Our programs are open to families in Wood, Hopkins and Rains County. However, we will accept applications from families outside of the area that are willing to make the drive. We accept children from ages 6 to 18.
Enrollment form will take you to a Google Form where you will provide your information and upload any necessary documents.
Free Riding Lessons
In order to receive free riding lessons, the student’s parents or guardian must provide proof of residency in Wood, Rains or Hopkins County via a Texas State Driver’s License or ID Card and copy of a utility bill with matching address. Proof of low-income status via participation in another qualified financial assistance program such as TANF, SNAP, Medicaid, WIC, CHIP or by household income (recent pay stub from employer or tax return.)
Horses 4 Heroes is a non-profit that offers access to affordable horseback riding and equestrian programs across the US. What this means for our community is that we are able to offer half-price riding lessons to military families. All you have to do is join Horses 4 Heroes!
There are three membership options. You can join online at Horses4Heroes.org.
Lessons are $25 per hour for members.
We accept high functioning students of any special needs condition including, but not limited to:
- Autism or “on the spectrum”
- ADD and ADHD
- Any neuro-psychiatric condition
- Any physical condition that benefits from equine therapy
For those students that are not high functioning or with aggressive special needs conditions, we recommend contacting Shadow Ranch in Sulphur Springs, as they are PATH certified. We utilize the Horse Boy Method and Movement Method.
In addition to regularly scheduled lessons, riders will have access to our the online curriculum created by Lake Fork Stables that helps supplement what students are learning in their lessons. This is set up via a Google Classroom and broken down into lessons that correspond with each riding lesson.
Helping Children in East Texas
The benefits of horseback riding for kids (and adults) are numerous. Students learn a variety of life skills including:
- Muscle Control
All of these skills are learned through tasks like grooming, engaging specific muscles, balance in the saddle, learning patterns and more. Psychologically, students experience lower anxiety and stress.
There’s always something to do at the barn. From grooming horses to barn chores, we can always use a helping hand.
Donations keep the programs running. To keep water troughs filled, horses fed and kids in the saddle, we need your support.
Spread the Word
Not everyone can give, but everyone can share! Find us on Facebook and share with everyone you know!
Why Off The Track Thoroughbreds?
Thoroughbreds are known for their speed and atheleticism. The average person typically only sees Thoroughbreds at the racetrack or on television when the Kentucky Derby is aired. In reality, there are thousands of Thoroughbreds across the country that have retired from the racetrack life. Some need homes while others have gone on to second careers in dressage, jumping, eventing and even barrel racing. Some are trained for racing, but are too slow for the track. These are the Thoroughbreds that make great horses to introduce people to the breed on a local level. Our Thoroughbreds are a combination of never raced and raced, but was way too slow. They have great personalities, they love attention, they love to work and they love kids.
Mistic Gray (Jockey Club Name: Scenaroid) is our main man. Born and raced in Iowa, he was a very slow race horse and earned only $600 on the track. He then went on to have a career as jumper in the show ring and is now giving beginner lessons.
Jackson (Jockey Club Name: Delaware Punch) is a Texas-bred Thoroughbred who race in Texas and Oklahoma. He earned over $11,000 in 13 starts. He even ran in a stakes race! Jackson is also a retired eventer, meaning he performed in dressage, cross country and show jumping. He is 21 years old.