Children, Horses, and Adults in
PartnerShip
CHAPS

For Equine Assisted Therapy
Providing Possibilities for Exceptional
Equestrians

PMB 201 1842 Sugarland Dr., Suite 108
Sheridan, WY 82801
Phone No: (307) 673-6161
Fax No: (307) 673-6868
Email Address:
chaps@fiberpipe.net

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History of CHAPS

CHAPS Equine Assisted Therapy is the product of the void left in the community when a program offering therapeutic riding in Sheridan closed in 2002. The first organizational meeting for persons interested in equine assisted therapy was held in August 2003 and at that time a feasibility study, surveys and interviews were developed to determine whether or not this type of program would be supported by the community. The response was resoundingly positive! We went to work to develop a Board of Directors and community committees to create programs, fundraise, and select a facility, staff and horses to offer the service to Sheridan and Johnson County community members.

The founding board of directors included Patty Bell-Lewis, Heather Bledsoe, Elizabeth Eckert, Tom Kelly, Mike Sager, Sharyn Siler, Sue Suddith, and Jeanne Wheeler-Loveland. Along with members of the community, this group worked to develop standard operating procedures and guidelines that were consistent with PATH recommendations and Americans with Disabilities Act regulations. In January, 2004, officers were elected. Nonprofit status was granted in June 2004, and the first fundraiser was held over the Sheridan WYO Rodeo weekend in July. Following that, the first annual Nite at the Races gala event debuted in October, and CHAPS was off and running with a bank account and budget.

The former site of the Ranch Willow Bed and Breakfast, the center features a 6 stall barn, feed and tack room, heated office and handicap-accessible bathroom, indoor and outdoor arenas and spacious turnout with over 400 acres of fields and trails available to ride on, making this venue a comfortably sized home for CHAPS.

In November, 2004, Sue Suddith resigned from the Board of Directors and was hired to be CHAPS’ first Executive Director. CHAPS opened its doors to clients in January 2005. Beginning with scholarship recipients from the LaRue Young Foundation, we offered services to 7 children with disabilities ranging from developmental disabilities to cerebral palsy. Beginning with 2 horses and a staff of 3 part time therapy instructors, CHAPS has grown to 43 clients, 6 horses, and 3 Therapy Instructors (1 full time and 2 part time). We are a member center of PATH and all therapy instructors have completed or are in the process of becoming PATH Registered Level Therapy Instructors. Our original short term goals are realized.


 

Copyright 2011, CHAPS Equine Assisted Therapy, all rights reserved