As a therapeutic riding instructor and equestrian, there are many things I have learned and that I continue to learn each day. I have come to learn that inspirational coaching has been the most effective in stimulating endless possibilities for our riders.  I love teaching our coaches and volunteers about this type of coaching. Inspirational coaching to me is a fusion of encouragement, trust, and praise.  It helps a novice rider unlock his true potential and provides a fresh approach to learning for the skilled rider.  My goal as an instructor is to consistently empower our  riders and volunteers. This includes using motivational tactics, constant reinforcement and effective communication. 

Remembering that each of our riders requires different goals and different lesson plans. Understanding that each rider requires different tools to succeed. It is our job to find success for ever rider. Every little goal reach is a HUGE MILESTONE in their life.

We find these assist independence, builds on self esteem and promotes decision making and problem solving.  The specific skills we teach in the ring also benefit our riders outside the ring.  These skills also help foster courage and celebrate confidence in their everyday lives. 

These skills would not be possible without the practice and patience of our horses.  For years we have witnessed the mystical connection between a horse & rider and know how truly life changing it can be.  Each lesson, each victory and each hug we experience with our horses creates a deeper appreciation, stronger connection and significant triumph not only for horse and rider but for instructors and volunteers, who are blessed to be part of the journey.

This year we are excited to announce that our very own coach and lead volunteer Cynthia Stansell is now a certified Therapeutic riding instructor. Helping to serve our clients with the best care ever.  We are so happy to have her join our team to teach and coach. The best instructor to join our team. She has been a lead volunteer with us, she is an equestrian Special  Olympics coach with us  and a parent of one of our athletes. What better person to help us serve our community.                                                           
My name is Cynthia Stansell. I have been a volunteer with Rideability for about 5 years. Prior to this I have worked with and shown horses for about 25 years. This past June I received my certification as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor. My son Lachlan has been a student at Rideability for 5 years. It was my son and his diagnosis of Autism that prompted me to get my Associates in Early Childhood Education so that I could work with children and in the field of special needs. After working as a Pre-School teacher for a few years I heard about this new therapy that was starting to make a big impact in our area called Therapeutic Riding. I wanted this for my son and with my experience with horses I was excited that he and I could have a mutual interest. Here he and I are five years later enjoying our happy place and family at Rideability.        

Volunteers-OUR AMAZING TEAMS.  They are the true backbone of RideAbility. Their love, dedication, commitment and joy make it all possible.

Education is so important and valuable in our program. Constantly improving our center and the ability to help our riders and families. At RideAbility we strive for our knowledge to continue to grow and flourish everyday. I am happy to announce that I have completed an advanced course for our Equine Services for Heroes veterans program through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship along with becoming certified in Mental Health First Aid. Last year I my studies were to advance my knowledge in Spinal Trauma Pathology, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury with Concussion and Spinal Cord Injuries, Paralysis & Equine Assisted Activities. In June 2017 completing my Advanced study of Equine Assisted Activities and Autism Spectrum Disorder. I am extremely excited to have added my EAGALA certifications to our center as an Equine Specialist working with a  Mental Health Specialist.  It is my commitment to you and your families to progress with new information to learn and grow as much as I can to serve you. Thank you for sharing your beautiful families with us.

Wendy Schonfeld
Certified by  Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemenship P.A.T.H. Int.
Special Olympics Advanced Equestrian Coach, EAGALA certified & Equine Specialist

Below Cynthia Stansell, PATH Certified Therapeutic Instructor and Certified Special Olympics Equestrian Coach

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