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Special Events

Horses & Healing – Hope & Resilience

NCEFT, the National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy, is delighted to announce that Rising Above: A Virtual Evening of Resilience & Hope, will stream free online Thursday, March 11, from 7 to 8 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Headlining this special evening are nationally recognized speakers: Dr. Julia Harper, PhD, MS, OTR/L, an expert in working with families with special needs, will speak to the science of neuroplasticity and its potential to create interventions that result in resilience. Amberley Snyder, a champion barrel racer who continues to compete after being paralyzed from the waist down in a rollover truck accident, will share her personal story of resilience. NCEFT speakers will share information and videos about their programs, including recent initiatives such as Mental Health and Resilience Workshops. 

Hope and resilience have special meaning at NCEFT, where their equine-based programs focus on helping clients rise above life’s adversities and find ways to change course, emotionally heal, and continue moving toward one’s goals.

NCEFT’s Rising Above Online Auction runs in parallel during the lead up to this special evening, with bidding open March 1 through March 15. Exciting items will be added throughout these two weeks to celebrate half a century of horses, hope, and healing.

Equine Facilitated Therapy
The smile on this NCEFT client speaks volumes on how horses offer hope and resiliency.

Nationally Recognized Speakers

Julia Harper, PhD, MS, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist, speaker, and writer. For more than twenty years, her work with families with special needs has been to use the science of neuroplasticity to create interventions that tap into the brain’s ability to change once stimulated accurately and precisely. She believes the mind is a powerful tool, and that when it is tapped into properly to be maximized, living a big, bold life is possible.

Amberley Snyder is a champion barrel racer. In 2010, she was in a rollover truck accident, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. Eighteen months later, she was back in the saddle and now competes in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. In 2018, Netflix released Walk. Ride. Rodeo. based on her life story. Amberly shares her triumph over tragedy, motivating people to believe in themselves and get back on the horse.

Internationally recognized as a pioneer and leader in the field or equine-assisted programs, NCEFT has helped transform lives for 50 years with compassion, inclusiveness, and the highest level of service, by harnessing the unique connection between horses and humans. Recent additions such as their Equine-Assisted Mental Health & Resilience Program have joined ongoing offerings in the areas of Physical, Occupational, and Speech-Language Therapy; Adaptive Riding; Mindfulness Programs; Veterans & First Responders Programs; and much more. NCEFT has become the home of horses, hope, and healing for thousands of families.

Essential Information:

Date & Time: Thursday, March 11, 7:00 to 8:00 pm.

Venue: Virtual online event. Open to all. Free to attend. Register at

Donations and sponsorships: Welcome and greatly appreciated.

Online auction: March 1 to 15 at  


Horses. Hope. Healing. The National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy is dedicated to helping children, adults, and military Veterans with special needs reach beyond their boundaries through equine-assisted therapies, education, and research.

Founded in 1971, NCEFT is internationally recognized as a pioneer and leader in the field of equine-assisted programs. For 50 years, NCEFT has tapped into the profound rehabilitative power of the human-horse relationship to bring healing to thousands of Bay Area children and adults, ages 2-90+, with physical, cognitive, neuromuscular, mental, and emotional challenges and disabilities.

NCEFT delivers thousands of program sessions every year, benefiting more than 125 people each week. All of NCEFT’s programs rely heavily on volunteer assistance. Last year, volunteers logged over 4,000 hours of selflessly donated time.

NCEFT adheres to the highest standards of professionalism, transparency, and fiscal integrity. NCEFT is a registered 501(c)(3) organization (ID 94-2378104), a Platinum-Rated participant, a Top-Rated member with a five-star rating, and a certified EQUUS Foundation Guardian.

For more information, visit 

Thank Nan Meek for this article!

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