Horsemanship

“Horses change lives. They give people confidence, hope, self-esteem and provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls.”

The Eagle Mount Equestrian Center promotes safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities for individuals and families with special needs. We are a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH, Intl) Member Center and employ PATH, Intl Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors and Equine Specialists in Mental Health and Learning.

Equestrian Program Eagle Mount

Equine-Assisted Activities such as Therapeutic Riding and Equine Assisted Learning are available for:

  • Individual or group sessions.
  • Mounted or unmounted sessions.
  • Special groups.
  • Veteran opportunities.
  • Our traveling horses: Group, nursing, and retirement homes; Schools and other interested groups.

The Eagle Mount Equestrian Center is a
Center Member of PATH, Intl.

We are proud to be a 2019-2020 Guardian and share our horse care & use practices with the public.

Think your horse would be a great fit for our program?

Our current need for horses are:

  • Completely sound – no lameness issues or any other known ailment.
  • Ability to walk, trot and canter under saddle.
  • Calm, adaptable temperament.
  • Preferred Age Range:  9 to 15.
  • Ability to carry up to 250 lbs.
  • Patience – must be able to stand and wait for participant to groom, mount or dismount.

Download our paperwork and complete a horse profile if you would like your horse considered.  New Horse Prospect

Goats!

Dwarf Goats

  • Participants can help groom the goats and learn what to feed them for snacks and meals.
  • Goats are great lawn mowers, very friendly and silly.
  • They are smaller than horses and less expensive to take care of. This is great for any participants that are afraid of horses.
  • The small size of goats will allow us to take them to nursing and group homes. Plus, they are small enough to be picked up and cuddled. Even once they are full grown, they will be about 2 feet tall and weigh about 35-45 lbs.
  • Goats are quick learners and you can teach them to walk with a harness at a young age.
  • The more they are socialized at a young age, the friendlier they will be!

Chickens!

Chickens

  • Learn about different breeds of chickens and how each breed makes different colored, shaped, and sized eggs.
  • Chickens are very small and if handled from the beginning are incredibly friendly. Eagle Mount’s chickens will be raised by our participants, volunteers and staff starting from chicks.
  • Chickens make great buddies for your property – they eat bugs, fend off snakes and their waste and eggshells are great compost for gardens.
  • Food sources.
  • The chicken coop will be built to have raised nesting boxes exposed. This will allow participants in wheelchairs to experience the excitement of safely picking up fresh eggs they can take home!
  • Their waste and eggshells will go to Eagle Mount’s gardening program to keep our garden flourishing.

Participant and Volunteer Requirements and Registration Forms

Participate

Adaptive Horsemanship Information and Cost

  • Ages 6 and up.
  • 180 lbs weight limit to ride.
  • Complete an evaluation with one of our therapeutic riding instructors.
  • Some disabilities may prevent riding – such as uncontrolled seizures, severe behavioral challenges and/or movement and weight restrictions. Individual assessments will be done.
  • Helmets (provided by Eagle Mount) and closed toed shoes are required. Jeans are preferred.

Volunteer

Adaptive Horsemanship Information

Equestrian Volunteer Handbook
  • Ages 16 and up for riding classes.  14 and up for Fun Days.
  • Ability to stand and/or walk alongside a horse for 30- 60 minutes.
  • Closed toed shoes and wear modest and weather appropriate clothing.
  • Complete the Eagle Mount Equestrian Volunteer Training.
  • Training is on-going.  We can do one-on-one if we don’t have enough for a group training.
  •  Groups and individuals are also invited out to help with chores and other property maintenance.

 

Volunteer sign up for Facility Assistance:

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on SignUp.com

Meet our Team

Jenny Gooldy
Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Jenny Gooldy joined the Eagle Mount Equestrian team in 2002. Jenny’s work in our equestrian program started as a volunteer and she worked her way up to a staff member and has since become our main instructor as a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTR) and an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL).

Jenny believes that horses help us by increasing confidence, help empower people, and teach people to become more honest with themselves and to connect with others. They promote emotional and physical growth.

