At SIRE Therapeutic Horsemanship, we experience gratitude and friendship every day.

The success people find at SIRE is the result of the trust and connection between humans and horses. This bond facilitates life-changing events for our riders. Some find new strength and physical skills. Some learn social skills and overcome anxiety. Everyone gains confidence and a well-earned sense of achievement. For a person with special needs, every advancement in their quality of life is monumental.

This school year marks SIRE’s 35th year of serving greater Houston. You are part of a long and exciting story at SIRE. Together we have transformed thousands of lives, brought hope and joy to some fantastic families and, in our own way, made Houston a better place for people with special needs to live.

To the SIRE Riders, Thank You
You are an inspiration. Witnessing your constant perseverance, courage and enthusiasm humbles us. We celebrate the friendships you have found at SIRE—both human and horse friends. You bring such joy to the instructors and volunteers. You teach us hope, faith and belief that inspires achievement in our own lives.

To the SIRE Volunteers, Thank You
Every year SIRE volunteers walk more than 25,000 miles! That’s enough to circumnavigate the planet. You guided our horses and riders in circles, in patterns, along trails and from here to there. You shoveled horse manure (we won’t discuss how many tons); built stalls; repaired the arenas, tack rooms and administrative spaces; stocked us up on supplies and promoted SIRE—really, your good work—around town and on social media.

To the SIRE Contributors, Thank You
Your donations underwrite 60 percent of the cost to provide therapeutic horseback riding sessions for more than 250 children and adults. This is such a reprieve to the families who are living with challenges most of us can’t even imagine. You fund the care and feeding of our horse herd and ensure SIRE riders participation in competitions like Special Olympics and the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo’s Top Hands. Every time we put forth a need, you respond. We appreciate your kind hearts and generosity.

To the SIRE Professional Team, Thank You
Every hour I spend watching our staff is an education for me. I am awed by the expertise, joy and professionalism each of you brings. Your high level of performance drives the outstanding results SIRE riders obtain. You are the reason SIRE continues to receive accreditation as a Premier Accredited Center by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International. The care, support and talent you offer our riders and our horse herd impresses me each day.

To the SIRE Horses, Thank You
Last, but certainly not least, I must thank our horses. The SIRE herd makes magic happen. Just standing in the presence of these beautiful creatures brings a sense of peace, comfort and instant connection. The healing and growth you bring is beyond compare. You teach us acceptance and patience, while maintaining your regal bearing.

It is my joy in life to be a part of the SIRE family. I am grateful for the opportunity, and I am confident that together we will continue the SIRE mission that was started 35 years ago. As we celebrate this wonderful holiday season, I wish you all the best.

With a grateful heart,
Joe Wappelhorst
Executive Director