Health—General & Rehabilitative

Back in the Saddle Equine Therapy Center

  • Hopkinton, NH
  • www.bitsetc.org

Mission Statement

BITS ETC seeks to provide effective therapeutic riding, hippotherapy, and equine assisted activities for people 2 to 92 living with disabilities in central NH.  In so doing we maximize quality of life for our participants, volunteers, and equine partners alike.

Main Programs

  1. Therapeutic Riding
  2. Ride UP for Veterans and Uniformed Professionals
  3. SpiritHorse Autism Intervention
  4. Equine Assisted Learning--Vocational Education

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Service Areas

Self-reported

New Hampshire

BITS ETC provides services to people 2 to 92 living with disabilities in central NH.  Our clients come from approximately 1 hour's drive of Concord, NH, the capitol of the state. Area towns served include:
Hopkinton, Henniker, Hillsboro, Antrim, Webster, Concord, Chichester, Louden, Canterbury, Boscowen, Goffstown, Manchester, Keene, Warner, Laconia, Franklin, Andover, Weare, Sutton, Bradford, among others.

ruling year

2005

President, Board Of Directors since 2012

Self-reported

Mr. Lawrence Patz

Founding Executive Director since 2003

Self-reported

Ms. Pauline Meridien

Keywords

Self-reported

efmh, equine assisted activities, therapeutic riding, equine therapy, hippotherapy, occupational therapy, equine facilitated mental health therapy, therapeutic riding, autism, adhd, spinal cord injury

EIN

20-0652400

 Number

1573017961

Physical Address

334 College Hill R.

Hopkinton, 03229

Also Known As

BITS ETC

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Rehabilitative Medical Services (E50)

Specialized Education Institutions/Schools for Visually or Hearing Impaired, Learning Disabled (B28)

Animal Related Activities N.E.C. (D99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

BITS ETC continues to expand program offerings to meet changing demand.. 

Ride UP" for Veterans and Uniformed Professionals (first responders: fire, police, and rescue personnel) offers individualized equine interactions to family members as well as these professionals who keep our community safe for us all. This program is fully funded and free to participants.
 
V.O.C. at BITS ETC provides work hardening and vocational education training to clients with disabilities.

Occupational Therapists now offer Hippotherapy for more physically challenged clients. With this program we are meeting the needs of the disabled community with the help of our specially trained horses with interventions that cannot be offered in any other way.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Therapeutic Riding

Riding for people with physical, mental or emotional disabilities. Goal of learning independence on a horse in a safe and encouraging environment. Individualized lessons either private, or in small groups of three or fewer participants. Certified instructors, and trained leaders and side-walkers provided as needed.

Category

Elderly and/or Disabled

Population(s) Served

Disabled, General or Disability Unspecified

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

Budget

30000.00

Program 2

Ride UP for Veterans and Uniformed Professionals

Equine Assisted Activities, including ground work, equine training and communication, astride lessons, and carriage driving offered to this unique population, free of charge to the client. Small group interactions foster individualized approach to instruction, allowing the PATH certified instructor to take the lessons in a direction that meets the needs of participants in any particular group.

Category

Health Care

Population(s) Served

Disabled, General or Disability Unspecified

Military/Veterans

Other Named Groups

Budget

25000.00

Program 3

SpiritHorse Autism Intervention

Based on SpiritHorse International program developed by Charles Fletcher, this step-by-step program provides a clear construct for teaching riding skills to those on the spectrum. Beginning with clients unable to sit up on a horse or pony, small steps are incorporated to bring core development, and strength and balance improvement to allow the client to succeed in independently riding the horse, taking the amount of time needed by each individual.

Category

People/Families with of People with Disabilities

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Adults

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

Budget

10000.00

Program 4

Equine Assisted Learning--Vocational Education

Area Alternative and Public High Schools partner with BITS ETC to bring 'at-risk' youth, 14 years of age and up to the campus for Equine Assisted Learning centered on the care and maintenance of a horse stable during the four seasons of New England weather. All aspects of stable management provide a wide canvas upon which to offer learning opportunities tuned to individual learning styles, emotional ages, and temperaments, and ability to focus of each participant.

This program does not include astride riding, but focuses activities that build a solid culture for transition from high school to the world of work. Basic skills such as team work, timeliness, importance of being prepared for the job at hand, consistency, honesty, and appreciation for a job well done are incorporated into a curriculum of stable and grounds management. Equine best practices are taught, as well as general horse training and ground work necessary to be safe around large animals.

