Therapeutic Riding Program

The Calvin Center Therapeutic Riding Program opened its gates in 2001 and has been offering the miraculous benefits of therapeutic horseback riding and equine assisted services (EAS) to the residents of SW Atlanta for the past 20 years. There is magic in a horse that has been proven to be strong medicine. When mounted on a horse the rhythmic motion of the animal’s gait moves the rider’s body in a manner similar to the normal human pelvic movement. The synergistic movement of rider and horse improves balance, core muscular strength, coordination, and flexibility. People who are challenged with extreme spasticity become calm; those who are ridged become supple. Not only is physical improvement realized, but the ability to control this large animal inspires confidence and a feeling of self-worth—something that might be lacking when one is unable to stand or walk. For individuals with mental health and/ or emotional challenges, working with the horse can teach responsibility, kindness and self-discipline.

Calvin Center Therapeutic Riding Program is a PATH Intl. (Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship, International) Premiere Accredited Horseback Riding Center. “For over 40 years PATH Intl. has been ensuring excellence and changing lives through equine-assisted activities and therapies” and Calvin Center is very proud to be a part of this professional organization’s elite team! All programs are led by PATH Intl. certified instructors and assisted by trained volunteers. Calvin Center Therapeutic Riding Program offers a variety of Equine Assisted Services (EAS) to both youth and adults.


Therapeutic Riding

Therapeutic Riding provides healthy exercise to individuals with special needs by allowing them to participate in the sport of horseback riding in a success-oriented environment. Research shows individuals of all ages (with or without disabilities) who participate in equine assisted services/therapies can experience both physical and emotional rewards.

  • Physically, there are benefits for gross and fine motor movements.
  • Academically and cognitively, interaction with the horse, instructor and volunteers helps a rider to follow directions, develop planning and sequencing skills and extend attention span.
  • Socially, riding improves self-esteem and builds confidence.

Lessons are tailored to the individual goals of each student and designed to complement a student’s IEP’s ,therapy plans as well as life goals. Lessons include warm up and stretching exercises, learning or reviewing a riding skill/concept, a game or activity on horseback and cool down exercises.

Horses & Warriors


Horses & Warriors is military helping military heal through the use of equine- assisted activities. Through mounted and un-mounted activities, participants will meet physical and emotional goals such as:

  • Increased muscle tone
  • Increased stability and balance
  • Improved mobility and gait
  • Community and peer support with other military personnel
  • Personal empowerment through voice and choice

All activities are facilitated by PATH Intl Certified instructors. Calvin Center’s Therapeutic Riding Program complies with all PATH Intl. standards and is a PATH Intl. Premiere Accredited Center (PAC).  Active-duty military and veterans serve as horse leaders, side walkers, barn volunteers as well as program assistants.

Horses and Warriors meets every Friday.

To be placed on our mailing list or to learn more about the program and how you can be involved, please contact Sara Reams, 678-438-3116 or the Calvin Center office, 770-946-4276.


The Calvin Center Therapeutic Riding Program  offers four sessions, September through May, with our summer months dedicated to Camp Calvin’s Saddle Up! Program.

Both Therapeutic Riding Lessons and Recreational Riding Lessons have options for Group or Private Lessons.

2022/2023 Sessions:

Session 1 – Sept. 6 – Oct. 22, 2022

  • (6) weeks
  • Make -up week: Oct 25-29,2022
  • Fall Break: Oct. 11-Oct 15,2022
  • $270.00 for group lesson
  • $390.00 for private lessons

Session 2 – Nov 1 – Dec 10 2022

  • (5) weeks
  • Make up week: Dec 13-Dec 17,2022
  • Thanksgiving break: Nov 22-Nov 26,2022
  • $225.00 for group lesson
  • $325.00 for private lessons

Session 3 – Feb 7 – March 18, 2023

  • (6) weeks
  • Make up week: March 21-March 25,2023
  • $270.00 for group lesson
  • $390.00 for private lessons

Session 4 – March 28-May 15, 2023

  • (6) weeks
  • Make up week: May 23-May 20,2023
  • Spring Break: April 4- April 8,2023
  • $270.00 for group lesson
  • $390.00 for private lessons

In order to be sure that this is a good fit for all involved, and to get each client scheduled in a space that would be most beneficial to them, Calvin Center has a 5 step intake process.

Step 1

GIVE US A CALL AT 770-946-4276

We’ll chat with you about the specifics of you/your client’s situation and figure out if you/your client qualifies for our services, and if so, what program may be best.

Step 2


Assessments are strategically scheduled during quiet programming hours and are conducted by our Equine Director. These appointments help us determine how we can make your experience at Calvin Center the most beneficial and are designed to give everyone a good idea of what to expect on their first day of programming. We introduce you to the facility, the program process, determine what type of horse is appropriate, and what level of support is needed.

