RWH is a PATH Intl. Member Center offering a wide range Equine Assisted Activities to individuals and their families. We provide a comprehensive, integrated and therapeutic environment to participants with a wide range of disabilities including, but not limited to, Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Traumatic Brain Injury and Blindness. In addition, our unmounted Equine Assisted Learning/Psychotherapy program partners with horses tackling such issues as; family and relationship therapy, depression, bereavement, children-at- risk and women's issues.
Chris Baxter, CTRI/ESMH&L, became involved with our riding program in 1998 when her daughter became one of the very first volunteers. Chris herself then became a volunteer in 1999 and soon realized that using her degree in Special Education combined with 15+ years experience working in the public schools in a Special Education classroom along with her riding experience were a perfect combination to become an instructor herself. She began teaching therapeutic riding lessons in 2001. Chris obtained her NARHA Registered Instructor status in March of 2004. Chris uses fun games and songs creatively along with the skills and knowledge of working in Special Education to enhance each rider's achievements. She knows sign language and is familiar with using many different augmentative communication devices and programs and can incorporate these into lessons if needed. Chris Baxter lives in Flemington with her husband. She has a grown son and daughter and looks forward to Mondays when her daughter, who has been a volunteer for more then half her life, drives over an hour to volunteer at Riding with HEART.
Donna Orr, CTRI/ESMH&L, Donna Orr is a PATH Intl Certified Instructor in both therapeutic horsemanship and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. A life long equine enthusiast, she began horseback riding in 1989 and has studied both english and western disciplines, highlighted by her participation in two Natural Horsemanship clinics with the renowned clinician Chris Cox of the Double D Ranch in Mineral Wells, Texas.
With a varied career path, the one constant has been Donna's wish to assist in creating meaningful difference in an individual's life journey. The combination of her passion for horses and the desire to be a facilitator in personal growth led Donna to this stage in her own path, providing equine assisted activities and therapies for individuals with disabilities and mental health disorders. Being a facilitator within the magic that happens in the human/horse connection is a rewarding accumulation of a life time of experience.