Category

People/Families with of People with Developmental Disabilities

Population(s) Served

Mentally/Emotionally Disabled

None

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

25000.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    One overarching goal is to fully fund scholarships so all therapy is offered free of charge. We have accomplished this with our Ride UP program, ( Through generous public support via our Global Giving campaign) and are committed to full scholarships for all program participants within five years.

    Expanding our services to groups and our outreach miniature program to schools and libraries is a particular focus for 2016. We hope to bring the horses to the communities in which we seek clients, to spread the word of the healing power of horses.

    Partnering with local colleges to allow internships which foster collaboration between our facility and undergraduates as well as faculty members expands the knowledge base upon which we operate and advances our understanding of the way horses benefit people with disabilities.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    We are actively supporting grant writers within the organization, with webinars, seminars, and additional training to optimize success in obtaining grants to fund our programs.

    Focusing on crowd-funding and harnessing the power of the internet to place our needs before stakeholders who can support our mission has proven successful this last winter, and utilizing our website and facebook pages to increase our presence in the wider world should allow a more vigorous public support ongoing.

    Investing in extremely competent, well trained instructors to provide the best individualized activities geared to each client, as well as supporting continuing education and training of our excellent staff ensures that word-of-mouth remains a most valuable marketing tool. Our reputation depends on the people who do the work...on the ground, with each client.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The addition of support personnel to the staff has freed up in-house volunteers to focus on grant writing, utilizing the unique talents of each person to their full potential.

    A dedicated web-master for oversight of all internet presence over various domains ensures our brand is consistent, and user-friendly across pc's, mobile networks, etc.

    Board support for adequate funding of instructor reimbursement and training support ensures we attract the best instructors available.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Tracking the number of successful grants written, and comparing to previous years will document grant writing success. Measures shall be assessed quarterly. Internet fundraising activities are documented in real time, and assessed quarterly as to time required vs. outcome achieved.


    Number of outreach visits in the past fiscal year can be used as a measure of current success in building outreach opportunities for our miniature horse program. Currently three school systems and two colleges participate in this outreach, various times of the year. An increase in demand for these services by 25% is a goal we hope to reach in 2016.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    We have an exemplary herd of therapy horses, trained to provide riding and ground interactions to a wide variety of clients. Our herd is well maintained, and ready to participate in activities on a daily basis. We have instituted systems to keep the horses fit and able to perform their duties while keeping them in such a way that they enjoy these interactions and are willing participants. An excellent quality of life for all: our horses, instructors, and clients is a hurdle we feel we have cleared.

    We offer individualized sessions (usually 1:1) to meet the needs of each client. Our services are unique in the amount of collaboration we encourage between client, school, sending institution, parent, and instructor.

    We have yet to meet our goal of offering all services free of charge to the client. A consistent, persistent, and dedicated attempt to find funds for our program requires more board and staff time and effort than we have as yet mustered.



Service Areas

Self-reported

New Hampshire

BITS ETC provides services to people 2 to 92 living with disabilities in central NH.  Our clients come from approximately 1 hour's drive of Concord, NH, the capitol of the state. Area towns served include:
Hopkinton, Henniker, Hillsboro, Antrim, Webster, Concord, Chichester, Louden, Canterbury, Boscowen, Goffstown, Manchester, Keene, Warner, Laconia, Franklin, Andover, Weare, Sutton, Bradford, among others.

Social Media

Affiliations + Memberships

Chamber of Commerce

Points of Light Foundation

Videos

External Reviews

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Financials

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Back in the Saddle Equine Therapy Center

Leadership

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President, Board Of Directors

Mr. Lawrence Patz

Founding Executive Director

Ms. Pauline Meridien

BIO

As a parent of an adopted child with a disability, Mr. Patz is BITS's most vocal supporter. After experiencing first-hand the benefits of therapeutic riding and the joy engendered by the experience, Larry joined the board of directors, first as the Treasurer, and then rising to the Presidency, fostering the development of programs to bring equine assisted activities to the most people possible.

Retired from a successful career in the Insurance and Business world, he works tirelessly for this non-profit.

STATEMENT FROM THE President, Board Of Directors

"As founding Executive Director, I am pleased to provide continued guidance to this exciting venture, now in it's twelfth year.  As we move forward with our goals of providing therapy free of charge to clients by 2020, we must rededicate ourselves to bringing this non-profit to the next level of development, by  expanding our funding sources to meet the needs of the disabled community. Success will be measured by the increasing number of people we get "back in the saddle" and onto Life's Happy Trails!

We are committed to providing programs that meet the needs of those with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. Development of individualized programs based on local need is a hallmark of our small, but very effective organization."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Lawrence Patz

No Affiliation

Term: July 2011 - June 2015

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

No

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

No

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?