equine programs at the painted turtle

The equestrian program at The Painted Turtle provides empowering equine experiences to campers that help to enhance the physical and emotional well-being of children with serious illnesses.

meet "the herd"

Boy petting gentle horse

“The barn at The Painted Turtle is full of magic. Magic that is created by the amazing relationships that campers develop with the horses here. The barn is a place that fosters personal growth, new and exciting experiences, fun adventures, and most importantly – friendships!” -- Dailynn Palmer, Equestrian Coordinator at The Painted Turtle

Dealer looking dapper in his red and white checkered clown pants and oversized sunglasses

"Dealer" was born with a physical condition that prevents him from being the ranch horse he always dreamed of being. However, Dealer has found his place in life as a therapy horse. Dealer is a gentleman but doesn’t mind getting silly every once in a while. Here he is, dressed up as a rodeo Clown featuring Dr. Blaze!

Missy adorned with daisies

"Missy" has worked with many, many people over the years ranging from youth in foster care to youth with serious medical conditions. Missy has impacted close to 1,000 people’s lives!

Friday walking slowly around the ring with his rider

"Friday" is a retired ranch horse from Nevada. Friday’s favorite things are bossing cows around and spending time with aspiring ranchers. Friday is a natural born leader who is very protective of the other horses. Friday loves to compete (and win) arena games during lessons. Don’t let his size fool you, he is the fastest horse around!

program benefits include

Physical Therapy

Campers are taught riding skills through games like “Simon Says” and “Mailboxes,” which support dexterity, balance and coordination, and help strengthen muscle tone.

Sense of Accomplishment

For a child who may feel limited by their illness, learning to ride a horse can boost self-esteem and confidence. And with wheelchair mounting ramps and an array of adaptive saddles, camp provides all children who wish to participate with a safe and memorable experience.

Emotional Respite

Caring for horses can provide a necessary break from the challenges of living with a serious medical condition. During the process of bathing, brushing, and feeding, many campers experience what it's like to go from being a care receiver to caregiver, often for the very first time.

Thanks to your generosity, the joys and benefits of innovative programming like this will always be free of charge.