Important Dates
Friday, April 2 - Good Friday - Office Closed
Monday, April 5 - Session 3 Begins
*Updated* Session Calendar is available on our website
Rider Spotlight
Matthew is 22 years old and has been driving with PARDS for 2 years. Michelle, his mother, says that PARDS has a calming effect for Matthew; he seems to be less agitated when he knows he is coming to drive, she shared.

Matthew's diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in association with Tourette's Syndrome can result in Matthew becoming easily distracted. One of his personal goals is to improve his receptive communication skills. Matthew's lessons have repetitive components such as the steps required when tacking up his horse to the cart. Repetitive activities allow for expectation of events and this in turn can reduce anxiety created by the unknown, minimizing behaviours associated with ADHD and OCD.

Another personal goal for Matthew is to become more independent with less supervision from his aide. Matthew's driving goal is to use his reins in steering. Once again the lesson instructions remain consistent each week. Once a level of confidence and ability is attained another driving goal can be added. Through activities that build his confidence and lessen behaviours, Matthew has progressed to being able to tack for his driving lesson independently as well as drive without his aide being with him at all times. His aide remains close however, in the event Matthew needs assistance.

Matthew thinks that driving is a "cool skill to learn". Hot Wheels is his favorite pony to drive because he is always friendly and calm. Before and after driving Matthew loves to give the cats a cuddle so the instructors give him a moment to say hello and goodbye, keeping as much routine to his time at PARDS as possible.

Outside of lessons Matthew enjoys swimming, gymnastics, camping, and video games. Matthew never misses a chance to tell you about video games, especially the Avengers! Matthew is a fun talkative student who always tries his best. We look forward to continuing to support Matthew each step of the way to help him reach his goals through our driving program.
Program Partners
Volunteer Spotlight
Meet Kasandra Hudson

Kasandra has been a long time volunteer with PARDS, starting back in 2014. Kasandra was a boarder and saw the PARDS riders and horses, which enticed her to become a volunteer working in lessons and the barn. Wherever we needed help, Kasandra offered. She has seen the growth in PARDS and knows what it takes to keep a facility clean and running well. She says, "It is really enjoyable to help in lessons. I enjoy observing how riders enjoy and improve in their equestrian skills and personal goals. I helped in a lesson with a rider who was verbally challenged and it was so rewarding to see her smile and listen to her say, 'walk on', which seemed to be brought on through her happiness to be riding and wanting to do her best." Through Kasandra's involvement with PARDS she met one of our riders (Aly Keay) who is an aspiring Paralympian. Kasandra's helping nature and her knowledge of horses made her a perfect candidate when Aly was seeking to fill a position for her personal assistant.

"Volunteering at PARDS, cleaning in the barn or helping in lessons is good for my own mental and physical health." says Kasandra.
Community Champions
When the extreme cold weather hit the Grande Prairie area this year, we found a gap in the number of heavy weight blankets we had for our herd. After years of use, some blankets were no longer repairable and we didn't have all the proper sizes for some of our newer herd members. PARDS newest barn hand Jaiden Russell-Sperling saw a need and met the challenge and, with her spunky personality and drive, set out on a mission! Jaiden's first call was to Jill Jardie of Double J Equine to find out pricing and availability. Jill immediately generously donated a blanket for our girl Holly and, knowing the importance of blanketing for the health of the horses, Jill offered to help further by giving a personal donation towards the purchase of a blanket/sheet ordered through her company for any of PARDS horses. Jaiden continued on her mission and began calling PARDS horse sponsors and other supporters of PARDS. The response has been astounding!
To date, the following people have generously contributed to the Blankets for Horses campaign.
Thank you! The blankets warm the bodies and your support warms our hearts.
Brandt Tractor Ltd. ~ Brandt ~
Karen Scribner ~ Swancy ~
Lisa Southern
Ruth Finch ~ Molson
All Star Anchors Ltd.
Arc Resources ~ Montney ~
Mark P. Timmins Professional
Double J Equine ~ Holly ~
We still have horses in need of blankets, as well as rain and fly sheets.
If you would like to contribute towards or purchase for one of PARDS horses,
please contact the office at 780-538-3211 or make your contribution below.
Thank you!
~ PARDS Equine Spotlight ~
Northstar is an 8 year old welsh cross gelding and is generously sponsored by Northstar Hydo Vac Inc. When PARDS instructor Jessica Cann saw him she thought, "he is just the unicorn we were searching for", meaning his size and history could make him very versatile in numerous PARDS programs.
At 12hh he is the perfect size for larger riders in Little Pony Motricity, big enough for smaller riders in P'tit Trot and his size is a good fit for many of our Therapeutic riders.
He has previous jumping experience which will allow him to help new beginner jumpers gain confidence and skills before they move onto a full size horse.
Like every horse coming to PARDS, Northstar will begin a minimum 30 day training to give this sweet boy a strong foundation for his new career as an equine therapeutic partner. Understandably, after a long drive and coming to a new home, with new people, he is a bit shy. He definitely likes his apple treats so with a few in hand from caring instructors he is gaining comfort and confidence with his handlers! We can't wait until our riders meet him!
PARDS Boarding

PARDS Boarding Available

PARDS offers a variety of boarding options and year round access to indoor and outdoor arenas and trails. For more information please go to our website by clicking on the link below

Facility Sponsors
These generous companies provide services or gift in kind donations to help keep our facility running, our herd healthy and our equipment maintained. Thank you!
Bus Sponsors
 PARDS Therapeutic Centre
710009 RR 55
County of Grande Prairie #1, AB
T8W 5A7
Phone: (780) 538-3211