekly summer enrichment programs with local children and youth. This means HORSE VACATION! NMCTR staff ensure that our horse heroes are listened to with what they are up for (and what they are not up for) and provide them mental and emotional space when needed. However, in August, the horses get a flat-out break. No lessons, no riding, and very little interaction with humans other than our wonderful horse care volunteers’ twice-daily visits to feed, water, love, and muck stalls. No one is getting any mani/pedis or cucumbers on their eyes around here, but the horses love the time to just be themselves without having any responsibilities.

With a multiple decades-long background in animal welfare, one of the things that drew me to NMCTR and that continues to impress me is how deeply cared for our horses are. Ashley (Program Director) and her team pay close attention to each horse’s needs – they truly listen to each horse. If you’re a horse person, you already know this, but horses are good communicators IF you have a tuned-in, caring individual listening to them, interpreting, and respecting what they are conveying.  Here at NMCTR, we have that in spades. The horses’ welfare is our number one concern.

Our horses are part of NMCTR’s PATH International Certified program. You might hear us using this term a lot – “PATH Certified” – regarding our center and our riding instructors, and perhaps you wonder what it means. It’s worth knowing about for several reasons, including the fact that it sets us apart from most other riding programs.

PATH Certified Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapy (EAAT) centers are required to follow strict standards and regulations that guarantee a constant presence of quality assurance. The standards focus on the safety of participants, volunteers, and horses and guidelines for handling the business. Because of these regulations, we are held to a higher standard than what other therapeutic riding centers may be operating under.

All of our riding instructors are PATH-certified, meaning they have each undergone intensive training programs and testing. Each instructor must also take continuing education classes to ensure they stay up to date on best practices to provide the best programming for our clients. 

If you’ve witnessed or volunteered with our programs, you know that we don’t just take people on horse rides. Our staff works with each participant (and their teachers with our School Outreach Program, and their mental health counselors with other programs) to ensure that we create a program uniquely-designed for that individual and their specific and unique goals – be it cognitive, physical, and/or emotional goals. A curriculum is designed for each of our clients, along with the implementation of measurement tools to ensure clients make gains with their goals. Because of all of this – lives are transformed here at NMCTR.

If you have never witnessed our programs (or even if you have) and would like to see firsthand what happens with our programs, we would love to have you out to NMCTR. If you’re interested, please contact me at info@nmctr.org, and we can schedule a time to have you out for a visit and a personal tour of NMCTR when one of our programs is taking place. We guarantee that you will walk away with a heart that is touched by what happens “out at the barn.”