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

 Hurricane Matthew Update 

As most of you know, CATR's horses were safely evacuated to FENCE in Tryon, NC on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week.  We are currently working with Brook Ledge Horse Transport to get the horses home in the next few days.  CATR's facility has very little damage, and power has been restored.  We are so thankful!

To allow enough time for clean up and for the horses to settle back in, CATR lessons have been canceled this week and will resume on Monday, October 17th.  BEC lessons will resume once the horses are home and settled.

Our thoughts are with our neighbors both near and far who have been affected by Hurricane Matthew.


Thank You, Pete!

If you have been at the farm lately, you may have noticed the transformation to our new tack room and grooming area.  These changes have helped us to make a smooth transition to teaching lessons under the roof!  After the arena  was finished, there was still a lot of work to do to get ready for students and volunteers.  The majority of this work has been done by longtime CATR volunteer, Pete Laurie. 

In addition to installing shelving and hanging saddle and bridle racks in the tack room and cross tie area, Pete built custom
grooming boxes for each of our five grooming stalls!  They are beautiful and have been a huge help in keeping all of us organized.

Pete's many talents do not end at carpentry.  He is also a photographer and regularly shares his skills with CATR.  Pete's most recent photo shoot was of the first lessons under the roof!  See picture of Emily Chamberlain below. 

A huge thanks to Pete for the many ways he supports CATR and our students!

CATR & BEC Events
October 16th
Grand Opening Celebration 

October 23rd
BEC Gymkhana 

October 29th
BEC Coastal Island Horse Show

Oct. 31st - Nov. 5th
PATH Intl. Conference
November 18th
Trident United Way Day of Caring

November 19th  
BEC Coastal Island Horse Show & Middleton Combined Training Show 
November 21st - 26th  
CATR Fall Break 
December 10th  
CATR & BEC Holiday Party 

December 12th - 17th 
CATR Make-Up Week

CATR and BEC Students Team Up 
Drill Team Demonstration for Grand Opening Celebration

In planning the Grand Opening Celebration for our Covered Arena, we wanted to include a riding demonstration under the roof!  Since the Raise the Roof Campaign has been an effort on the part of many, we thought it would be fitting for the demonstration to represent our community working together as a team.  

Abigail Scruggs and Conor McManus (CATR students), Ashley Yost and Shannon Yost (BEC Pony Club members) and Holly Heller and Melissa Weir (CATR instructors) are currently putting together a drill team performance for the Grand Opening Celebration!  Drill team consists of a group of riders (usually four or more) performing a designated pattern to music.  Riders steer and control their horses through ring figures, memorize a pattern and work together to time their riding to music and to each other.  

Please join us to see this special demonstration in action at the Grand Opening Celebration of CATR's Covered Arena on Sunday, October 16th from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.  It will be a momentous day in CATR's history, and we can't wait to celebrate! 

Visit our website for event details.  Please let us know you're coming by e-mailing
PATH Intl. Advanced Instructor Workshop 
Continuing Education and Future Plans

One major benefit of CATR's Covered Arena is that it opens the door for our center to host educational opportunities and certifications for aspiring therapeutic riding instructors.  Many of the trainings that we plan to offer are in affiliation with 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 Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies 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!

Immediately following the completion of the Covered Arena, CATR instructors participated in a three-day Advanced Certification workshop led by Marny Mansfield.  Marny is a PATH Intl. Master Level Instructor, Evaluator and Faculty Member.   She mentors candidates from the United States and abroad through all  three PATH Intl. certifications.

PATH Intl. offers three levels of certification: Registered, Advanced and Master.  Advanced candidates are tested on their horsemanship skills, knowledge of disabilities and teaching.

During the workshop, e ach instructor was evaluated on their riding skills, their ability to teach each other and their  effectiveness when teaching a group of up to three CATR students.   Marny gave valuable feedback about the things our staff was doing well and highlighted areas that could use some improvement.  She also helped to problem solve specific challenges and has encouraged us to be in touch with more

Marny's visit came at the perfect time for our staff!  We have been able to apply this experience to our students when the fall session began just two days after the workshop. 

It is a busy year of opportunities for the CATR staff to learn and grow as therapeutic riding professionals!  The PATH Intl. National Conference is coming up at the beginning of November in Williamsburg, VA.  Five CATR instructors are attending, and Anja Cain and Amanda Gerald are presenting one of the conference workshops.     
CATR's First Instructor Re-joins Staff  
Andrea Smith Reflects

CATR was established in 1991 by Meta Carter and Eileen McGuffie, and Andrea Smith volunteered her time as CATR's first PATH Intl. Certified Instructor.  Andrea has recently re-joined the staff and is teaching in CATR's therapeutic riding program and BEC's lesson program.  Below you will hear from her personally about CATR's transformation over the last 25 years.   

The journey that CATR has taken these 25 years has been one that began with a vision, and grew to a nationally recognized program in the industry. CATR's founders created a successful model that has endured and continues to  positively impact the Charleston community. CATR was, and is now, a place for learning, discovery and connections through therapeutic riding and equine assisted horsemanship activities. Both provide wonderful opportunities for students to accomplish educational and therapeutic goals, while enjoying their generous partner, the horse.  

In the early years of the program, the instructors and volunteers worked with therapists who evaluated each student and assisted with the lessons. Lasting partnerships were formed with MUSC and other community organizations.

Murray Neale was hired in 1997 as executive director, and through her leadership, CATR's program was expanded to include public school students and veteran s.   The CATR staff is extremely well-educated  and has tons of experience in the equestrian field in general and more specifically, in the therapeutic riding industry.  In addition, CATR now owns a 43-acre facility and twelve therapy horses and has recently added a state-of-the-art covered riding space that opens the door for endless possibilities.  

The Covered Arena provides an accessible space for students to engage in a variety of equine activities.  With gratitude, I would like to thank the dedicated board members, community supporters, students and families, instructors, therapists, volunteers and horses who serve CATR's mission and make it the successful program it is today.  I look forward to the next 25 years!