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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal-Related, Animals, Education, Health, Rehabilitative Care, Special Education

Mission: SIRE, Houston''s Therapeutic Equestrian Centers, is one of approximately 800 therapeutic riding centers affiliated with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship Internation and is a Premier Accredited facility. This means that SIRE meets the strict requirements for program, safety, finance and administrative standards. SIRE has been providing physical, emotional, educational, and recreational benefits to individuals with disabilities in the Houston area since 1983. Last year we serve 307 clients ranging in age from 3 years to 83 with 77 different diagnoses.

Results: In our most recent client survey, 100% reported benefits.

Target demographics: people with disabilities

Direct beneficiaries per year: 307 clients.

Geographic areas served: Houston

Programs: therapeutic horsemanship and therapies and related educational activities

Community Stories

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter started volunteering at SIRE three years ago, got me hooked, and now my son volunteers, too! As a dad, I love SIRE because it is a great place for my kids to do great work with great people. My kids have created lasting relationships with people of all ages and from many different backgrounds. And, they get to see how our clients with a variety of challenges are real people with the same goals, fears, and dreams that we all have. As a volunteer, I love seeing how an hour on a horse can truly change my clients' lives by giving them more physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. I also love my fellow volunteers, and the staff is amazing. They always make us feel appreciated, because at SIRE, we are all part of the team. If you're looking for hands-on volunteering that lets you change lives in a fun, supportive environment, SIRE is your place.

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sstrawn 05/03/2013

Thank you, Tim!

Stephanie67

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with SIRE, the Houston area Equestrian Therapy Program, for a little more than 5 years. I have seen adults, young adults, teenagers and children come into and through the program. I have encountered their family and caretakers who support and cheer them on. I still cannot find the words to tell you how much this program has touched each one of them. I celebrate every little success I see each of them accomplish with their favorite horse...the big smile one their faces! I celebrate when I see a young woman who was severely brain injured in an auto accident feel the joy of her horse under her body for weeks and then become able to go back to school (college) and graduate last May! Wow! What a success story! I see a little girl with autism get on a horse for the first time somewhat bedraggled finally settle down, then a big smile come across her face, she sits straight, and, then I know she was meant to ride...today she is reigning her horse as if she had been born on it! Now, isn't that a great success! This is what SIRE does...this is what the program is all about...how can I not nominate it!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Well, all you have to do is look into the faces of our riders and the story of their growth and joy unfolds. Then you look at their loved ones watching them progress and then you know why all of us do what we do...anything and everything to support the work of this program. I have been a volunteer with SIRE for the past 4 years since I retired from University work. I am not sure any words can describe the tremendous experience it is to see a Iraq veteran, injured by a road bomb, ride and become stronger, more balanced, more confident he can make it! Or, see a litte girl who is autistic, ride for the first time...fighting against getting on the horse, and then, once up on the saddle her face lights up and a smile appears...wow...she was made for riding. Now she is excited every time she comes. This is what I say to others.."it puts gas in my tank" and is the reason I keep volunteering doing anything I can do to keep this program alive! Thank you SIRE Family!

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sstrawn 11/13/2012

Thank you, Stephanie!

bonnie

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had a great experience volunteering at SIRE. I benefit in many ways while volunteering at SIRE. I share in the clients success, the parents joy for their child's learning, and I am educated to be a better volunteer ever time I am at SIRE. The instructors are terrific to work with. It's great voluntering at SIRE.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am the one who benefits by being at SIRE. Everyday that I volunteer I learn more about giving back to others, about people who have handicapps and about horses. I value the continual training SIRE offers for its volunteers. Their instructors are wonderful to work with.

Comments ( 1 )

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sstrawn 11/01/2012

Thanks, that's helpful to know. I hope we're getting better!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with SIRE for 3+ years. I have witnessed this organization continue to provide the very best to its clients not only by the professional and caring instructors but also providing training and education to its volunteers. The clients benefit immensly as everyone works hard to help improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities. I was already volunteering at SIRE when my sister was stricken with a disease that caused her to require a wheelchair. I brought her to SIRE and she began to regain her mobility. She now walks with only a cane for support! It has given her personal freedom, confidence and hope.

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sstrawn 11/20/2012

Thank you! SS

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for SIRE for almost 4 years. My experience with this organization has been amazing! I am humbled by the enthusiasm of the clients that I work with. I see smiling faces and positive attitudes even when they are having a difficult day. Any act of kindness I perform is met with such appreciation by both the clients and the staff. I volunteer at SIRE to make a difference in people's lives but leave each day knowing my life has been made so much better!

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sstrawn 11/20/2012

Thank you! Sabrina

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with SIRE in Fort Bend county for almost 3 years now. I had no idea that I would become "addicted" to this!! It just feels so good to see the kids and the adults respond to the horses and reep the rewards. This program benefits so many people. Not only our clients but our volunteers as well. I've always loved horses, but now I know what they were truly intended for. I have met the most wonderful people volunteering at SIRE. They are all so giving and commited to making life better for the clients. I wish I could be there every day!!

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sstrawn 11/18/2012

Thank you!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

SIRE, using therapeutic horseback riding helps people with a variety of disabilities. Both children as young as 3 years and adults as old as 80+ have participated as riders and benefited. People with autism, cerebral palsy, and wounded veterans all make gains from the programs at SIRE. I have been a horse sidewalker with clients that have autism and cerebral palsy. The self-confidence they have gained from SIRE has shown in their smiles and their increased speech. Family members are amazed at the impact in the arena and at home and have shared their stories. Each time I leave the SIRE site, I have a warm heart knowing that I've made a difference in someone's life.

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sstrawn 11/18/2012

Thank you!

Deanna4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with SIRE since I was 14 years old, and it is an amazing organization. It's about making the rider happy, but more than that it's about allowing them to have dignity. It gives the riders something to strive for, and they experience the whole range of emotion, from intense disappointment when they have trouble with a skill to joy when they get it right, or when they form a bond with a horse. Also, they get to make friends at SIRE, that they love being with outside SIRE as well. As a volunteer, it's hard to imagine a better experience. It's incredibly fulfilling, and the staff goes out of there way to make you feel welcome and to give you the chance to give real input about what you think would help your riders. People are really friendly, and they all want to make the world better. It's incredible.

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sstrawn 11/15/2012

Thank you!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Witnessing the magic that happens when a client connects with a horse is priceless. The multiple benefits are so hard to quantify. Sure, there is the increased strength and flexibility the clients develop, but harder to measure are the confidence and the willingness to try just a little harder that only a horse seems to be able to bring out of a person. Physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges can be helped with the wonderful volunteers, the qualified, dedicated staff, and, most importantly, the patient and sympathetic horses.

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sstrawn 11/13/2012

Thank you! We love our volunteers! :)

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with the SIRE clients for about 3 months now. It is soooooooo gratifying to see the looks and smiles on their faces when riding a horse. Since I love people and horses, this was the perfect volunteer organization for me. Since the clients are disabled, some more than others, the riding instructor's know which horse to put these individual clients on for their special disabilities. The short time I've been there, I can see improvement in some of the clients. I'm consider a side walker and I walk beside the horse and am there for support of the clients leg, if needed.; there are usually two side walker to each client. This organization cares so much for their clients. Everyone should come and watch one of our sessions. Most people who come to observe, join with us because they are so impressed. Phyllis Ransom

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sstrawn 11/13/2012

Thank you, Phyllis! We love to show people around! Sabrina