News from Brickhouse Equestrian Center (BEC) and Charleston Area Therapeutic Riding  (CATR) 
January 2019    

CATR Welcomes Rose and Hank
   
We are excited to announce the addition of two horses to our herd!
 
At the end of September, we were fortunate to purchase "Rose" for both CATR's therapeutic riding program and BEC's lesson program. 
 
Rose, a 13-year old Hanoverian/ Thoroughbred cross mare, came from a farm in Aiken where she was used for fox hunting and trail riding.  BEC and CATR students have already enjoyed working with her, and we are looking forward to seeing more CATR students on her this spring!   

     
Hank officially joined the CATR and BEC herd on January 1st!   
 
This gentle giant is a 17-year old Belgian Thoroughbred gelding.  He has tons of experience showing on the Hunter Jumper circuit with his owner, Jill.  In recent years, Hank has been used in a lesson program in Virginia.  We are thrilled that Jill has decided to make BEC Hank's new home.  We know he will quickly become a favorite of both CATR and BEC students!     
 

Our Websites Got A Makeover!

If you have visited the CATR or BEC website recently, you may have noticed that they have a fresh new look.  Please check them out and make sure you look at dates for our upcoming events!
 
 
 
Ringing in the New Year! 
Exciting Plans for 2019  


CATR's end of the year fundraising campaign centered around the diversity of our programs that meet the variety of our students' needs.  Our focus is on what our students CAN do and how we CAN make that possible.  In addition to traditional therapeutic riding lessons, we are proud to offer Interactive Vaulting, groundwork for beginners on up to advanced equestrians, and inclusive opportunities with students from Brickhouse Equestrian Center.  These activities enhance a students' experience at CATR by making sure they are able to succeed.  A student's mother put it best -

  "Jocelyn has developed a connection with the horses that shows her she in not limited by her disability.  She can have a hobby (and be really good at it!) just like other kids!" - Java Brown
 
At the end of 2018, 123 donors gave over $72,000 to help us ensure that these life-changing opportunities continue to be available to children and adults with disabilities. Thank you for your tremendous support!

As we kick off 2019, our staff is excited about plans for the year!  We are working to build and improve already successful programs in the following ways:

1. Education  
In the last few years, we have put a strong emphasis on  education for staff, volunteers and students and their families.  In 2018, Murray Neale, Anja Cain and Amanda Gerald attended the HETI International Congress in Dublin, Ireland. Anja and Amanda presented a curriculum developed at CATR.  In addition, we offered several volunteer enrichments as well as a PATH Intl. State Education Day, two PATH Intl. workshops and one certification.  2019 begins with a PATH Intl. Interactive Vaulting Workshop, a dressage and jumping clinic and a saddle-fitting workshop.  Plans are in the works for even more educational opportunities.  

2. Program Development
In 2018, we partnered with Brickhouse Equestrian Center to offer an Inclusive Summer Camp for the first time!  It was such a success, that we hope to offer more inclusive opportunities throughout the year.  Enhancements to our Public School Program have included caring for a Sensory Garden and enjoying special visits with therapy dog, Armstrong.  Both of these activities help us take full advantage of the time students spend at CATR.

3. Fundraising and Awareness
In the last few years, the number of CATR students has increased by 21% as more and more individuals discover the benefits of therapeutic horsemanship.  Like all non-profit organizations, our mission to empower individuals with special needs relies most heavily on private donations supplemented by business sponsorships and foundation grants.  Sharing our mission is a big part of ensuring continued support for our students.  Please join us in our efforts to increase public awareness for CATR!  Your support and suggestions for new ways to spread the word are always welcome by contacting Amanda Gerald.  Thank you!

2019 promises to be a great year for CATR and our students!  Best wishes to all for a wonderful start to the New Year!
Saddle Fitting Demonstration  
Miriam Graybeal 

At the end of January, Miriam Graybeal from Aiken Saddle Fitting will host a Saddle Fitting Demonstration and private evaluations at BEC.   
 
Miriam is German born and started riding in Germany at age 7. She has competed through Prix St. George and earned her USDF Bronze and Silver Medals.  She has trained with Pierre Cousyn since 2009, benefiting from his 40 years of knowledge, training and horsemanship and his ability to analyze both horses and riders.  
 
Saddle fitting became a passion for Miriam after seeing countless clients with ill-fitting saddles and the issues that arose because of it.  In an effort to gain the knowledge to fix and prevent these often very damaging problems, Miriam pursued certification as an Independent Saddle Fitter through Mike Scott's program.  She finished the rigorous course in 2016 and now helps to educate equestrians throughout the southeast about appropriate saddle fit and equine anatomy.   
 
Miriam will be at BEC for two days (January 25th and 26th).  The first day will be a center immersion workshop with the whole staff and all of our horses.  She will help us go through our saddles and find the best ones for each horse.  The second day, she will be offering private evaluations.  Please contact Therese Grittner for information about how to sign up.  
 
We are excited to welcome Miriam! This is a great opportunity for continuing education, and we are looking forward to learning more about how to make our horses as comfortable as possible in their work!  
Interactive Vaulting Workshop 
Gisela Heimsath-Rhodes and Lorrie Renker 

At the beginning of February, CATR is hosting a PATH Intl. Interactive Vaulting Workshop.     
 
Interactive Vaulting is an Equine Assisted Learning Activity that can be described as a dynamic process that engages participants in horsemanship activities that occur both on and around the moving vaulting horse or static barrel.  It makes use of core vaulting positions as well as creative games and team-building group activities.  CATR has been offering Interactive Vaulting to private students and school groups since 2010.  Benefits can be seen in all areas of development, including physical skills, cognitive abilities, social-emotional competency and overall behavior. 

The PATH Intl. Vaulting Workshop is for anyone who wants to learn about Interactive Vaulting or who is considering becoming a PATH Intl. Interactive Vaulting Instructor.  During the three-day workshop, participants will gain knowledge and practical experience with lungeing, vaulting and teaching all components of the Interactive Vaulting lesson.   
 
We are thrilled to welcome Gisela Heimsath-Rhodes and Lorrie Renker to teach this workshop!  Both come highly qualified, and we are confident that even seasoned Interactive Vaulting Instructors will finish this workshop with more knowledge and tools to benefit their own students.   
 
Gisela Heimsath-Rhodes is a PATH Intl. Advanced Level Instructor and Interactive Vaulting Instructor.  She helped to develop PATH Intl.'s Interactive Vaulting curriculum based on her own experience with vaulting in Germany.  She is also the author of Hello Bob!, a collection of games for the Interactive Vaulting setting.     
Lorrie Renker is a PATH Intl. Master Level Instructor, Interactive Vaulting Instructor and the founder of the St. Andrews Ride-Like-A Knight-program.  She is a past recipient of the PATH Intl. James Brady Professional Achievement Award.  
 
Eight participants have signed up for this workshop, and there are still open spots.  Auditing opportunities are also available.  Please contact Anja Cain for more information.
 
To learn about upcoming educational opportunities at CATR, visit the Education page on our website.