Carol Pastore '74

Carol and Olivia Pastore meet with Colorado's First Lady Jeannie Ritter and Fernando Martinez, Director of San Luis Valley Mental Health

Carol Pastore '74 & her passion for Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) Carol Pastore graduated with a B.A. from CU in 1974 and continued her studies in SLP with an M.A. from Adams State College in 1976. She retired in 2003 but that depends on how you define retirement. Carol has an impressive hobby. She is co-founder, along with her daughter, Milena Pastore, of the Bridges of Health Inc.'s Challenge Colorado Therapeutic Riding Program. In the program, Carol conducts SLP therapy using Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) as her strategy with a focus is 3-5 yr olds. Carol reports that this is the age group where she has seen the most progress. She says that “Conducting speech and language therapy using EAT is very interesting. The results are pretty amazing especially with children with Autisim”. Carol plans to conduct case studies and research to support her observations. The program website describes the benefits of therapeutic riding as “a method for improving the lives of individuals with special needs. Because riding a horse gently and rhythmically moves the rider's body in a manner similar to a human gait, riders show improvement in flexibility, balance, and muscle strength. A new program, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is for individuals with mental and emotional disabilities. The unique relationship formed with the horse can lead to increased confidence, patience, and self-esteem”. (continued)

Young rider at Challenge Colorado

As noted in the general literature, additional goals for EAT approach might include development of respect for self and others, improved communication and social skills, boundary setting, empathy towards others, self-control and confidence, responsibility, problem solving and cooperation, and overcoming challenges. Carol currently lives and provides equine Assisted Therapy in Monte Vista, Colorado as part of the Bridges of Health Inc.'s Challenge Colorado Therapeutic Riding Program. The program directors believe “that every special needs person has the potential to learn and achieve at his or her own level. By providing the opportunity to strengthen their communication skills, physical, emotional, and mental abilities, we provide the person with the opportunity to become a productive member of their community”.

Young rider at Challenge Colorado

She is open to contact by anyone who may be interested in SLP and equine assisted therapy. If there is anyone who might have ideas on how to develop case studies and or research I would be interested in communicating with them The CCTRP budget is all based on donations, small grants, and fundraisers. Interested patrons can help the Challenge Colorado Therapeutic Riding Program by volunteering in riding Classes, or donating skills in publicity, carpentry or photography, etc.). Readers can also donating funds to sponsor a special event or in memory of a special person, pet or horse.

Another client begins ride

The Bridges of Health Inc.'s Challenge Colorado Therapeutic Riding Program is located at 0536 Swede Lane in Monte Vista, Colorado 81144 Phone: (719)-852-2795 Website: E-Mail Carol: