Meet the team

Matt with yearlings pic  Matt

Matt was introduced to equine therapy when he signed up to volunteer at an equine therapy clinic.  He had always loved horses and found a deep satisfaction and sense of purpose from being around the horses again.  He relished the small but daily miracles he saw in the kids and adults whose lives were being changed significantly for the better through the therapy offered.  Now, he is using his amazing natural gift with the horses, his immense knowledge of all things handy-man, as well as the same drive to help people that took him to law enforcement originally, and applying it to once again serving others.  Matt is on the Board of Directors, helps with riders, handles all the maintenance of the horses(Heiress is his favorite!), track and property, AND does much of the fundraising.  So much for retirement!

 

horses communicating Rachelle

As a farm kid in Michigan, I started riding at the age of 3 (with help, of course). Some of my best memories of childhood were riding trails with my big sister. My parents were transferred to Illinois and decided to live in the city, so my riding ended at the age of 13. As an adult, I became a travel agent and looked for horseback riding opportunities on every vacation I took! When my husband retired we decided to move to AZ.  I always felt in my heart I had a calling to help people. I did some volunteering with Special Olympics, but didn’t realize until I began volunteering at an equine therapy facility that this was MY calling. I pursued and obtained my therapeutic riding certification through PATH(Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship).

As a Therapeutic Riding Instructor, I teach basic horseback riding to children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. The horse is utilized as a method of
accomplishing goals that are set through collaboration with the participant, participants family, and sometimes, school systems and therapists.

I know that no single approach is the right one for every individual. The most challenging aspect of being a therapeutic riding instructor is the need to be flexible to change. When working with horses, who are independent thinking animals, and individuals with special needs, there is always a level of unpredictability. Therefore I am constantly evaluating the risks and the benefits of activities for both the individual and the horse.

You may contact Rachelle for more information on prices and availability at rachelleh@yahoo.com.

 

Lindsey

As a child, Lindsey was obsessed with animals, nurturing and caring for every stray that came her way, whether her parents approved or not!  As she grew, her innate desire to nurture shifted to children.  Lindsey spent several years volunteering with the Cub Scouts of the Boy Scouts of America.  She also spent several years as the head of the children’s group of her church.  Lindsey is thrilled to be able to combine two of the things she loves most to serve the children of the East Valley.  Lindsey serves on the board of directors, runs the office, helps with volunteers and various projects, and wherever else she is needed.