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Education & Research


Courtney Cares is committed to research and 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. 

The Biomedical Sciences (BIMS) 289 course—Introduction to Equine-Assisted Activities & Therapy—is taught by Drs. Nancy Krenek and Priscilla Lightsey. Undergraduate students enrolled in the course volunteer with Courtney Cares to fulfill the laboratory requirement.

Our program also provides education for volunteers who are interested in becoming a PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and currently boasts a 100% pass rate for the instructor certification exam.


We facilitate internships and collaborate with Texas A&M departments on research studies. Please contact us about any opportunities!

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. We believe that documenting the output and impact of equine-assisted interventions is an example of the Texas A&M University core value of excellence.

Dr. Priscilla Lightsey, our lead physical therapist, conducted research with the Texas A&M Department of Mechanical Engineering to study the movements of a rider with cerebral palsy and the horse, and its effect on mobility. The research poster was presented during the 2019 PATH International Conference in Denver by Dr. Lightsey and Dr. Nancy Krenek, our executive director.