Make The Connection

Theory-to-Practice Grant: ‘Developing Equine Therapy Skills to Benefit Persons with Disabilities’

January 29, 2016 – by Ohio Wesleyan University

Sarah Hanes '18 has been riding and volunteering with therapeutic riding programs for several years. She used an OWU Theory-to-Practice Grant to earn certification, leading to being hired as a teacher at a local facility.

Name: Sarah Hanes ’18

Major: Sociology and Anthropology

Minor: Psychology

Hometown: Worthington Ohio

Experience: Theory-to-Practice Grant: ‘Developing Equine Therapy Skills to Benefit Persons with Disabilities’

As part of a Sociology and Anthropology course, Hanes began volunteering at Delaware’s Equine Alley Therapeutic Riding Center. The experience inspired her to seek a University-funded Theory-to-Practice Grant to participate in a therapeutic riding workshop and certification program. Since completing the program, she has been hired by the center and expects to continue giving therapeutic riding lessons even after her graduation.

Lessons Learned: “The objective of this Theory-to-Practice Grant was to specifically connect theoretical knowledge of psychology, sociology, business, and movement (yoga) obtained at OWU with my equine expertise and volunteer experiences.

 "I participated in a therapeutic riding workshop and certification to formally deepen, enhance, strengthen, and integrate my current skill set. Through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, I completed intensive educational curricula and mentored teaching. …

 “At the five-day workshop and certification event, I learned more about horse anatomy, business skills, creating an effective lesson plan, and more about therapeutic ridings. ... Through this wonderful opportunity, I was also one of 70 percent who passed the riding and teaching portions of the certification!

 “Since returning, my mentor as offered me a teaching position at her therapeutic riding barn, 10 minutes from campus. … I have had a great experience through this grant and am so thankful that I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge and blend my coursework with my background to do what I love.”