Giving Tuesday 11.28.17

We need you

Whether you want to provide a unique opportunity for your child, or feel drawn to volunteer - there is a place for you at Spirit Ride.
Go to Registration for Spring 2018

Registration for Spring 2018

During the course of a Spirit Ride Session, clients come for one-hour lessons each week, with a designated horse and instructor. Students utilize a Sensory Trail, Therapy Arena and spend time caring for their equine partners to promote successful results. If you are interested in registering your child for the Spring 2018 Session, it is never too early to begin the process. Please complete the client application and submit the forms to the appropriate community professional (your child’s OT, SLP, etc).

Go to Volunteer Training

Volunteer Training

We offer a two-part course for those who wish to learn more about horses and their role in Therapeutic Riding. Those completing both classes will receive SRTC volunteer certification. The next class will be offered prior to the Spring Session near the end of April 2018. The date will be announced here closer to that time. To register: Please go to the upper right hand corner of this page and select “Sign Up for Volunteer Training!” from the drop down menu. If you would like to begin volunteering sooner – please email us at We will be more than happy to set up a one on one training session with you. ($20 will cover the cost of the training as well as your SRTC T-Shirt).

Go to Wish List Wish List

If you prefer to give a specific gift, we have created an Amazon Wish List of high priority items needed to provide a safe, fun learning environment. The items are listed in order of priority so that we may continue to provide the most effective Therapeutic intervention possible. Special attention is provided to keep this list up to date and current for your convenience.



To provide the most attentive atmosphere possible, there is only one client family on campus at any time. All lessons are private and specifically individualzed. Therefore the amount of clients we serve is limited. After registration closes, clients will be put on a waiting list and will be notified as soon as an opening becomes available. We encourage you to submit applications as soon as possible so that you will be closer to the “front of the line” on the waiting list for any session you wish to register for.

We are unique in that we are committed to offering all private therapeutic riding lessons free of charge. Therefore, the success of our riders and this program depends on YOU. Please find it in your heart to make a gift to enrich the life of a special needs 'Spirit Rider'.

What We Do

Therapeutic Riding involves the use of horses and equine-assisted activities in an effort to achieve goals that enhance physical, emotional, social, cognitive, behavioral and educational skills for people with special needs.
Research based, proven methods. Never a fee.

Spirit Ride is committed to providing private Therapeutic Riding sessions free of charge to all accepted clients. Through working with the client’s Therapy Team (Educators, Community Professionals and Parents/Guardians) we are able to create an ideal environment relating to the individual client's specific needs. We give our undivided attention to the client and his/her equine partner for the entire duration of each session so that we may provide an opportunity to foster learning and personal growth (self-esteem, boundary setting, appropriate social interaction, as well as any cognitive or physical goals). We serve children with special needs - we affect families who need special care.

  • To provide children with special needs the opportunity to learn, grow and strive to become their ideal selves through equine related therapeutic activities.

  • Spirit Ride is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that serves the special needs communities of Western North Carolina.

  • The movement and sensory stimuli produce measurable results, but the magic comes from the accessible spirit of the horse that naturally speaks to the human soul.

  • Whether you want to provide a unique opportunity for your child, or feel drawn to donate or volunteer - there is a place for you at Spirit Ride.

Our Team

We have found our purpose.

Patty Adams

Executive Director
Patty is certified in the states of NC and FL in Exceptional Child Education (K-12) with a focus on SLD and Deaf Ed. She received her Equine-Assisted Health Care certification in 2015 from Spirit Ride International. Her love of horses, the arts, and education are a perfect fit for Spirit Ride!

Craig Adams

President of the Board and CEO
Craig enjoyed a succesful career in the telecommunications industry for over thirty years. While his technical skills are appreciated at Spirit Ride, his giving spirit and caring heart have proven to be his most valuable assets.

Karen Chong

Chair of Development Committee
Karen comes to us with an extensive background in fundraising and leadership development. Having served as President of the Jr. League as well as serving on the board of organizations such as the Children’s Museum of Portland, OR, she is a valuable resource to Spirit Ride.

Mary Belanger

Curriculum Director
Mary Belanger, a retired educator from Watauga County and certified SpiritHorse Instructor, has a BAE in Elementary Education, a Masters in Gifted Education and is a Reading Specialist. Being a gifted educator who was born to teach, she was unable to stop teaching after retirement. Spirit Ride has given her the opportunity to enjoy her passion for horses and education and we are thrilled to have access to her vast experience.

Caila Hall

Board of Directors
Caila is has been an intregal part of Spirit Ride since it’s inaugural year. Her willingness to always do whatever it takes to get the job done is a valuable asset to her riders as well as to the organization as a whole. As a certified volunteer and horse handler, Caila can often be found training the horses after a lesson or brainstorming ways to make SRTC as effective as it can be!

Alyssa Cole

Student Board Member
Alyssa is a Junior at Appalachian State majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Alyssa’s experience with horses and knowledge of our client’s specific needs offers a valuable perspective to the Spirit Ride team!

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