Proudly partnering with Sandra Day O’Connor High School and the Bexar County High School Film Festival

The mission of Upward Transitions is to enhance the lives of individuals

with physical, emotional, and/or cognitive challenges through horse-related

programs by building coping skills to achieve their fullest potential.

Upward Transitions provides independence to participants by enabling them to feel the freedom of sitting on top of a horse and leaving the confines of their disability behind. For individuals with cognitive or emotional challenges, the unique relationship formed between a rider and horse can lead to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem. The therapeutic environment that horses provide cannot be duplicated in a clinical setting and as a result every rider benefits from their accepting and trusting interaction.


  • We are excited to announce some of our 2018 events:


  • March 22          BigGive 2018
  • April 14             Valero TX Open 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Run/Walk for Children 14 & Younger
  • April 19-22       Valero Texas Open Birdies for Charity
  • May 19                  Putt Putt Golf Tournament
  • June 30                 UTTH Golf Tournament at Golf Club Texas


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Therapy horses, helping those with special needs, be a part of their story!!

Join Upward Transitions in the Big Give 2018!!  Our goal is to fully fund our therapy horse, Cowboy, for 1 year.  Cowboy supports 8 riders each week and they look forward to seeing him, have fun and breaking the boundaries of their disability!!

donate at:



    Upward Transitions is grateful to be one of the selected charities to participate in the Birdies for Charity 2018.  If you would like to learn more or join us in achieving our mission go to our DONATE page, visit our link below or scan our QR code to donate!



Valero Texas Open Birdies for Charity 2018 Event











Golf Club


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In therapeutic riding the lessons are developed around equestrian skill development and progression. Learning to ride is the objective. While learning to ride may be the objective, in the process of learning to ride comes the therapeutic value. The long term goals may be physical, psychological, educational, cognitive, skill and/or recreational based. Therapeutic Riding Instructors are the primary professionals responsible for the design and implementation of the therapeutic riding session. The lessons can be taught privately, semi-privately or in groups of 3-6 students. The instructors will enlist the help of volunteers to aid the riders during lessons. These assistants may be horse leaders, side walkers or communicators. The instructor may request lesson plan involvement of educators or medical professionals to help the riders achieve their individual goals.


In riding a horse we borrow freedom.

Helen Thomson
First used in Greece in the 5th century to rehab wounded soldiers, horseback riding or equitherapy has grown over the decades and spread across the ocean to the Americas. During World War I it was used again to treat wounded soldiers. From soldiers to modern day Olympians, the therapy eventually came to the US in 1969 where it is still used for Wounded Warriors, as well as children and adults with challenges. There are over 600 accredited equitherapy centers in the US today.



  • Benefits include but are not limited to:
  • Balance
  • Muscle Strength and Tone
  • Physical Endurance
  • Range of Motion
  • Circulation Respiration
  • Sensorimotor Integration
  • Confidence
  • Concentration and Attention Span
  • Motivation
  • Human-animal Bonding
  • Social Skills


Therapeutic Riding

Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors integrate horseback riding skills into lesson plans designed to enhance the physical, cognitive and emotional wellbeing of the riders. Lessons are individually designed to suit each rider’s particular need, ability, stamina and are consistent with predetermined goals that are established in conjunction with parents, therapeutic riding instructors, caregivers, physicians and other therapists.

Veteran Programs

Therapeutic Riding Instructors use equine based therapy for active duty service members and veterans who have returned with physical and mental challenges as a result of their service. The goal of this program is to improve the lives of servicemen and women who have suffered injury in the line of duty, helping them adjust physically and emotionally to their postwar lives.

Honor Someone

Donate in Honor of Someone Special.
By supporting Upward Transitions, you have the opportunity to honor a special person or pay tribute to someone by making a heartfelt donation that will make a difference in the lives of individuals with special needs through equine-assisted activities and therapies. Once your gift is received, Upward Transitions will send a card to the honoree or family acknowledging your gift.



Please fill out the volunteer registration form and text or call Denise Reding at 210-867-1188

Please fill out the rider registration form or call Barbara Taylor, Instructor and Program Director at 972-977-3833

Upward Transitions depends on your contributions to keep our stables open. Visit our donation page to donate a lesson or a session.  You can also donate in honor of someone special, sponsor one of our therapy horses or help purchase new safety helmets for our riders.


Upwards Transitions is a PATH member center.  PATH Intl. is the credentialing organization for accrediting centers and certifying instructors and equine specialists. Through our certification and accreditation programs, plus a wide variety of educational resources that includes an annual regional and international conference, the association helps members start and maintain successful equine-assisted activities and therapies (or EAAT) programs. There are more than 62,000 volunteers, 5,011 credentialed professionals, 7,800 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world at PATH Intl. Member Centers inspiring and enriching the human spirit.  The mission of Upward Transitions echoes the PATH Intl. mission which is to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs.  For more information on PATH International visit


1. Please call Barbara Taylor, instructor and Program Director at 972-977-3833 to discuss if the rider meets the minimum requirements as follows:

• Weight less than 200 pounds in order to be safely dismounted in an emergency. • Must have sitting balance (side walkers can’t be asked to support the weight of the rider) • If minimum sitting balance, must weigh around 40 pounds or less • Must be a minimum of 4 years old • Must have a disability that is compatible with therapeutic horsemanship

2. Upon determining that the applicant meets minimum requirements the Program Director will email or the applicant may download required forms (click the links below). The applicant will be asked to have the medical form signed by a doctor before the next step in the process. Click below to download our Student Application Forms.






Equine Therapist

A gentle giant, Tonka is a Paint born in 2006.  He may only have one eye but he can see the potential in each of his riders.


Equine Therapist

Sweet Cowboy is our go to guy.  He is a chestnut Quarter horse born in 1999 with 3 white socks and lots of love to show his riders.


Equine Therapist

Our sweet pony helps our youngest riders be brave.  Cappy is a gray Welsh born in 2002.


Equine Therapist

This handsome guy is a black and white Morgan Cross born in 2002.


Equine Therapist


Equine Therapist


Equine Therapist


Equine Therapist

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