Temple Grandin Equine Center
The Temple Grandin Equine Center focuses on research, education and outreach in equine-assisted services. The TGEC facilities are a place where individuals with special challenges can heal, where therapists can treat, where students can learn, where scientists can research, and where horses can be studied, cared for, and advanced. With premiere programs in equine sciences, occupational therapy and equine veterinary medicine, CSU is uniquely situated to be a leader in equine-assisted services.
What Are Equine-Assisted Services?
Equine-assisted services are professional services that incorporate horses to promote human well-being and fall into three broad categories.
Therapy services incorporate horses and the equine environment into therapy within the health care professional’s scope of practice, such as physical therapy or occupational therapy.
Equine-assisted learning services promote the development of life skills for educational, professional, and personal goals.
Horsemanship services focus on teaching horsemanship skills, which have naturally healthful benefits.
Two New Facilities
In 2021 and 2022, the TGEC completed construction on two new facilities to house equine-assisted services education, research and programming at the CSU Foothills campus in Fort Collins and at the CSU Spur campus in Denver.
Opened on February 1, 2021. In less than a year, grew to provide more than one hundred EAS appointments per week. Read the full SOURCE story to learn more.
- Physical, occupational and speech therapy for individuals of all ages, with various and diverse disabilities, including autism, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, brain and spinal cord injuries, stroke, and multiple sclerosis.
- Adaptive horsemanship provided to individuals of all ages, with disabilities including autism, ADHD, and other developmental and cognitive delays.
- Mental health counseling provided to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and first-responders.
- Educational efforts at TGEC Fort Collins include over 100 undergraduate students per semester and approximately 25 industry professionals engaging in continuing education.
Opened in January 2022. Within six months, grew to provide 75 EAS appointments per week. Services include physical and occupational therapy, psychotherapy and mental health services, and adaptive horsemanship lesson. Read the full CSU Magazine Story to learn more.
- 40 physical or occupational therapy using equine movement and the equine environment appointments.
- 20 equine-assisted psychotherapy focusing on emotional well-being (because of a history of trauma, neglect, or at-risk situations.
- 20 adaptive horsemanship lessons.
- Downtown Denver location supports serving individuals from high unemployment and low-income households, homes with a breakdown in the nuclear family, areas with high crime rates, and poor standards of education.
Powered By Volunteers
To host an equine-assisted services appointment, it takes a team of three to four people – a therapist, a horse leader, and two side-walkers. For most appointments, horse leaders and side-walkers are volunteers.
Of volunteer support per week.
Over 30,000 hours
Of volunteer service a year.
Over 300 volunteers
- 200 in Fort Collins
- 140 in Denver
Since 2014, the TGEC has conducted innovative research resulting in almost twenty written manuscripts, journal publications, and other science-based published documents. Research studies have provided quantifiable and qualitative results that equine-assisted services are a “feasible, accessible, and beneficial treatment and/or therapy option” for many types of disabilities, including those with mental health challenges and individuals with ASD.
The TGEC recently published the first randomized controlled trial of occupational therapy incorporating horses for youth with autism. Read the first published animal-assisted therapy research paper in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Strong collaborations and partnerships are used to provide the programming, research and education at the TGEC.
Community Organizations, Service Providers, and National Associations
Who host programs and research studies include: Sundance Therapy, Paradigm Physical Therapy, My Heroes Therapy, Front Range Exceptional Equestrians, Horses and Heartstrings, Rocky Mountain Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Hearts and Horses, Horses and Humans Research Foundation, PATH International, and University of Colorado Medical Hospital.
The Advertising and Recruitment of Research Participants
Is accomplished through collaborations with community partners who include: University of Colorado Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Denver Public School District, and Children’s Hospital Colorado.