JHTRA was founded by three women who knew the value of horses as therapy. They were DeDe McDonald (physical therapist), Elaine Infanger (parent), and Robin Lightner (horsewoman). They started in 1993 with only a couple of horses and a handful of volunteers. After moving from arena to arena, they did a major campaign in 1997 to raise the money to build their own facility. The new arena was built in 1998 and named the Robin Lightner Arena. Since that time, the program maintains about 12 horses and provides instruction Monday through Friday from April to October. The program has grown to include Special Olympics, JHTRA’s Annual Horse Show, the Teton County Fair Horse Show, and community parades. We serve riders of all ages, currently 3 to 70.
We serve people from: Community Entry Services (a local organization that provides a full array of services for individuals with developmental disabilities), C-V Ranch (a residential school and treatment facility for emotionally disturbed youth whose education needs are not met in their local communities), Teton County School District #1, students from Big Piney and Afton, Wyoming, as well as Teton County, Idaho, and private individuals.
JHTRA was the first premier accredited center through Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) in the state of Wyoming. Partnered with EFMHA (Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association), PATH is an organization that changes and enriches lives by promoting excellence in equine assisted activities. PATH has provided Equine Assisted Activity and Therapy (EAAT) programs in the United States and Canada through its network of nearly 800 member centers. Each year, dozens of new centers initiate new programs and more than 42,000 individuals with special needs benefit from activities which include therapeutic riding, hippotherapy, equine facilitated psychotherapy and learning, driving, interactive vaulting, and competition.
Tax ID 83-0303555
Our Core Values
We believe that all people should be defined by their strengths, abilities and inherent values. We listen to and care for those around us and treat them with integrity, dignity and respect
We challenge ourselves and our riders to do great work in a safe and fun environment. We aim to meet and surpass professional standards, impacting lives and creating tangible results.
We strive to empower riders to achieve their highest quality of life through the power of riding. We help them build strength, skills and confidence by fostering the relationship between horse and rider.
We create an all-encompassing learning environment for riders, instructors and volunteers.
We are committed to responsible stewardship of all human, natural and financial resources. We carefully use the time and talents of staff, horses and volunteers and we wisely spend the funds invested in our organization.