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.

Equestrian Bridges -


Testimonials

MEET OUR TEAM

Our Two-Legged Team Members

Shanna Dozier

FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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

 

 

Erin Tremain

 

 

Isabella Balas

 

 

MEET OUR TEAM

Our Two-Legged Interns

Alaina Benson

 

 

Macy Marshall

 

 

Courtney Adelle

 

 

Olivia Hoyt

 

 

MEET OUR TEAM

Our Small Four-Legged Team Members

Fibber: The Super Model

Fibber is a left brain introvert, illustrating a tolerant, confident, and sometimes stubborn attitude. Fibber is a patient member of our herd of miniatures and at times completely disinterested in his friends. He is most known for his beautiful palomino coat.

Goliath: The Goody-Goody

Perelli's horsenality profile describes Goliath as a left brain introvert, illustrating a patient, confident, and sometimes uninterested attitude. Goliath "goes with the flow" of the herd and any situation they find themselves in.

Chloe: The Mother Hen

Perelli's horsenality profile describes Chloe as a right brain introvert, illustrating a cautious, obedient, and timid demeanor. Chloe is a quiet and hesitant member of our herd of miniatures but is quick to correct her friends to fall in line.

Bebe: The Sassy Frass

Perelli's horsenality profile describes Bebe as a right brain extrovert, showing an emotional, confident, and alert attitude. Bebe is clever and speedy, always trying to avoid her work duties and being haltered by new volunteers.

Star: The Little Princess

Perelli's horsenality profile describes Star as a left brain extrovert, illustrating a mischievous, energetic, and playful personality. Star is a ball of energy one minute, and then a cool cucumber the next. As the youngest and smallest of our miniature herd, Star is learning from her elders daily.

Honey: The Sweetheart

Perelli's horsenality profile describes Honey as a left brain extrovert, illustrating a friendly, confident, and playful attitude. 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

Perelli's horsenality profile describes Blue as a left brain extrovert, showing an exuberant, dominant, and charismatic attitude. While Blue can push every button a handler may have trying to assert his dominance, his friendly energy and tolerance to all people and situations make him easy to get along with.

Our large Four-Legged Team Members

Chance: The Leader

Perelli's horsenality profile describes Chance as a right brain extrovert, having high energy and being extremely friendly. He is curious yet cautious and a wonderful leader of our herd.

Frosty: The Elder

Perelli's horsenality profile describes Frosty as a left brain introvert, having a lower energy and clever demeanor. He is curious yet cautious and a wonderful leader of our herd. 

Newt: The Gentle Giant

Every horse is unique with its own personality, behavior, and attitude. Perelli's horsenality profile describes Newt as a left brain introvert, having a lower energy, relaxed, friendly demeanor. Newt is the most relaxed and non-reactive member of our team. His experiences as an actor in the Lonesome Dove TV series must have taught him well!

Tuffy: The Smarty Pants

Perelli's horsenality profile describes Tuffy as a left brain 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.

Dusty: The Most Attentive

Perelli's horsenality profile describes Dusty as a right brain extrovert, demonstrating an alert, emotional, and hyper attitude. Dusty is intelligent and perceptive to even the most minor changes in body positioning and commands.

Johnny: The New Kid on the Block

Perelli's horsenality profile describes Johnny as a right brain extrovert, displaying high energy, impulsivity, and a very alert demeanor. He is extremely cautious and often needs reassurance or behavior modeling from other members of the herd to respond to situations appropriately.

Gracie: The Miss Independent

Perelli's horsenality profile describes Gracie as a left brain extrovert, showing charisma, willfulness and a mischievous attitude. Gracie keeps the herd in check with her "bossy" nature and is extremely friendly. 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.
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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.