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ABOUT US

Our Mission

  • To provide experiential learning for Texas A&M undergraduate and graduate students interested in aspects of the equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) industry.
  • To enhance the knowledge of general equine therapeutic protocols, while serving the local community as a resource for rehabilitation and quality horsemanship.
  • To cultivate future leaders and supporters of the EAAT industry, through education, research, and service.

Our Programs

Courtney Cares is a Texas A&M CVMBS program supported by unique partnerships with the Ride On Center for Kids (ROCK), based in Georgetown, Texas, and Parsons Mounted Cavalry (PMC).

ROCK provides the knowledge and expertise in equine-assisted activities and therapies and administers the management, consulting, and technical assistance to ensure the success of our program. PMC provides the horses, expert horsemanship skills, and training for a solid and safe program. 

Courtney Cares is available to children and adults in our community with physical and/or cognitive disabilities and veterans and offers three distinct programs.

Equine-Assisted Activities

Equine-assisted activities, also known as therapeutic horsemanship lessons, are designed to teach horsemanship and riding skills to individuals with special needs with the goal of increasing functional life skills. There is a wide array of illnesses, injuries, and disabilities that can benefit from equine-assisted activities. Therapeutic horsemanship lessons are taught by PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors.

Hippotherapy

According to the American Hippotherapy Association, “hippotherapy refers to how occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology professionals use evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning in the purposeful manipulation of equine movement to engage sensory, neuromotor, and cognitive systems to achieve functional outcomes.” Hippotherapy lessons are taught by a licensed physical therapist.

Equine Services for Heroes

Equine Services for Heroes is a program for active duty service members and veterans. Participants in the program partner with Parsons Mounted Cavalry (PMC) horses and veteran volunteers. A meal is offered during the session and a horsemanship lesson follows. The goal of this program is to improve the lives of those who have served in the military and may benefit from a connection with the horse and the fellowship of other veterans.

Education

As a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship Higher Education Member, our program offers Texas A&M students access to both exceptional resources and a solid base for networking in the equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) industry. We teach a Biomedical Sciences (BIMS) undergraduate class that introduces students to the EAAT industry and we also train future PATH International Certifiedd Riding Instructors.

Research

Research leads to the knowledge of “how and why” this connection between horses and humans and equine-assisted activities and therapies are so powerful for children, adults, and veterans and we are excited to be a part of such endeavors. We believe that documenting the output and impact of equine-assisted interventions is an example of theTexas A&M University core value of excellence.