SIRE Achieves Benchmark for Highest Safety, Professional Standards in Therapeutic Horse Program for People with Special Needs

HOUSTON (Oct. 24, 2018) — SIRE Therapeutic Horsemanship has achieved re-accreditation as a Premier Accredited Center by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl).

In earning this designation through PATH Intl., SIRE—which manages three Houston-area therapeutic riding facilities that house specially trained horses and provide riding sessions for people with special needs—has successfully passed on-site evaluations of its horse management, safety equipment, quality of instruction, facility operations, volunteerism and administrative practices.

PATH Intl. accreditation assists the public in selecting quality centers that deliver safe equestrian services and certifies that a member organization has achieved industry standards for equine-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs.

Established locally in 1983 using specially trained horses and borrowed facilities, SIRE has grown to provide more than 10,000 instructional hours each year to nearly 300 riders. At its training locations in Hockley, Fort Bend and Spring, Texas, SIRE owns and maintains more than 30 horses trained for therapeutic activities.

“Focusing on excellence and service to our riders is what we do every day, and this achievement is thanks to an outstanding, compassionate group of instructors, professionals, volunteers and supporters,” said Joe Wappelhorst, SIRE executive director. “Securing our PATH Intl. reaccreditation reinforces the gold standard of support we offer in the community. This commitment is part of the reason why 100 percent of SIRE’s riders report they have benefitted physically, emotionally, psychologically or socially from their experiences with our horses and programs.”

PATH Intl. requires that Premier Accredited Centers be assessed every five years. SIRE has held this designation since 2010.

About SIRE

The mission of SIRE Therapeutic Horsemanship is to improve the quality of life for people with special needs through therapeutic horsemanship activities and educational outreach. A nonprofit organization established locally in 1983, SIRE is recognized by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International as a Premier Accredited Center and serves almost 300 riders in weekly lesson programs. At three Houston-area facilities—in Hockley, Fort Bend and Spring, Texas—SIRE owns and maintains more than 30 specially trained horses and conducts specialized instructor training. The most common diagnosis for riders served is autism. Although riders’ ages range from three years to senior citizens, the greatest percentage of riders is children. SIRE also has a strong connection with the military and wounded veterans. For more information about SIRE, visit or call 281-356-7588. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.