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Cognitive Enrichment
Ground Driving

Junior Volunters Aged 10-13

Click here for Volunteer Job Descriptions

or Contact the Director at (301) 972-7833
Register Now!
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ETA is Proud to Offer
Limited Full Scholarships to Children of U.S. Veterans

© Carol Rae Hansen, Equine Therapy Associates, All Rights Reserved

A Warm Welcome from Dr. Carol R. Hansen, the Director of Equine Therapy Associates (ETA), a NARHA, PATH Int'l Center:

Welcome to ETA - - a place of joyful learning and love for children and horses in Montgomery County, Maryland. Founded in 1999, ETA has been an accredited Premier Center of the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA), now known as Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH Int'l.). We provide a broad range of specialized equine instruction in a private, beautiful setting on a pesticide-free farm. ETA's certified instructors work closely with parents, physicians, teachers, physical, occupational and other therapists, as well as our riders to craft the most effective and suitable course of study to enhance the physical and emotional development of our students. In addition, ETA's 90 minute private lessons provide two to three times as much contact time at roughly the same cost. If you seek the benefits of focused one-on-one instruction with a dedicated staff in a clean barn overflowing with happy cats, nuzzling ponies and happy students, please read on. We want to hear from you soon! Call us at (301) 972-7833 or e-mail

If you've always wondered about the magic of human and equine rapport, CLICK HERE and look at these priceless images!

Best Regards,
Dr. Carol Rae Hansen, Director

ETA is a highly specialized and personalized NARHA, PATH Int'l. Center located in a beautiful and peaceful setting for children and adults, aged three and up, with mental and or physical challenges. ETA added three new buildings in 2006, and built a complete therapy suite with classroom, exercise room, reception area, and a new office. About 18% of our clients are children and adults who are not disabled, but who value private English or Western lessons from certified instructors that emphasize safety, and that are taught at a pace and with content that closely matches individual needs. All riders enjoy music, games, exercises, and stimulating books, which make this a much sought-after format!

What Else Is New? ETA recently inaugurated a Back-in-the-Saddle Program for former riders eager to restart equestrian lessons. ETA is now offering two "Try It, You'll Love It!" short Sessions of six lessons each, attractively priced at $500.00 a session, so that our established riders, as well as new riders, can explore the many and varied Equine Assisted Activities offered at ETA! ETA is pleased to announce that it has established a special licensing agreement with SpiritHorse International to offer its award-winning curriculum for individuals on The Autism Spectrum, Alzheimer's and related diseases, those with neo-natal and adult onset strokes, Cerebral Palsy, Down's Syndrome, Epilepsy, Hearing Impairments, Multiple Sclerosis, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Parkinson's, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, Speech Delays, Traumatic Brain Injury, and or Vision Impairments. ETA also recently hosted for the first time two courses for Elderhostel International, both with an educational and service component! ETA also offers national and international courses through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's referral service on Organic Farming, and Organic Farm Volunteer Training. ETA has also expanded its service opportunities to county, state, and private entities interested in providing Vocational Training for the developmentally delayed with four new courses in Equine/Farm Groundskeeping (pasture management), Groom Training, Stable Management, and Stable Assistant Training. ETA is also now offering the services of a physical and an occupational therapist on an on-call basis, both for initial assessments and IEPs, as well as for lesson plan development. All of these new services are provided with an additional charge, and may be reimbursed by insurance and or outside bodies.

ETA trailers to open shows, Special Olympics, MCET, eventing, and up to five shows with divisions for the Challenged Rider. Pre-Driving opportunities are now offered at ETA. ETA currently has two excellent driving ponies, with carts and harnesses. Therapeutic driving, challenged competition, and pleasure driving will be offered to those whose balance is not appropriate for riding, who find it uncomfortable to be mounted, who are overweight for our horses, and/ or who would learn best in a cart behind a horse or pony. Elementary Drill Team and Pre-Vaulting is offered as an adjunct activity along with a therapeutic riding series, if requested. ETA has dramatically expanded its Equine Assisted Activities programming by offering individual and group Pre-Vaulting classes, which are akin to gymnastics on pony-back.

