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Cognitive Enrichment
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Junior Volunteers Aged 10-13

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or Contact the Director at (301) 651-6622
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ETA is proud to Offer
Limited Full Scholarships to Children of U.S. Veterans

ETA now offers

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VAULTING class info

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

A Warm Welcome from Dr. Carol Rae Hansen, the Director of Equine Therapy Associates (ETA):

Welcome to ETA – a place of joyful learning and love for children and horses in Montgomery County, MD. Founded in 1999, ETA has been for 20 years a Center Member and accredited Premier Center of North American Riding for The Handicapped Association (NARHA), now known as The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH International). As of December 31, 2020 ETA is no longer a Center or Premier Accredited Center Member of PATH International due to Covid-19, and was not able to operate in 2020. Although Governor Larry Hogan designated “Therapeutic Riding” and the other Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies offered by ETA “essential,” ETA was not legally allowed to operate in MD due to Governor Hogan’s additional requirement, that all exacting Health Department requirements must be followed, including ensuring that ALL PARTICIPANTS (clients, families, volunteers, staff, instructors) wear a mask at ALL times, as well as conduct ALL ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE A 6 ft. MINIMUM SOCIAL DISTANCE, along with several other requirements incompatible with safety amidst horses and ponies as well as private instruction with clients who are often severely multi-challenged. We much regret these changes, and miss ALL of our students, as do the ponies!

In 2021 and following, ETA is pleased to announce the continuation of its affiliation with SpiritHorse and its superb and empathetic programming via virtual instruction. In addition, ETA’s acclaimed private educational and instructional programming continues, as does its research and publication efforts, and its badge instruction for Girl and Boy Scouts, Pony Club, 4-H, and Christian and Jewish service projects. We look forward to continue to expand these outreach efforts.

All else is the same: we provide a broad range of specialized equine instruction from our private, beautiful setting on a pesticide-free farm. Our 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 educational, physical and emotional development of our students. If you seek the benefits of focused one-on-one learning with a dedicated staff from a clean barn overflowing with happy cats, nuzzling ponies, and happy students, please read on. Please call for updates! We want to hear from you soon!

Call us at (301) 972-7833 or e-mail Director@equinetherapyassociates.com

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 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 virtual 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 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 Activities programming by offering individual and group Pre-Vaulting classes, which are akin to gymnastics on pony-back.

  • ETA is a unique 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 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 or has been NARHA, PATH Int'l., certified.

  • ETA has added six new virtual 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 virtual 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.

  • Continued on Director's Greeting

For more information e-mail us at Info@equinetherapyassociates.com

© 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 aguythatcan.com, 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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