Experience hope and healing
through the power of the horse
Horses of Hope / Caballos de Esperanza Inc., is a therapeutic riding center, located in beautiful Isabela, Puerto Rico.
Our mission is to engage the therapeutic power of our horses to nurture the special abilities of people with disabilities, help heal those suffering from trauma, and empower our clients to improve the quality of their lives, their families' lives, and their community. We provide life-changing therapeutic riding, equine education, and equine-assisted activities and have programs suitable for children (4 years and up) to adults of all ages.
Our therapeutic riding instructors are certified through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH, Int'l). We follow their standards of safety, which are the highest in the world, for clients, volunteers, horses, and staff.
Our equine-assisted services are based on current research and outcomes in the industry.
We are a registered non-profit charitable organization in Puerto Rico as well as a 501(c)(3) federal nonprofit.
Our Philosophy and Culture
Horses of Hope’s Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) services are built on a foundation of respect, empathy, trust, and cooperation. This creates empowerment for humans and equines alike.
We work to build success for each individual by addressing their unique abilities and helping them meet their needs and goals physically, emotionally, cognitively and socially.
Our environment is positive, welcoming to everyone and supportive. We also follow the highest standards in the industry so it can be safe for all.
Through the combination of our equines, volunteers and instructors, we transform “I can’t” into “I CAN” for our clients. The collaboration of our students' goals, PATH Intl. Certified Instructors, trained volunteers, and amazing equine partners help people to recognize all they can do for themselves and others.
What is certification and why is it important?
The single most important factor in therapeutic riding is safety—safety of the client, safety of the horses, safety of the volunteers, safety of the staff.
PATH Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL) and Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI) certifications, both of which Elaine Cosby holds, mean that she has been trained and tested on the highest safety standards in the therapeutic riding industry. When training volunteers, Elaine teaches and stresses these safety standards so the entire therapeutic riding and horsemanship team are on the same page, always looking out for the safety of our clients and horses.
As in any industry, there are those who will try to cut corners, who will offer services to clients without the proper training and without certification. Some may even claim to have certifications when they don’t. This is potentially dangerous for both clients and horses. You, as a client, have every right to see copies of certifications. Ask to see them. Any reputable certified instructor will be happy to show you. (There are reasons doctors and other professionals display their diplomas and certificates on their walls!)
Certification in therapeutic riding and horsemanship means a person has been trained and meets a set of standards established for the industry. At Horses of Hope/Caballos de Esperanza, Elaine Cosby, our instructor, is certified by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International. PATH is the most widely recognized agency in therapeutic horsemanship. They set very high standards for certification. There are different types of certification. An Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL) ensures the safety and well-being of the horse(s) participating in equine-assisted therapy activities with a mental health professional. This person is knowledgeable in horsemanship, collaborative therapy, mental health, education, and how equine behavior affects human responses, and how humans affect horses. A second type - a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI) teaches horseback riding to individuals with physical, cognitive, mental and emotional disabilities. To gain either certification an individual must demonstrate a thorough understanding of horses and safe skills handling horses around people. They also must complete dozens of hours of volunteer work with clients under the supervision of a PATH-certified mentor. They must complete and pass a workshop and both written and experiential evaluations, judged by a team of advanced PATH evaluators. Once certified, instructors must complete a certain number of hours of continuing education each year to improve skills and keep current with the latest information in the field.
The equine therapy and training facility is on four acres located at Iglesia Ciudad de Salvación,* just east of the Isabela Pueblo on Carr. 113..
Our paddock and pastures are on 22 acres located .2 km east of our facility at Iglesia Ciudad de Salvación.
To find out more about our healing equine-assisted activities, contact us today.
Our journey started more than 5 years ago with a vision of creating a top quality center that reflects the hope, strength, and capacity for learning through the power of our equines. We spent months earning certifications from PATH Int'l and learning from mentors. Twice we lost the property we were using. Then Hurricane Maria devastated the island. As we worked to help our communities recover, helping other horse owners, helping another struggling riding center, and volunteering to take aid to remote areas, we found more support than ever for our center. All this led us to a place just east of the Isabela Pueblo to keep and care for our horses and to Iglesia Ciudad de Salvación, where we found wonderful support and are operating and improving the center on land provided by and leased from the church.
To help us on this journey toward hope and healing - please consider donating.
* Our equine therapy facilities are located on the property of Iglesia Ciudad de Salvacion but Horses of Hope/Caballos de Esperanza is not affiliated with the church.