Equestrian Enrichment Program

Innovative approach to therapy

About Therapeutic Equestrian

At TERI's Therapeutic Equestrian Program, our students face many challenges within a range of physical, mental and emotional disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, Brain Injury, and Seizure Disorders. The objective of our program is unique in that it aims to address not only a wide array of these disabilities, but also a greater influence of Autism & Autistic Spectrum Disorders, as well as learning disabilities. In conjunction with our highly qualified staff, the modern horse also takes on the role of therapist, and as such, all lend their own unique perspective and design to join with other TERI programs.

Student Spotlight


Cowboy Extraordinaire-From a wheelchair to riding horses

Jared loves coming to the barn and up until recently has been riding double with one of his instructors for extra support (Jared spends the rest of his day in a wheelchair). He starts off equestrian therapy by riding the “bucking barrel” with Valerie. This helps to supple his legs and torso as the barrel is gently rocked side to side before mounting the horse with his instructor. But lately due to evidence of improved upper core strength, Jared was asked to ride solo for the first time- the results being a HUGE surprise to just about everyone, except Jared. The look on his face truly said, “I knew I could do it”!

Program Benefits

  • Increased strength and muscle tone

  • Improved balance, flexibility, head control, and hand-eye coordination

  • Improved concentration and enhanced patience and self-esteem

  • Increased social awareness and growth


Natalie Hill

Director of Therapeutic Equestrian Services

A life-long horse lover, Natalie Hill loves watching the TERI clients celebrate their abilities and unlock new possibilities all on the back of a horse. Her mission is to help each individual, whether horse or human, achieve their full potential.

Since she was a girl, Natalie dreamed about working with horses. After volunteering at TERI’s Equestrian program in high school, she began her equestrian career as an Equine Sports Massage Therapist. But it didn’t take her long to discover that her true passion was helping both horses and people as a therapeutic riding instructor.

A student of natural horsemanship, she is an accomplished horsewoman who develops training strategies for each unique horse personality. And she applies her knowledge of equine physiology to ensure that all of the horses at the TERI barn enjoy optimal health and quality of life.

Natalie is certified in Equine Sports Massage Therapy and Equine Myofacial Release.

She believes that every person can benefit from equine interaction, and she strives to create a healthy environment where both clients and horses thrive so that they can achieve new physical and emotional milestones.

Email Natalie: natalieh@teriinc.org


TERI’s equestrian program is also a community service/volunteer site where we are fortunate to have a solid base of enthusiastic volunteers – people with a generosity of spirit. New volunteers are greatly appreciated as they share in that one motivating factor, to improve not only the quality of life for our students, but the quality of the moment. Moments when all things come together on that one special horse, to uplift, challenge, strengthen and heal.

If you’d like to volunteer wth the Equestrian Program, please fill out a volunteer application and we will get you started!

Friends & Supporters

Thank You!

Harriet E. Pfleger Foundation

Certified Horseman’s Association

Creekside Veterinary Services

Los Vallecitos Riders Club

North American Riding for the Handicapped Association

Reins of Fallbrook

Vallecitos Spurs Gymkhana Club