2017 Therapeutic Riding & Horses Helping Kids Programs

Our Horses Helping Kids program includes both therapeutic riding and equine-assisted learning for special-needs children. It is offered to children in the community and provided on a sliding scale basis so that anyone who wishes to participate is able to. We are always seeking donations and working hard to raise money to fund the program. Watch our facebook page and web site news page for special events to raise money to cover the costs of making this program available to the special kids in our community.

We are now taking applications for the 2017 program, which starts in June.
We will take as many applicants as our budget and scheduling allows. If you know of anyone whose child may benefit from this program please encourage them to contact ESS by calling 575-758-1212 or e-mail for more information.



There is a tremendous need for a therapeutic riding program in Taos County. Currently, there is no such program in this area. There are around 500 learning disabled persons between the ages of three and 22 in the special education classes in the Taos School system according to figures from the schools. We care about these kids and want to offer them something special that they cannot get through any other local program.

Volunteers are also needed for this program. Volunteer must complete a training program before assisting. The training days are scheduled for Wednesday afternoons in May.

The benefits of working with horses are felt by children and adults with mental and emotional disturbances, behavioral disorders, development delays, learning disabilities, dysfunctions with neurological motor impairment, Down syndrome, to name just a few. Riding a horse has been said to exercise the spirit as well as the body. Therapeutic riding is recognized, well documented, and supported by medical doctors, psychiatrists, physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists and teachers.

Patients that can benefit from therapeutic riding are children and adults with disorders such as:

  • Mental and Emotional Disturbances: autism, phobias, psychoses.
  • Down syndrome, Rett syndrome.
  • Behavioral Disorders: aggressiveness, nervousness, stress, shyness, insomnia, sedentary habits.
  • Development delays, learning disabilities, social problems.
  • Dysfunctions with neurological motor impairment: cerebral palsy, vascular-cerebral accidents, cerebral trauma.
  • Sensory, visual, auditory and speech problems.
  • Orthopedic Problems: posture, equilibrium, joint degeneration, injuries, amputations, congenital defects.
  • Rheumatic Diseases: adult and child rheumatoid arthritis, gout.
  • Respiratory problems: asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, post-operational and/or post-traumatic.

Equine therapy is practiced in most countries in the world. Originally used to help people recover from traumatic injuries, it became widely used as a therapeutic tool for the physically handicapped. Most recently, equine therapy has become accepted as a useful tool in treating a wide variety of psychological and mental disorders.

We are proud of our wonderful horses that are serving as safe, dependable mounts for this program. Many of these horses were either rescues or unwanted horses who came to ESS. Rehabbing and training these horses can be very costly. Maintaining a safe, well equipped facility for the horses and for our programs for people also cost a lot. At ESS we have several different programs. Our biggest challenge is to budget accordingly, so that we can offer a variety of much needed services to the community for both people and equines.

Please help us provide these wonderful programs by making a contribution to Equine Spirit Sanctuary. Donations are tax deductible as per the Internal Revenue Service standards and regulations Your support helps us continue to improve the quality of life for people with special needs by giving them the chance to spend time with the ESS equines.

We also offer therapeutic riding for adults. The ESS therapeutic riding and Horses Helping Kids programs are under the direction of Ruth Bourgeois, PATH, Intl. accredited therapeutic riding instructor.

Call ESS to learn more.

Or print out sponsor form: SPONSOR FORM