Step 3


Client paperwork MUST BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO YOUR ASSESSMENT. You can access all necessary forms/information in the sidebar of this page.

If the participant has not had an initial assessment or has not been riding for more than a year a new rider packet must be filled out along with a new assessment scheduled.

Step 4



Step 5


Please email Kate to get signed up for a riding session.



We depend upon the support of our Volunteers. Volunteers help take care of the horses, the equipment and facilities, and also assist in the riding classes by serving as “leaders” – whose primary responsibility is the behavior of the horse – and as “sidewalkers”; – whose primary responsibility is the safety of the participant. Volunteers also support the program by providing other important services, such as clerical assistance, construction and maintenance assistance, fund-raising assistance, grant writing assistance, trail development, etc.

Volunteer training sessions are scheduled throughout the year. Complete the form on the left to request more information regarding the next scheduled volunteer training session. Volunteer applications may by completed onsite at the time of training.

Volunteer Application


Calvin Center is not just for riding ! We offer PATH Intl. Workshops, Certifications to include On demand certifications as well as Instructor apprenticeships, internships, and mentoring opportunities.

Starting in the Fall of 2021, we will offer mentoring for all phases to become a PATH Intl. CTRI ( Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor).

PATH Intl. CTRI Instruction Series

Calvin Center’s Therapeutic Riding Instructor Series is a great way to begin or continue your journey as a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, (CTRI). The two-part series offers the PATH Intl. CTRI applicant or instructor in training, the tools and education to successfully work towards their certification. For current CTRI’s the workshop(s) can help improve teaching techniques and can earn credit annual required CEU’s.

CTRI Workshop- Part One

January 7-8, 2023

This workshop is a great starting point for anyone wanting to pursue the PATH Intl. CTRI certification. The two-day lecture/hands training will include discussions on the CTRI road map, PATH Intl Standards and how they relate to the CTRI, stable management, equine health and selection, equine behavior, and equine handling.

CTRI “applicants” taking this workshop will have the opportunity to work through and receive credit for several line items on the required PATH Intl. CTRI Equine Management and Horse Handling Checklist.

Instructor – Kate Robbins

Kate Robbins is Calvin Center’s Equestrian Director. She is a tenured equestrian with over 30 years teaching therapeutic riding. Kate is a PATH Intl. Advanced Level Riding Instructor, CTRI., and is a member of the PATH, Intl. teaching and certification faculty. She is a Lead Assessor for the CTRI video process as well as an Associate Evaluator for the PATH, Intl.  Advanced Riding Certification and Certification Oversight.

CTRI-Workshop- Part Two

March 11 and 12th, 2023

This workshop is open to CTRI instructors in training as well as to current certified CTRI’s. This two-day training will focus more on teaching skills as it relates to a therapeutic riding lesson. Topics will include basic disability training, lesson plans and management, rider learning styles and the very important magic of the “what- hows and whys!”.

Cost: $500.00/per person

Workshop costs include education, lodging (one night) in one of Calvin Center’s cabins or conference center, and meals for the days of the workshop. 

Instructor – Kate Robbins

Equine Specialist in Mental Health & Learning Workshop and Certifications

2023 Workshop date: TBD

A PATH Intl. Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL) ensures the safety and well-being of the equine participating in equine-facilitated mental health and learning sessions. She/he serves as the equine expert during equine/human interactions. The ESMHL works with mental health or education providers delivering services, incorporating equines in their practice, within the scope of their profession. An ESMHL must be knowledgeable in horsemanship and understands how to collaborate with a mental health therapist and/or educator to best meet the client’s needs and keep the lesson safe. ESMHLs also have a general knowledge of mental health and education processes.

ESMHLs have a thorough understanding of the ways equine behavior affect human responses and evaluate the role of the equine during the mental health or education sessions they supervise. The ESMHL maintains responsibility for the equine, assesses the equine’s response to any interactions, and prohibits or stops any activity that compromises the well-being of the equine. She/he ensures that equine interactions within the session are safe.

ON-Demand Advanced Instructor Certifications

Calvin Center offers On Demand Certifications for the PATH Intl. Advanced Instructor. Please contact Kate Robbins, Calvin Equestrian Director for information and costs

For more information:


Your tax-exempt donation can help sponsor a rider’s participation, care for a horse, or provide for the on going needs of the program. Complete the form on the left for more information on opportunities for giving.

If you feel that your horse may be a good potential therapy horse, please email

  • Wish List – check back soon! 

WARNING Under Georgia law, an equine activity sponsor or equine professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant in equine activities resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities, pursuant to Chapter 12 of Title 4 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.

Please only go to the Equestrian areas of Calvin Center with permission. Horses are friendly but can be dangerous and fragile if not handled correctly. Trail Rides are available with advance reservations.