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Our Story

Our Mission

The Riding Institute for Disabled Equestrians is a private, nonprofit organization.


We proudly provide equine-assisted activities through therapeutic programs to developmentally and physically disabled children and adults and offer equine-facilitated mental health activities.

These activities are designed to exercise a rider's muscles, increase the mobility of the pelvis, hips, and spine, and create an experience for the rider of walking on their own. 


Dee and Poke Stiers and family have been running the RIDE program since 1993, finding their passion for horses and helping others the way many do: through their kids! While living in Oahu, their oldest daughter Stephanie wanted to work at a local equine therapy program. The whole family ended up staying to help. They were hooked!


Shortly after an equestrian accident took their youngest daughter, Melanie, the family continued to volunteer, this time at REINS, a horse therapy program in California. Run by Dee's good friend, Debbie Shinner, this would shape a collaboration between the two programs that continues today.

When the family settled in Silt, CO and RIDE became available, it was a no-brainer to take over. Stephanie and her kids, Kayla, Cody, and Brenna have all been a part of the family program.

And the rest, as they say, is history!

Further Benefits of Therapeutic Riding

Benefits of Therapeutic Riding

The highly-qualified PATH instructors at RIDE fill a unique human service need within Garfield County. RIDE assists clients with neurosensory conditions (such as anxiety, autism, depression, and PTSD) and physical disorders (such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson's, TMI, and Down's Syndrome) by providing social/emotional support and physical movement in a guided program of healing. 


Equine activities can develop self-awareness, build self-confidence and improve concentration and self-discipline.  Horses give a disabled rider a feeling of freedom and independence. The experience provides an incentive for learning.  The rider seated on a horse is gently and rhythmically moved in a manner that is similar to human walking.

Through tailored, equine-assisted activities, riders gain insight into their own mental and physical challenges to find an inner strength they never knew they had while making deep connections with horses and other riders along the way. RIDE is committed to providing every client with opportunities to develop self-confidence and independence by improving their physical well-being and mental health.

Meet Our Team

Meet Our Team


Dee Stiers (and granddaughter Brenna)-

Executive Director

LaPriel Armijo-

Certified Instructor

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Kayla Scotch w/ Daniel and Alexis-
RIDE Secretary

Poke Stiers (and grandbaby Alexis)-

Financial Director

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Stacy VanHercke-soon to be -

Certified Instructor

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Jessica Terrell (and son Clayton) -Empowerment Program Instructor

Stephanie Hinkley-

Instructor Coordinator

Brandi Smythe-

Assist. Development Coordinator

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Tina Leyba- PR Guru and Photographer 


Darlane Evans (and RIDE girl Emma)-

Grant Coordinator

The Riding Institute for Disabled Equestrians does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include but are not limited to, the appointment to and termination from its Board of Directors, hiring and firing of staff or contractors, selection of volunteers, selection of vendors, and providing services.

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