  • ETA has been a Premier Operating Center member of North American Riding for the Handicapped (NARHA, PATH Int'l.,), and is fully accredited and insured.

  • 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!

  • Safety is our top priority, so we loan certified helmets, boots, and body protectors to all students, instructors and volunteers.

  • Regular private (not group) therapy lessons in a series of 11 or 12 each quarter are 1.5-2 hours in length, providing two to three times more contact time per session, at roughly the same cost as other local NARHA, PATH Int'l., centers! All of our lessons are private, offering superb one-on-one skills development.

  • Up to 40% of our students receive scholarships.

  • Our Senior Instructors average 25 years of equine experience, and each is NARHA, PATH Int'l., certified. ETA also hosts NARHA, PATH Int'l., Registered level Instructor candidates as Apprentices, and mentors them during the one to three year process.

  • ETA has added six new programs: the Pre-riding Skills Development Programs for three year olds and those with substantial cases of autism and or developmental delays, a Seniors Riding Program, the Pre-Valuting Program, and a Pre-Driving Program for those with severe allergies and or a fear of heights. Each of these Pre-Riding or Pre-Driving classes are 30 minutes in length in a series of eight lessons. The Seniors lessons are 90 minutes in length, as are the individual or group Vaulting classes, and the private Driving classes.

  • We train parents or other family members as sidewalkers, thereby assuring instant therapy feedback and creating an enjoyable family experience.

  • ETA offers lessons year-around in English and Western, and will soon offer Pre-driving.

  • ETA is located in Montgomery County’s beautiful Agricultural Reserve, 45 minutes from downtown DC, 35 minutes west of Bethesda/Chevy Chase, and 5 minutes west of Potomac, MD. Call (301) 972-7833 to schedule a visit today!

    Continued on Director's Greeting

For more information e-mail us at

© 2008 Carol Rae Hansen, Equine Therapy Associates,
EverGreen Farm, All Rights Reserved

ETA offers lessons to able-bodied riders as well.

Photo Credit: Carolyn Ewels, 2008 All rights reserved

Our youngest Challenged
Rider Champion!

Photo Credit: Juliette Searight Evans,
2008 All rights reserved


Adult Challenged Riders Excel!

Photo Credit: Pat Sterret, 2008 All rights reserved


Even cleaning the hay barn can be fun!

Photo Credit: Carol Rae Hansen,
2008 All rights reserved

Thank you!

Photo Credit (c) 2012 Carol Rae Hansen,
All Rights Reserved

"A horse doesn't care how much you know until he knows how much you care."
Pat Parelli

Photo Credit (c) 2012 Carol Rae Hansen,
All Rights Reserved

Register for the
Back-in-the Saddle Program!

Photo Credit: Battersea Saratoga,
courtesy The Battersea Stud

Battersea Norfolk, Morgan National Therapy Horse of the Year and NARHA Region II Horse of the Year

Photo Credit: (c) Carol Rae Hansen,
all rights reserved 2012






"When I bestride him,
I soar, I am a hawk;
He trots the air;
The Earth sings as he touches it;
The basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the Pipe of Hermes;
He is pure air and fire."
William Shakespeare

Horse in field001

Photo Credit (c) 2012
Carol Rae Hansen,
All Rights Reserved

Special thanks to the following who helped with this dramatic improvement to our web site: photo credits: Robin Cooper, David Evans, Juliette Searight Evans, Carolyn Ewels, Christina Johnson, Chet Martin, Susan O'Connell, Don Rebus, Pat Sterrett; families who generously shared their photographs: the Agnews, the Atkocius and Andre families, the Berman-Fernandez family, the Coopers, the Dexters, the Searight-Evans family, Florencia Foxley, the Hansen-Gilmours, Duncan Groff, the Hauks, the Kent-Ewels, the Johnsons, the Lamas, the Lowes, the Martins, Siobhan O'Brian, the Wichmans, and many others who shared anonymously; with deepest appreciation to Andrew Gilmour for so generously supporting this web site upgrade and Grace Hansen-Gilmour for her skillful text updates and computer support. Finally, we thank Berry Thompson of, who so cheerfully helped me share the joy of our program, and who captured the essence of our mission with our new logo!


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