ABOUT

MISSION AND VISION

"To foster an innovative therapeutic experience both in the saddle and on the ground for individuals, families, and communities"

Equestrian Bridges is a  registered 501(c) 3 Not for Profit organization dedicated to help Northwest Arkansas children at risk, veterans, individuals and their families. To empower these individuals by using Natural Horsemanship in Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT).

By Bridges, we mean: Moving from being disconnected and not engaged to being confident and self-reliant. By improve the quality of their lives, we mean: Promoting healthy relationships both inside and outside their families. By increase their opportunities for success, we mean: Developing social skills that will help lead to an enjoyable and fulfilling life.

The vision and purpose of Equestrian Bridges is to change the face of mental health by providing a unique therapeutic environment and treatment for those in need through Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies. Equestrian Bridges strives to ensure all clients and families who step foot onto our healing grounds receive a professional, integrative, and wholistic service with our nonprofit and other organizations in the Northwest Arkansas community.
At Equestrian Bridges we believe that in order for success to be achieved, an individual must be confident and be empowered utilizing the highest standards in quality. Quality includes health and safety for horse and human, a research based curriculum, and individualized goals. The goal of this program is to empower children and youth of varying abilities using the horse to facilitate social and communication skills.

The philosophy is based on research related to children with significant non-communicative behavior. We believe that in order to achieve success we must work on the child’s level, set reasonable goals, and provide motivation through encouragement and support. The Bridges team also believes that in order for learning to transfer to various settings, the goals should come from individualized plans and include teachers, therapists and parents whenever possible.

TESTIMONIALS

MEET OUR TEAM

Our Two-Legged Team Members

Shanna Dozier

FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
THERAPEUTIC RIDING INSTRUCTOR, PATH INTL.

Shanna has a passion to see Bridges’ grow and help as many families as possible. Her dedication to the program since 2007 has ensured that it is a constant resource for those in need for North West Arkansas and beyond. She has over 25 years experience working with horses, is currently working on her Master’s degree at John Brown University for Marriage and Family Therapy with an Emphasis in Play Therapy and also pursuing her Certification with Path, Intl. as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor. Her upmost priority is keeping the Non Profit and it’s programs held to the highest standards in professionalism. She is married with two young boys, Haven and Leo, which love coming to the stables with her!

David Helm

EQUINE SPECIALIST AND FACILITY DIRECTOR

David has recently retired with 36 years of manufacturing leadership. He has had a relationship with horses since he was a toddler. He started his Natural Horsemanship journey 20 years ago after seeing a horse being beaten for refusing to load into a trailer. His thoughts were, “there has to be a better way”. Since then he has spent time with Dennis Reis and Chris Cox to gain that horsemanship knowledge. David has volunteered his expertise for Equestrian Bridges in the training and development of our Therapy Horse team for 7 years, he has now decided to join the organization full time and we are blessed to have him.

Elayna Wells

PATH INTL. THERAPEUTIC RIDING INSTRUCTOR AND SPEECH PATHOLOGIST

Elayna is a PATH Therapeutic Riding Instructor and a Speech-language pathologist working in the Springdale School District. She grew up riding saddleseat, western, and trail in Little Rock. Elayna loves working with the clients, volunteers, staff, and horses at Equestrian Bridges and seeing the wonderful positive impact on everyone involved.

Tyler Patterson

 equine care director

Ty was born and raised in Southeast Oklahoma on a small ranch with cattle, horses, goats, sheep, dogs, and cats. He worked for the local veterinarian with large and small animals through high school before going to Oklahoma State University and earning a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science. Currently Ty is pursuing a Master's Degree in Animal Science from the University of Arkansas. He enjoys the day to day work with the horses and interacting with all of the people that come to Equestrian Bridges. 

Erin Tremain

education and Outreach director 

Hailing from Michigan, Erin has worked within the Fayetteville Public School District and local non-profit agencies serving individuals with disabilities for the last 9 years. She holds an MSE in Special Education and currently works as a therapeutic riding instructor and Education and Outreach Director. Erin has a passion for supporting children, adolescents, and adults within the community and working alongside horses in hopes of inspiring growth, support, and experiences for NWA families.  