“One memory that has touched my heart is when we had a new rider come to the arena. She was a girl who had suffered so much trauma and abandonment growing up. She was now being raised by her sister. When she walked in she was a shell of a human being, broken and withdrawn. We put her in the arena with one of our horses. I took the halter off the horse and told her to pet him. She just couldn’t bring herself to touch him. I then told her just to start walking around the arena. Our horse (Cooney) started to follow her. Here we had this small sad little girl stepping out with this gentle giant in her shadow. She glanced at him and kept walking. As she rounded the bend, I saw her and she was crying. I asked her why she was crying and she said for the first time in her life someone wanted to be with her. Cooney on his own broke all those barriers around her tightly guarded heart and started her down a path of healing.”

Jenny hails from Seattle, Washington moving to Montana in 1996. She lives in Great Falls with her husband and three children and many dogs. She studied speech therapy and in her prior work taught Customer Service seminars and also was the head trainer for an airline. Her love for horses is lifelong with experience in showing horses in English and Western disciplines, trail riding, team penning, Omasksee events, working on an Arabian breeding farm, serving as ring-steward at many horse shows, being part of many horse clubs including 4-H and of course all the experience she as gained at the Eagle Mount Equestrian Center.

Shelby Tetlow
Program Assistant

Shelby was born and raised outside of Seattle, WA. From a very young age, she’s always had a love for horses. Every year she spent part of her summers learning how to ride and care for horses as well as other farm animals. As a junior in high school, Shelby found a passion for peer education- a program her school offered that allowed students the opportunity to assist special education teachers with their students. She particularly found great joy in helping during the P.E. class.

“I became close with one of the students. He was very shy and lacked the confidence to make friends. Isolation led to a rapid weight gain which led to an even lower confidence level. While in P.E., I was able to give him the one on one time that our teacher couldn’t offer him. Each week we set new goals and each week we accomplished them! By the end of the semester, we were able to run a mile and we had reached every goal we had set. It was such a rewarding feeling to see that you helped someone boost their confidence through physical activity.”

After graduating high school, Shelby packed her bags and went on to pursue a degree in Kinesiology at MSU Bozeman. While in school, she began working at Bozeman Health in Surgical Services. It only took her a few months to realize that working in a hospital setting was not something she enjoyed. Shelby changed her degree to Community Health and also added a minor in Human Development. Once Shelby graduated from MSU, she began interning with us which led to a position in the equestrian program. For Shelby, working at Eagle Mount is the perfect combination of her biggest passions- horses and helping people through therapeutic recreation.

Heather Martin
Coordinator of Operations & Equestrian Program Coordinator

Born and raised in Great Falls, MT and with a background as a Certified Medical Assistant, Heather joined the Eagle Mount Great Falls team in 1994 as our Administrative Assistant. Since then she has expanded her role into Coordinator of Operations which involves all operating and programming areas of Eagle Mount Great Falls – running and developing programs, fundraising, accounting, participant and volunteer recruitment/management, human resources, community outreach, as well as maintaining the daily operations. Our equestrian program is one of the programs Heather directly manages. Her love for horses began at the age of 13 when she took riding lessons with a friend. Taking care of the horses she rode, as well as other farm animals, was payment for her riding lessons.

“Eagle Mount was a gateway to reunite with my love for horses as well as doing all the other stuff I do. I have worked with a great team of people and I have learned so much in the 26+ years working here. Our equestrian program has been part of Eagle Mount since 1992.  Working along side many equestrians and horses in many different roles since 1994, I have gained my “horse experience” through ride-a-thons, stallion service auctions, trail rides, hippotherapy, buggy driving, recreational riding, equine assisted learning, equine assisted psychotherapy, horse camps, barn management and horse care. Horses really can make a difference in your life if you let them. Even all the grunt work we do out at our Equestrian Center to keep things flowing is therapeutic. There is nothing like mucking a few stalls to help give your mind a break from a busy life!”

Heather lives in Great Falls with her husband. She has four children and two grandchildren. Her volunteer work and work experience includes involvement with physician offices, The Center for Mental Health, Alliance for Youth and Community Youth Justice Council Committee, and the Great Falls Police Department.