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Melissa Walters

We’re so pleased to announce that Melissa Walters will return to Sunrise, Inc. as our riding instructor and is now fully certified as a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI).

To become a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor she had to…

  • Spend nearly three years learning new riding, and horsemanship skills.
  • Volunteer for over 400 hours at multiple facilities, in multiple states, doing stable work, learning about, and teaching individuals with disabilities to ride.
  • Complete tests, clinics, workshops, and continuing education for personal and professional development, both online, and in person.
  • Go outside of her personal comfort zones by challenging herself and taking a risk with a professional career change.
  • Overcome personal obstacles, receiving coaching, pushing ahead with the help and support of family, friends, and multiple individuals from all over the country.
  • Melissa was awarded certification as a PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) International Certified Therapeutic Horseback Riding Instructor.

This is quite the achievement!

PATH requirements test an individual’s ability to teach group lessons for individuals with minor to significant physical, emotional, and mental disabilities to ride horses. Instructors must prove competencies via testing, and demonstrate the ability to adapt activities to match the individual they’re working with. Therapeutic horseback riding is a proven method of providing therapeutic benefits lending to improvement of the individual’s quality of life.

Congratulations, Melissa, on your personal and professional achievement of passion!

Sarah Miller

We are also proud of Sarah Miller who will start her new dual position as our full-time Head Groom and Volunteer Coordinator. 

Sarah has been involved with Sunrise since 2008. She started out as a volunteer, and becoming more involved over time. Sarah has a strong connection with the horses and is passionate about therapeutic riding. Her horse, Samuel (also known as Mann), has been her constant sidekick as she has been involved in 4-H, trail riding, and therapeutic riding. Samuel is a descendant of the famous race horse, Man O’ War and is one of Sarah’s best friends.

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