Photos Credit: Carolyn Ewels, 2008 All rights reserved
My daughter was diagnosed
as learning disabled in early grade school. Living in the Washington, DC area
has been an amazing blessing, because in our immediate vicinity we have access
to so many therapies and educational alternatives. Liz has had a successful
9 years working with Carol, Gracie, Equine Therapy Associates, and all the animals, where
she has flourished under professional supervision. Through the years Carol
has taken each IEP and physical therapy evaluation from the school and adapted
the goals and recommendations to Liz's riding lessons! She was working on
coordination and muscle development without even knowing it was therapy. And
hugging a horse is always the best therapy when friends or family are cranky
and out of sorts. We are grateful for the opportunity to have our daughter
develop in such a caring and safe environment, and for the opportunity to
love "Norfolk", who has proven a gentleman in the ring, in the barn,
and at the shows.
Parent and Caregiver’s Corner
“ Our son radiates when he rides DooWop! The very real concrete benefits he receives transfer into our home, with his classmates, into Sunday School, and at Scouts, as well. We are seeing dramatically increased confidence, greater poise at school, an improvement in school-oriented self-esteem, a boost in language acquisition (especially Site Words), greater confidence with fine motor skills and handwriting, overall core balance, running and skipping, which he could never do before! We owe it to the wonderful ponies, instructors, volunteers, and staff at ETA. Thank you so much for allowing us to be part of the ETA family.”
--A Parent of a Participant
Photos Credit: Carol Rae Hansen, 2012 All rights reserved
Photos Credit: Adrienne Fierr, 2011, all rights reserved
Sensitive and empathetic,
each one of our cats, dogs,
and ponies reach out to our clients and their families with love and attention.
Support for the Entire Family:
Many of the day-to-day activities at Equine Therapy Associates (ETA) are focused on the educational and therapeutic benefits of our programs, but a corresponding transformation is happening, with a web of support and tremendous encouragement for parents and families. Families challenged by children who have a disability or disabilities often face marital strife, reduced incomes, divorce, financial challenges, educational challenges, conflicts with work and school, as well as day-to-day anxieties. ETA has always offered many and varied support for its families coping with these significant challenges. These include scholarship support, recommended county, state, and associational assistance, recommended university and professional support, church and synagogue options, free private testing and research studies, and a host of electronically shared articles and books relevant to nutrition, specific disabilities, coping strategies and resources. Living with a disability can make an individual or a family experience loneliness and isolation. Families that enroll at Equine Therapy Associates (ETA) find ties to a much broader network of resources, advice, and support.
Parents thank us by involving themselves in whatever needs to be done! Some parents volunteer weeding before mowing in the spring, because we are organic, and cannot otherwise keep that pasture-destructing menace down. They clean tack, sweep the alleyway, wash arena toys, and help groom ponies. All parental involvement is welcomed and cherished
Our animals never miss an opportunity to bring joy into lives!
Photos Credit: Carol Rae Hansen, 2014, all rights reserved
Photos Credit: Adrienne Fierro 2011, all rights reserved
Photos Credit: Maria Villarrubia, 2015, all rights reserved
Photos Credit: Maria Villarrubia, 2015, all rights reserved
Photos Credit: Carol Rae Hansen, 2015, all rights reserved
The Lending Library
ETA has always lent educational resources for children, parents, grandparents, and caregivers through our Lending Library. Each client is allowed to take home up to two Lending Library books a week, as long as he/she is in good standing with previous returns. Located in our Therapy Suite classroom, the shelves are refilled quarterly with representative samples of our more than 1,000+ volumes on horses, ponies, cats, dogs, wild animals (for children) and professional guidance books on disabilities, family needs, horsemanship, theory, and support services for adults.
Family Involvement is Vital at ETA
Parents are deeply appreciated resources at Equine Therapy Associates. They are invaluable as members of our volunteer community, essential supporters of our curriculum development effort at home, and welcome adjuncts at horse shows, trailrides, and fieldtrips. All of us here at ETA want you and your family to find ETA a solace for your needs, a place to have a break from the daily stresses, and a tremendous opportunity for growth. We would welcome your time, treasure and talent at ETA. Please contact us at (301) 972-7833. Thank you!
"Good behavior starts in the home, it is reinforced by civics studies and deportment in school, and it should be enhanced by every activity of daily life. It can be taught, it can be reinforced, it should be the norm, and it should be the expected behavior at all times. Attempting to create 'good behavior,' attempting to avoid disruptive behavior, and attempting to focus on learning solely by the use of drugs rarely works." - Carol Rae Hansen
ETA is a unique NARHA, PATH Int'l., program that designs an individualized cognitive enrichment program for each client, each quarter of the year, using two to seven books that match the student's academic level. ETA also gives each student their own daily exercise program for use at home, which builds strength, flexibility, and endurance, as well as safety on their horse or pony!
So what else is different at ETA?
We plant a garden down at the barn, so you and your child can go home with peppers, pumpkins and tomatoes.
Unlike 80+% of NARHA, PATH Int'l., member centers, we don’t keep our horses and ponies for only an average of two years, and then sell/send some off to an uncertain future;
we’ve never sold an equine in four decades ofhorse-keeping.
We stress conservation and re-use.
We don’t charge for coaching at horseshows; in fact, we divide trailering expenses by the number who travel, and we pay our own share of the expenses if we show.
We teach respect for the land, and our duty to preserve and protect God’s creation.
If we accept you into our program, and if we don’t have the equipment we need to meet your needs, we’ll buy it, build it, or find it.
We've built a hay barn of metal 125 feet downwind of the stables to safeguard the ponies, an isolation stall to prevent the spread of even rare infections, and a covered viewing stand for parents and therapists!
Our animals don’t have ulcers, like some
50% of American show horses; they are pleasure animals for our family, they work with our clients, they trail ride, and they show, they event, and they rest!
We’d be honored to have you join our
special family. Click to learn more about ETA
and our wonderful friends!