News from Brickhouse Equestrian Center (BEC) and Charleston Area Therapeutic Riding  (CATR) 
January 2016  

Good luck to
Karen Brittle!   
In August 2013, Karen Brittle joined the CATR & BEC Team. She is an experienced equestrian and instructor and holds certifications as a PATH Intl. Advanced Instructor, Mentor and Evaluator.  Karen has taught in both programs and has been working as CATR's Program Director for the past year and a half.  Some of her accomplishments include starting CATR's first Volunteer Auxiliary and  mentoring a PATH Intl. Instructor-in-Training.

Karen's husband is in the U.S. Coast Guard and is approaching relocation, so Karen has resigned her position.  She has been a valuable addition to our staff and will be missed by all.  We wish her the best in her move and all future endeavors! 
We will miss you Karen!

Ways YOU can help! 

Your charitable support of CATR's mission helped us serve over 170 individuals with disabilities in 2015, making it our most successful year yet!  Please ensure 2016 is another great year of improving the lives of children, adults and veterans by making a tax-deductible donation today! 
- Lessons
- Special events
- Office and tech support
- Photography and videography
Contact Kimberly Gleason at for details.

Wish List  
Click here to view CATR's full wish list.

New CATR & BEC Websites  
Thank you to Mike Pontius from Just Imagine for designing new websites for CATR and BEC!  Please check them out at & 

Our goal with both sites was to make all of our information, forms, online payment and online giving more easily accessible for our students, volunteers, donors and anyone who is interested in getting involved.  We hope you like the new look!            

Raise the Roof Groundbreaking 
A tremendous step in CATR's development
Thank you to all who came to CATR's Raise the Roof Groundbreaking Ceremony on December 8th!  At the beginning of our 25th year, construction marks a major step forward in CATR's development.  For the next 25 years and beyond, our Covered Arena will provide our students with a consistent environment to experience movement, acquire new skills, build confidence and achieve goals through riding and interacting with horses. 

Raise the Roof Groundbreaking Guest Speaker: Karla Swain, Special Education Teacher, and students from Mt. Zion Elementary
Breaking of Ground: Meta Carter, CATR Founder; Eileen McGuffie, CATR Founder; Helen Warren, Raise the Roof Campaign Co-Chair; Margaret Blackmer, Raise the Roof Co-Chair; Debbie Bordeau, CATR Board Secretary; Karla Swain, Mt. Zion Elementary Special Education Teacher; Tim Monaghan, CATR Board President; Pete Laurie, Donor and Volunteer; Gigi McShane, Donor and Volunteer; Jenny Messner, Donor; Ann Stanton, Donor and Student; Chappy McKay, Trident Construction Vice President; Murray Neale, CATR Executive Director 

The goal of the Raise the Roof Campaign is $1,500,000 to cover the complete cost of construction. With the help of many generous supporters, CATR has already raised over $1,125,000!

CATR is seeking philanthropic support to complete this project and naming opportunities are still available!  Click here to view the list or contact Amanda Gerald at for more information.

Construction has now begun!  We will be updating you all regularly via Facebook and our website, and everyone is invited to visit the farm to see the progress.  At the end of January, we will be hosting an update with refreshments at the farm and hope you will all attend.  Details coming soon!

Thank you to all who are helping us Raise the Roof!  
PATH International 
Training and Education

One exciting reason to celebrate our new "roof" is it will allow CATR to offer more professional development and instructor training to professionals in the field of Equine Assisted Activities & Therapies (EAAT). Many of the trainings that we plan to offer are in affiliation with our national membership organization, the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.). PATH Intl. (formerly NARHA) has been in existence since 1969, and its mission is to promote safety and optimal outcomes in EAAT for individuals with special needs. As part of this mission, PATH Intl. develops instructor trainings and other educational opportunities, which can be hosted by Premier Accredited Centers like CATR around the world - as long as a covered teaching space is available!

PATH Intl. Instructor Training is divided into two phases. Phase I includes volunteering and observing lessons, a horse skills checklist, First Aid & CPR certification and two online exams.  Phase II involves teaching group lessons under the supervision of a PATH. Intl. Certified Instructor. 
The designated Mentor Instructor introduces the Instructor-in-Training to techniques of mounting and dismounting, warm-up activities, teaching adapted riding skills and strategies for success when working with students with a variety of disabilities. The Instructor-in-Training must eventually teach 25 hours of whole, supervised lessons.

After completing Phases I and II, an Instructor-in-Training will attend a 4-day PATH Intl. On-site Workshop and Certification. The workshop focuses on disability knowledge, volunteer management, lesson planning and horse, tack and equipment selection.  On the final day, candidates are evaluated by PATH Intl. Evaluators as they ride a pattern on an unfamiliar horse and teach a group lesson to riders with disabilities who they have never met before. It's a challenging test that approximately 65% of candidates pass on their first try.

In the future, CATR will make PATH Intl. Instructor Training a bigger part of our programming.  The vital addition of a covered arena will allow us to host PATH Intl. Workshops and Certifications, potentially helping to provide education and certification for instructor candidates from all over the world!
CATR & BEC Annual Holiday Party 
BEC Student Perform Vaulting Routine 
To celebrate the end of a fabulous fall session, CATR and BEC staff and volunteers hosted our Annual Student Holiday Party on Saturday, December 12th.  It was a beautiful day at the farm, and many students, families and friends came out to join in the festivities.  Children (and some adults too!) enjoyed jumping in the jump castle, getting their faces painted, decorating and eating cookies and making holiday cards. Santa and Mrs. Claus also made an appearance with gifts for all!  
A special addition to this year's holiday party, was a vaulting presentation by Anja Cain, Kimberly Gleason, Juliette Cain and BEC Vaulting students, Georgia Montgomery, James Montgomery and Alexis McGettrick.   BEC's Open Vaulting   Class consists of  practicing gymnastic positions on a static barrel and on the back of a moving horse. This fun, physically challenging activity is a great way to interact with friends, improve balance and coordination, and increase muscle strength!  
During the fall session, Georgia, James and Alexis participated in BEC's Open Vaulting Class and learned vaulting techniques and positions such as mounting a moving horse, kneeling, standing, star position, prince seat, clicks and scissors.  After learning the basics and mastering these moves, they worked on choreographing a short performance to the beat of holiday music!  Way to go Georgia, James and Alexis!  Click here to view the full performance. 

To sign up for BEC's Open Vaulting Class contact Anja Cain at
Follow us on Twitter
                                                                                                  Like Brickhouse Equestrian Center's new Facebook page!