Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

School of Health and Human Sciences

Horsepower Summer Camp 2016

For more than 10 years, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) has enjoyed a collaborative relationship with HorsePower Therapeutic Learning Center in Colfax, NC. HorsePower is a premier Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) certified equestrian therapy facility. Each summer, graduate students from CSD have participated in this two week camp to gain clinical practicum experience. Recently, the department has expanded our equine assisted learning activities to year round at both HorsePower and Circle C Equestrian Center. The populations for these programs vary from year to year, but have included adjudicated youth with language literacy disorders, school aged children with fluency disorders, developmentally delayed pre-school children and adult survivors of traumatic brain injury, and school age children who experience autism.

Several graduate students have chosen to become Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) certified therapeutic riding instructors as their capstone projects.  Please see a recent university news story, video, and pictures of our therapeutic riding collaborations. Our work with Horsepower was highlighted in another university news story in 2016.

HorsePower Video:

Barn work

Barn work

Kate and Zip






These equine assisted learning experience expose all participants to activities in three learning centers:

    • riding
    • basic barn management
    • a classroom setting that is focused on teaching the participants about the thoroughbred race horse industry

This clinical experience also serves as a field research laboratory for students and faculty interested in collecting data on animal assisted therapies, therapeutic riding, cognitive-linguistic, and social engagement deficits associated with autism.