About Us - Horseback Riding; Equine Assisted Therapy

Innovative programs

We offer riding lessons and horsemanship for all abilities and ages, summer camp opportunities, and we even use our horses in equine assisted psychotherapy programs to help people with various trauma or anxiety issues.

Horses as teachers

We believe in the power of horses to bring hope, healing and transformation to people of all abilities and ages. At Sanctuary Hill, our trained instructors help people with special needs, and individuals recovering from emotional trauma improve physically, mentally, and emotionally through encounters with horses in a safe and supportive environment.

Helping people find a purpose

Every one wants to find a purpose, a way to contribute more fully to their families, schools, organizations and community. It is our privilege to play a part in helping people work toward that goal.

About Our Programs

Mental Health Therapy


Using the EAGALA® model, we offer programs for hope and healing of emotional trauma for clients, either as a referral from your mental health provider or through our team of certified specialists.  

Using horses to help people with eating disorders, depression, PTSD, emotional trauma, as well as other mental health challenges, our program integrates with our client's traditional behavioral health therapies and can help toward overcoming barriers and to jumpstart progress.

We partner with Pastures of Hope to offer workshops, retreats and seminars for improving mental and emotional health. 

For more information on how to enroll, email Julie Ponder at jul2ponder@gmail.com.  

Adaptive Riding

therapeutic horseback riding

The cornerstone of Sanctuary Hill is our riding program for disabled and special needs children and adults. With our PATH® Certified riding instructors and trained volunteers, we are focused on creating a safe and encouraging experience for our riders.  

Our program for individuals with special needs works to improve  physical, mental and emotional health through interactions with our horses and instructors, as they learn horsemanship and riding techniques.

Recreational Riding

Recreational Horseback riding lessons

Recreational Riding Lessons are now being offered through Bright Star Equestrian Centre. 100% of the proceeds are donated to help Veterans and individuals with mental and/or physical disabilities.

  • $45 for a 1 hour session - private or group 
  • $30 for a 30 minute session - private or group
  • Available to all skill levels - Western or English 
  • 100% of proceeds go to Sanctuary Hill Foundation, NFP - the on-site Equine-Assisted Activity program


When our son first heard about coming to Bright Star [Sanctuary Hill], he wanted no part of it!  But now, he loves coming!  

Bright Star [Sanctuary Hill] has been such a positive experience for him. He connects with the horses, and has developed friendships with several of the volunteers and his instructor. I have seen so many positive changes in him, but mostly how connected he has become to the people around him. 

Before we came here, he went nowhere, and spoke to no one. 

The social changes that started at Bright Star [Sanctuary Hill] extend their reach well beyond the pasture fences!  

- Mother of son with Asperger's talking about our life-changing equine program

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