- To improve, enrich, and make a positive difference in the lives of children and adults with special needs
- To provide therapeutic horseback riding utilizing early intervention techniques to benefit children with special needs by interaction through personalized teaching methodologies. We strive for kids and adults with special needs to achieve positive, life changing results and love doing it!
- Children and adults with special needs
- First responders injured in the line of duty. Our new program, My Hero’s Horse focuses on helping our community’s injured Police Officers, Firefighters, and members of the Armed Forces
Key Aspects of Our Program
- We utilize early intervention techniques to improve all aspects of the child, including physical, emotional, speech, cognitive and social play skills
- Each rider receives individual development targeted to their specific needs
- Various interactive learning techniques are utilized to keep attention and engagement
- Safety and care of each rider, volunteer and horse is paramount
- Continuous improvement programs for volunteers, horses, equipment and facilities
- Personalized interaction between our volunteers, riders and parents creates a family oriented atmosphere
- Therapy focuses on early intervention techniques, therapeutic riding, independent riding, groundwork and natural horsemanship techniques
- Therapeutic Instructors are PATH Certified and Kids Rein is a PATH Center Member (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship)
- Our teaching approach involves the use and implementation of different teaching methodologies including behavioral analysis, physical cognitive learning, social play, communication and sensory integration skills.
- Self-esteem and emotional well-being
- Focus and attention span
- Verbal and communication skills
- Listening skills
- Fine and gross motor skills
- Core strength
- Quality of life
Teressa Tucker (Founder) is a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International) and is fully qualified, experienced, and passionately dedicated to children with disabilities, as she herself has a son diagnosed with Autism. Teressa is proud and honored to be elected as the PATH Region 3 Representative overseeing the states of West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina from 2006-2008.
Phyllis Smeaton (Co-Founder) is a Critical Care Nurse at Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center and is a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International). She has the extensive medical experience necessary to enhance this type of program to its fullest potential. Phyllis has many years of medical and horse experience and is a great asset to any therapeutic riding program! She has a special working relationship with the children and horses.
Barbara Seitz (Secretary) is a highly qualified special education teacher and has been teaching for 18 years. She holds a Masters Degree in Special Education and a Bachelors degree in Communications and Marketing. Barbara began volunteering at Kids Rein in 2009 and was named to the Board of Directors in 2012. She is currently the Secretary and Fundraising Coordinator, organizing and assisting on fundraising and other events. She also is one of the teaching assistants when working with the kids. She enjoys implementing child centered activities to enhance their cognitive, physical, and social skills. She is compassionate about encouraging the children to reach their fullest potential.
Addie Kinstler has been a Police Officer with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department since 2005. She has a passion for serving her community where she was lucky enough to meet Founder Teressa Tucker on a call for service and quickly became a dedicated volunteer in 2009. Addie became a board member in 2011 and enjoys working with the children. Addie has always loved horses and quickly learned just how healing their presence can be. She believes so much in the therapeutic powers of our program that she wanted to offer this incredible service to fellow Police Officers who have been injured in the line of duty, so My Hero’s Horse was created. Currently she is one of Kids Rein Assistant Instructors and will soon begin the process of becoming a PATH Certified Instructor in the near future.
Prophet is an 20 yr old Black Egyptian Arabian donated to Kids Rein in 2006. He was “wild” and untrained, but we knew he had incredible spiritual healing within, and a will to learn. It took about a year to train him, but he was well worth it. He is definitely our most spiritual healer and knows the difference between an “abled body” rider and a rider with “special needs”. He is very gentle to those with disabilities, but will turn into an advance ride for riders without disabilities. He knows the difference!
Tigo is a 22 year old Black Tennessee Walking horse with a disability of his own, as he is a “foundered” horse. He has a crippling disease which effects his two front legs and hooves. If left untreated, his mobility would be very limited and painful. We have him on a special diet and have a special farrier to correct his hooves. Now Tigo looks and acts like a normal horse and can walk, trot, and canter without pain. Tigo was donated to Kids Rein in 2009. Tigo would rather be around people than other horses, as he acts like a black labrador retriever and loves attention. We call him the “couch” because he is very soft and wide, and can be ridden bareback very comfortably.
Chance is a 16 year old Chestnut Tennessee Walking horse. He was donated to Kids Rein in 2010. Chance is a wonderful addition to Kids Rein and can ride just about anybody. His personality says it all — he is very friendly and would do anything you ask of him. We call him “Lookie Lou” because he likes to look all around him, all the time – left to right, right to left…. (Most horses don’t do that)