Highly Respected Instructor and Teacher Returns to Inspiration Ranch
Former Volunteer and Instructor Rejoins Organization in a Season of Substantial Growth
January 7, 2020, Magnolia, Texas – As Inspiration Ranch steps into a year expected to bring tremendous growth and expansion, the organization is happy to announce that Barbara Ward, Ph.D., will be returning as an Equine-Assisted Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist.
“Having Barb step up to help us build a bigger future for Inspiration Ranch speaks well of our organization and its commitment to its clients,” says Operations Director Kim Vest, “She has been connected to us since our beginnings and is highly respected in the community.”
Ward has been both a volunteer and instructor with Inspiration Ranch in the past, playing a role in building the Ranch’s Equine-Assisted Therapeutic Riding Program. She is a Certified Instructor through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, an award-winning science and math teacher at Montgomery High School where she also heads the Career and Technology Applications Department and, in addition, serves as a mounted patrol officer in The Woodlands, Texas. She holds a Ph.D. in Animal Science from Cornell University and a Masters of Science from Kansas State University.
During the first quarter of 2020, Inspiration Ranch plans to launch Saturday lessons and begin to remove children who have been on its waitlist for more than two years. Vest, also strategically hired to help structure and drive growth at the Ranch, is excited to have someone who is a strong piece of Inspiration Ranch’s history help build its future.
“Before we had running water and electricity, we had Barb,” says Vest, “Her history with us combined with her incredible credentials in teaching, instructing, and animal science is going to assure that both of our programs continue to focus on quality, caring service as they expand.”
Ward will be a part-time instructor for Inspiration Ranch’s Equine-Assisted Therapeutic Riding Program as well as serving as the Equine Specialist for its Equine-Assisted Mental Health Program. As an instructor, she will work with children with special needs to build core strength, mobility, and cognitive function through horseback riding. As the Equine Specialist she will help victims of sex-trafficking and domestic violence and homeless youth build coping skills, foster positive peer engagement, acquire life skills and develop a sense of belonging.
Ward is one of nine employees added to the Inspiration Staff since its relocation to a 40-acre property in Magnolia in the summer of 2019. A grant writer, volunteer and intake coordinator, instructor, equine assistant, and ranch hands joined the organization in addition to Ward and Vest. Ward is one of three employees joining Inspiration Ranch in January 2020.
About Inspiration Ranch
Inspiration Ranch is a Premier Accredited Center of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International with the mission of providing hope and improving the lives of those with physical, mental, and emotional challenges through equine-assisted activities and therapies. The 501(c)3 nonprofit offers Equine-Assisted Therapeutic Riding for special needs children and Equine-Assisted Mental Health Services to the community at large and to at-risk youth and victims of sex-trafficking and domestic abuse through partnerships with local shelters. For information on riding or mental health services, visit inspirationranch.org.