Where We Started
Picking Up The Reins
The Rising Stars Therapeutic Riding Center began as a cooperative effort between the Porath and Dickard families, Primary Therapy Source owner Jan Yingst, a couple of enthusiastic Physical and Occupational therapists at Primary Therapy Source, and several dedicated and committed volunteers. The concept began with a need and several individuals interested in filling that need. Hallie Jo Porath is a smiley woman who continues to benefit greatly from therapeutic riding. She happens to be blind and have cerebral palsy as a result of being born 14 weeks early. After moving back to the Twin Falls area in 2006, Hallie's parents (Porath's) and grandparents (Dickard's) really wanted to see Hallie get a chance at some form of therapeutic horseback riding. The small program that had been operating in the area had just closed down, and the closest option was about 70 miles away. "When Hallie was 2 1/2, Marni started taking her every other week to the Sagebrush Equine Training Center for the Handicap in Hailey, Idaho. This was a great introduction to therapeutic riding, and she continued this pattern for 1 1/2 years until they decided it was time to put heads together and offer this awesome service to other children and eventually adults in the Magic Valley Area.
Hence, during the summer of 2009 we launched a pilot program cooperative with Primary Therapy Source owner and Physical Therapist Jan Yingst, one of her Occupational Therapy Assistants, Tara Parsons who had been at the time a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor for 10 years, and several eager volunteers. During the summer of 2009 we operated one afternoon per week, working with about 14 kids per week. The program was received so well that we formed a board of directors and applied for non-profit status. We've expanded to offer both therapeutic riding and hippotherapy a total of 5 days a week serving about 90 participants weekly during our busy summer months. In August 2017 we were able to purchase our own property. Since that time, we have been working hard to make it our home. We operated Summer 2018 and 2019 strictly outside while we built up our capital funding for an indoor arena. In August 2019 we were able to build our Indoor Arena. Summer 2020 we started building our new Therapy Building that is inserted into part of the indoor arena. with this completion we are able to operate year-round to help with any inclement weather and the heat of the summer, so we won't have to be outside in the heat all day. 2021 was our first year of full sessions, serving over 100 participants in our summer months.
For people involved, the physical progress and visible pleasure witnessed by therapists, volunteers, and parents make therapeutic riding and hippotherapy fun and effective treatment option. Rising Stars serves children and adults in the Magic Valley area. We will work with therapists in the area to provide a location for hippotherapy, while also providing therapeutic riding by a certified therapeutic riding instructor.
We are currently a PATH member center with 501(c)(3) status.