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The M.A.R.E. Story

Founded in 1990 by Diane Hopkins; Ron, Dorothy and Matt Evans; Angela and Mary Litterilla; and a wonderful Arabian mare named Tana — the seeds of a therapeutic riding program were planted.  In September, M.A.R.E. (Mastering Abilities Riding Equines) was born allowing special needs children and adults in Kern County to experience freedom of movement, freedom of spirit, and freedom from judgment.  Today, M.A.R.E. continues to provide “hope on horseback,” for exceptional equestrians in Kern County.  M.A.R.E. is where miracles happen one stride at a time.


Beginning in 1990, M.A.R.E. held premier accredited center status through the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association which became PATH Int’l.  M.A.R.E. is currently a member center in good standing with PATH Int’l (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship).  M.A.R.E. adheres to PATH Int’l therapeutic riding center accreditation safety standards and proudly employs PATH Int’l certified therapeutic riding instructors.  M.A.R.E.’s exceptional equestrians participate in weekly equine-assisted therapies and activities that are designed to improve their performance of daily living activities, and enrich their social and recreational experiences.


M.A.R.E. believes in the acceptance of all individuals and their unique qualities and abilities.

M.A.R.E. focuses on abilities and not disabilities.

M.A.R.E. works to increase each individual’s potential.

M.A.R.E. believes in educating the community about the use of horses in improving each rider’s quality of life.

I saw a child that couldn’t walk, sit on a horse, laugh and talk.
Then ride it through a field of daisies and yet he could not walk unaided.
I saw a child, no legs below, sit on a horse, and make it go
through woods of green and places he had never been to sit and stare except from a chair.
I saw a child who could only crawl, mount a horse and sit up tall.
Put it through degrees of paces and laugh at the wonder on our faces.
I saw a child born into strife, take up and hold the reins of life
and that same child was heard to say, ‘Thank God for showing me the way’.   -John Anthony Davies

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