The mission of SIRE is to improve the quality of life for people with special needs through therapeutic horsemanship activities and therapies and educational outreach.

Last year, SIRE served almost 300 riders in our weekly lesson program. SIRE’s herd of specially trained therapy horses is pivotal to the success riders experience at SIRE. The bond between horse and rider is a partnership that evolves and works to benefit both the individual and horse. For many people, therapeutic riding is an effective, less expensive and fun alternative to traditional therapies; 86 percent of our riders report that SIRE has been the best activity of all the various therapies and activities they have tried. We are proud that 100 percent of SIRE riders report growth in at least one of the following areas: strength, emotional stability or social skills.

The number of people with special needs is on the rise as confirmed by the 2017 census. Individuals with special needs reached 403,000 in Harris County and approximately 600,000 in Harris and the surrounding counties. The number one diagnosis we serve is autism. Although our riders’ ages can range from three years to senior citizens, over half of our riders are children. SIRE also has a strong connection with the military, wounded veterans and their families. Our riders reside in ten counties in the Houston metropolitan and outlying areas, with the majority residing in Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties.

The cost to provide this level of therapeutic horsemanship is $5,200 per rider, per year. For each rider this tuition — which encompasses 32 one-hour sessions — is subsidized by generous community support, and 20 percent of the riders qualify for additional financial aid based on need.

SIRE has grown from serving a few riders each week with borrowed facilities and horses to providing 8,300 service hours for our weekly riding program in 2017.

In order for SIRE to continue to serve these riders, we need your support. Making a one-time gift or recurring gift will help us further our mission to help those with special needs.

“We’re making differences every day!” ~Joe Wappelhorst

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SIRE Fact Sheet

Maximum of 4 riders.
Minimum age required 3 years old.

Provide scholarships for riders and equine care for SIRE horses.


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