MEET OUR TEAM

Our Two-Legged Interns

Alaina Benson

 COMMUNITY OUTREACH INTERN

 Alaina is originally from Kansas City, Kansas, where she grew up riding horses. She is a senior at the University of Arkansas majoring in Political Science and Journalism with a concentration in Advertising and Public Relations. Alaina is passionate about documenting the impact that EAAT can have on the local community here in Northwest Arkansas through photography, videography, and testimonies!

Courtney Towery

intern 

Courtney is a 22- year old undergrad student in her senior year of obtaining a degree in Social Work. She has ample experience in working with children and owned 2 horses of her own growing up. She is thrilled to be at Equestrian Bridges working on creating content that will inspire others. 

MEET OUR TEAM

Our Small Four-Legged Team Members

Fibber: Mr. Chill

Fibber is calm, confident, and easy-going. Fibber has been a therapy horse since the organization was founded. He is "Mr. Chill" and is most known for his beautiful palomino coat.

Goliath: The Not So Big Giant

Goliath is spunky to the MAX. He has a fun horsenality and loves to be the cheerleader for the group. 

Chloe: The Mother Hen

Chloe is our alpha-mare! She is witty, smart, and what she says goes. Her favorite color is yellow and she loves basking in the sun.

Bebe: The Sass-A-Frass

Bebe is clever, speedy, and always trying to challenger her teammates to be the best they can be! Her hobbies include pulling carts and eating delicious flowers.

Star: The Little Princess

Star has an energetic and playful horsenality. As the youngest and smallest of our miniature therapy horses, Star is our "star" travel companion. You may find her strutting down Dickson or even on- air at KNWA News. 

Honey: The Sweetheart

Honey seeks out attention and is the first to come to her paddock fence to get loving touches. She is charismatic with all people and animals she encounters.

Blue: The Rockstar

Blue is our second smallest therapy horse at EB. He also enjoys being a travel companion with trips to nursing homes. the U of A, and more! He is friendly energy and tolerance to all people and situations make him easy to get along with.

Our large Four-Legged Team Members

Chance: The Gentle Giant

Chance is ambitious and loves to go on adventures or rides. He adores attention along with any nose pets he can get! Chance works well with all of our different clients and especially makes an awesome team with children.

Frosty: The Elder

Frosty is the oldest member of our therapy horses. He LOVES the camera and attention. He is the most photogenic out of all the therapy horses- ready to strike a pose at any time. Frosty is best known for giving  amazing horse hugs. 

Newt: Movie Star

Newt starred in the movie "Lonesome Dove" as an extra! Newt  was donated by "Cowboy" Phil Moore after the pair walked the Trail of Tears. Newt is happy to have landed a great gig at EB, and we are honored to have such a star. 

Tuffy: The Smarty Pants

Tuffy is an extrovert, having an exuberant, willful and intelligent demeanor. He is extremely perceptive to body language and has been trained for liberty styles of riding and groundwork by our own, David Helm. 

Dusty: The New Kid on the Block

Dusty is our newest member of our therapy horses. He is sweet, loving, and loves meeting new people! 

Johnny: The Intern

Johnny is a Haflinger. He is currently training to be a therapy horse, but he is hopeful that he will join our team. He is an ambition learner and worker. 

Gracie: Bachelorette 

Gracie is the only mare of the group. She has charisma, willfulness, and a positive attitude. She will often seek people out for attention and a loving touch.

EQUESTRIAN


BRIDGES

The Vision and Purpose of Equestrian Bridges is to empower children and youth.
VIEW SLIDESHOW

horse


portraits

“Nothing does more for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse.” — Will Rogers
VIEW SLIDESHOW
A horse trainer and boy walking a horse.
A tipi set up in a barn for an event.
A smiling boy and girl holding two horses by their lead ropes.
A brown horse with a red lead rope
A smiling boy and man standing next to a small horse.
A boy putting on a helmet before he rides a horse.
A little girl petting a small, white horse.
A light brown horse with a blue lead rope.
A dark brown horse with a red lead rope.
A small white and brown horse standing in the grass.