Human Services

BLUE SKY THERAPEUTIC RIDING AND RESPITE

Safe, Happy and Healthy

aka NA   |   Aubrey, TX   |  www.blueskytexas.org

Mission

To provide a safe, happy and healthy therapeutic community that works to empower and propel our special needs citizens and their families to their fullest potential. We serve our valued clients by providing therapeutic horseback riding, respite, vocational education and entrepreneurial opportunities to special needs children and adults.

Ruling year info

2013

Riding Program Director

Ms. Jennifer Mathis

Executive Director

Mrs. Amy Gayhart

Main address

120 Stanley Dr. #228

Aubrey, TX 76227 USA

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Formerly known as

NA

EIN

26-4318170

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers (P82)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

There is a significant deficit in the state of Texas, as well as the nation, in the number of quality programs for those with special needs, especially for those above the age of 18. The number decreases even further for those who don’t have the ability to pay, do not receive services from the state, or require a little extra work due to behavioral and communication problems. We are working to give special needs citizens in Denton, Collin and surrounding counties an excellent opportunity for therapeutic horseback riding, respite, vocational training and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Individual Therapeutic Horse back riding lessons

Individualized Therapeutic riding lessons for clients of all abilities and ages, ( clients are currently age 4- 60). Structured learning principles utilized to enhance clients independence, sense of control and accomplishments

Population(s) Served
People with intellectual disabilities
People with physical disabilities

PURPOSE - Providing Unique and Realistic Possibilities and Opportunities for our Special Needs Equestrians.
PURPOSE Mercantile is an opportunity for our riders to create boutique like items that are fresh, clean and unique. With a farmhouse feel, PURPOSE Mercantile is able to provide items to stage your urban loft or country cottage simultaneously. With an emphasis on encouragement, love and inclusion our products will brighten any space....especially after they read the story of the hands that created it.
Our riders are given a simple set of instructions on how to create the products. Sometimes it takes working in teams to bring it to completion, but the creativity and inspiration is all their own. All of the proceeds from PURPOSE go directly back to the operational expenses of Blue Sky Therapeutic Riding & Respite.
PURPOSE Produce is also a division of PURPOSE Mercantile. Our riders work hard in planning, planting, maintaining and cultivating our beloved Blue Sky Garden. Farm fresh produce is available once a week during the season for locals to pick up and take home. A suggested donation is accepted for the produce which also supports Blue Sky. We were able to get our produce into the Frisco Farm Stop this past summer and are eager to sell to more and more markets.

Population(s) Served
People with intellectual disabilities
People with disabilities

Where we work

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

Blue Sky Therapeutic Riding & Respite is striving to serve a larger portion of the under served special needs community. Also, we would like to create a full service therapeutic community where special needs citizens are seen for their unique abilities and not their disabilities. We want to become a model that can be easily duplicated all over the state and the nation. By building something stellar on a small scale we will show others that it can be done. It doesn’t have to be huge and grand, it just needs to be quality and intentional.

We currently serve 42 therapeutic riders on a weekly basis. We would like to serve 50 clients a week. In order to accomplish this, we will need to hire an additional PATH certified riding instructor and open an additional instructional day. We would like to expand our PURPOSE program in number of days in order to serve more special needs adults throughout the week. Also, in order to expand the number of clients attending the PURPOSE program we will need to hire additional qualified staff. We believe that knowledge is power, and we encourage our instructors and staff to continue to learn. We want to keep staff and volunteers informed of the most up to date best practices not only in therapeutic riding but also in TEACCH structured learning methods. We would like to have an on site training session each semester of the year so that everyone is prepared to serve our clients in the best possible way.

Blue Sky has the land and facilities in order to obtain our goal. We would like to add a covered arena to our property so that heat, rain and cold doesn’t stop our weekly lessons. It would be wonderful to provide the very best facilities possible. We also have the infrastructure, passion and drive to make this goal a reality. Funding is always an issue with any non-profit, but we work hard to fund raise and build relationships with community leaders and donors.

We will know we are making progress by seeing our number of clients increase. Also, we will know that we are creating a stellar therapeutic community by the retention rate. Also, as the word spreads, we are confident that funding will increase. People support programs that they hear positive stories from clients and community partners alike.

Already in 2019, we have increased the number of days we offer our PURPOSE program from one day a week to 3 days a week. This took a big leap on our part, but we have head nothing but positive feedback from the families we serve. In order to do this, we hired a full time executive director to oversee the program. We also hired a part time PURPOSE assistant. In order to create a true therapeutic community, we have brought on a speech and occupational therapy clinic on campus. They don’t only offer our clients with exceptional therapy, but they are also a great resource for our instructors and staff when planning lessons and schedules. We are able to work in collaboration to bring our clients the very best care. We have increased the number of riders from 35 to 42 in the last 7 months.

Financials

BLUE SKY THERAPEUTIC RIDING AND RESPITE
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Operations

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

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BLUE SKY THERAPEUTIC RIDING AND RESPITE

Board of directors
as of 6/8/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Amy Gayhart


Board co-chair

Kristen Kromer

Kristen Kromer

Kenneth Dugger

Beverly Aten

Susan Pennau

Duanne Sutton

Heather Beauchesne

Keywords

Therapeutic horseback riding, equine therapy, structure, respite, therapeutic community