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Charis Field has secured a Licensing Agreement with a SpiritHorse Therapeutic Center, Corinth, Texas, for the use of its award-winning curriculum of special use for clients on The Autistic Spectrum, those suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury, those with Neo-Natal, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and other disabilities. 


As such, SpiritHorse at Charis Field is licensed to operate a SpiritHorse Center utilizing the SpiritHorse Program, and is part of the SpiritHorse 501(c)3 group tax exemption. Charis Field's President and Founder, Maray Betke, was certified as an Instructor in the Spirit Horse Equine-Assisted Health Care Method in June, 2018.


The Spirit Horse Program's success has been studied extensively in the U.S. and Western Europe and found successful, by clinicians at medical and university centers.

Award-wining SPIRITHORSE CURRICULUM is for Autism Spectrum Clients, as well as those suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury, those with Neo-Natal and Down Syndrome,  Cerebral Palsy and other disabilities.

The results have been especially promising for clients on The Autism Spectrum.  Researchers who have found the results of the SpiritHorse method "Significant" include The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Department of Psychiatry, along with the Autism Treatment Center Research Department, the University of Texas at Dallas Department of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, as well as the Texas Woman's University Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, the University of North Texas Department of Rehabilitation, Social Work, and Addiction, and the Liberty University Department of Counseling.


Together, they completed a two-year study of the SpiritHorse method as it worked with its Autistic clients. The first 35 participants in this study fell in the "Severe/Moderate" range prior to treatment, with an average score of 38; at the end of six months of riding at SpiritHorse, the students had shifted to an average score of 33, for a 58% improvement, with a movement half-way along the scale toward a "non-Autistic" rating score of 29.5 on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS).


The results of this study have been accepted for publication in The Journal of Alternative Therapy in Health and Medicine. Please see this link for the published article

Subsequently, VU University of Amsterdam sent two representatives to study the SpiritHorse method for four months, and rated their preliminary findings as "Excellent." The university will soon produce a report(s) to be published in the European Union's medical journals. Please see this link for an article from Holland also please see this link for a reveiw of the article from Holland.

The SpiritHorse Program method's success has generated numerous awards: most recently, Charles Fletcher, founder and creator of the SpiritHorse Method, was chosen in 2014 as an Encore.Org Purpose Prize Fellow, a national award given to entrepreneurs and creative problem-solvers later in life, please see this link for more information, comparable to the MacArthur Fellows for younger researchers and entrepreneurs. Please see below for a list of other awards.



SpiritHorse International Therapeutic Riding Center Awards



2005 Travis Ahrens Award

Presented by The Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas “In appreciation of SpiritHorse services to the Guild.”


2006 Ron J. Anderson, M.D. Healthcare Servant Leadership Award 

Presented by the DFW Alliance for Healthcare Excellence Committee, this award recognizes the “outstanding dedication and leadership in the promotion of access to quality, affordable health care”. This is the highest honor bestowed by this organization. Past recipients of this award are Baylor Healthcare System (2005) and Parkland Hospital Healthcare System (2004).


2006 Dreamers, Doers, and Unsung Heroes Award

Presented by The Real Estate Council Foundation, this award recognizes one unsung hero in each of the four major North Texas counties of Collin, Denton, Dallas, and Tarrant, who have made the greatest difference in the welfare of those in need in their community.  Charles I. Fletcher, Founder/Board President, was selected as the Denton County award winner for 2006.


2008 “Make Your Mark” Award Recipient of Reader’s Digest Award


2008 Community Service Award

SpiritHorse is very proud to have been chosen to receive the Texas Health Resources’ prestigious community Service Award.


2009 Quality of Life Grant

SpiritHorse is pleased to have been the recipient of a Quality of Life Grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation in 2009


2009 Best Adopter Award: Working with Students

SpiritHorse was awarded the “Best Adopter Award: Working with Students” by the Denton Independent School District and the Denton Chamber of Commerce.


2011 Governor's LoneStar Achievement Award

Mr. Fletcher is the recipient of the 2011 "Governor's LoneStar Achievement Award”, which recognizes the outstanding service of an individual who has enhanced the delivery of social services in Texas. Lonestar Achievers are those rare individuals that see impossible dreams and make them realities.


2012 Purpose Prize Fellow Award named Charles Fletcher a Purpose Prize fellow because of his innovative and philanthropic work in Equine Therapy. “Purpose Prize fellows are using their passion and experience to help solve some of society’s steepest challenges,” said Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of and author of The Big Shift. “They represent a growing wave of people in their 60s and beyond who are using their know-how to change the world, while shifting perceptions of what is possible in this stage of life.”


2014 Purpose Prize $100,000 Winner

In recognition of the vision, determination and dedication that transformed Fletcher’s ranch into the inspiration for a global network of 91 therapeutic riding centers serving 5,000 disabled children free of charge. 

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