Important Dates
Monday, February 21 ~ Family Day ~ Office Closed
Monday, February 21 to Friday, February 25 ~ No Lessons
Show Your Love ~ 5 Ways in 5 Days will be running from February 9th - February 13th. For each of the 5 days we will be highlighting a different way to Show Your Love and support PARDS programs and riders. Watch for daily updates on PARDS FaceBook and Instagram.
As well we will be selling Valequines for your favourite PARDS herd member. Each Valequine is a vote for the 2021 Sweetheart of the Year. Valequines are on sale from February 1 -13 with the winner being announced Valentine's Day, February 14. to purchace your Valequines see below
Purchase your $5 Valequines for your favourite PARDS equine team member to crown them
"2022 Sweetheart of the Year"
Please remember to let us know who you are voting for in the message box.
To see our fabulous herd please visit
our website at
Volunteer Spotlight ~ Nancy Ingram
Nancy Ingram is a long-time volunteer who began her volunteer journey with PARDS while we were still at our old facility. Nancy is a retired school teacher whose talents and experiences lend themselves well to supporting our PARDS programs. Nancy spends her time volunteering in PARDS lessons as a horse leader and side walker for our riders. Her presence is always a joyful addition to our lesson program, and everyone looks forward to having Nancy attending and participating in their lessons. 

Most recently, Nancy has been helping in our program partnering with the Aboriginal Head Start Program. Nancy has taken a lead role and is leading the preschool group in our Critter Connections literacy program. The children are all ears and eyes while Nancy takes them throughout the barn, meeting new animal partners each week that they read stories with, and participate in other activities to develop their literacy skills.  

Nancy is a shining example of PARDS' core values; Integrity, Responsibility, Competence, Caring, and Learning. We could not be more grateful to have such an amazingly, kind hearted soul that gives up so much of her time and passion to support the amazing people that walk through PARDS doors and access our animal assisted programs.  
Welcome to PARDS Newest Facility Sponsor
PARDS would like to welcome Matthew Martinos owner of GP Yardwords as our newest facility sponsor. We can't thank Matthew and his crew enough for the clearing and sanding of PARDS parking lot ensuring the safety of our riders, community members and staff who come to PARDS.
Rider Spotlight ~ Josh VanVeen
Josh is 23 years old, was born on the Autism Spectrum and has been coming to PARDS since 2009. He began as a young rider in lessons and participated in the Para Equestrian Video Competition during that time. By 2016 Josh grew to a strapping, 6 foot tall young man and transitioned to participating in PARDS' cart driving program. The cart program provided Josh the opportunity to continue participating in PARDS programs which his mother Donna says has been a huge part of Josh's life and will remain so as long as PARDS is here. Josh is non verbal but has a few key words she shares, one of which being "horse" which speaks volumes to the important role his relationship with his horse means to him. A few years back Josh had a seizure which is a contraindication to both riding and driving; once again, PARDS adapted to meet the needs of the participant by creating a ground driving program still utilizing all the skills learned in the driving program without the safety concerns due to the seizure disorder and Josh was able to continue coming to PARDS and participating in PARDS life-enhancing programs. This keeps Josh engaged with the horses, an opportunity to socialize with staff and the physical activity he has come to rely on from PARDS.

Josh enjoys painting; activities incorporating colour matching and allowing him to draw on a white board with different colours to check off the lesson activites keeps him engaged and focused. Although Josh's expressive language is limited, his receptive language is very well developed. His lessons utilize directions and options such as "would you like to ride inside or outside", "which colour marker would you like to use", rather than questions only involving yes or no answers. Josh prefers to ride outside even if it's raining, the sights, sounds and smells engage all of the senses which enriches his experience. Repetition is key when providing Josh with instructions as he thrives on consistency. Josh has learned some key words such as "foot" for when he is getting his horse to lift the hoof to be picked, which is the activity that Josh begins each of his lessons with. The routine that is followed each lesson gives Josh a sense of what is expected and this allows him to go into each lessons with as much ease as possible and sets him up to be successful each week.

Josh takes time each week and comes to PARDS as a volunteer as well to take care of our paper recycling and helps with shredding. He thrives on the routine of coming around to each office and collecting the recycle bins, shredding the papers, bags, and sweeps up before taking the recycling out. Josh is a huge help when he comes and all of the staff look forward to his weekly visit and ensure they have something in their bin ready for him.

Josh's personality is calm and he shares his impish grin that can be seen when he sets his mind to something fun. It's unclear who learns more when Josh comes to PARDS - Josh, or the staff that get to interact with him. Josh's continued participation in PARDS programs, has led to development and adaptation of many programs that are beneficial to other people in the Peace Country. We can't wait to see what he teaches us next!
Thank You for Supporting PARDS Programs
Thank you so much to Broker Age General Insurance Inc. for becoming our newest Youth Leadership Program Sponsor! This support was made possible through the Better Communities program under Intact Insurance – Intact Assurance. This support positively impacts youth between the ages of 8 and 17 to create strong and healthy relationships, build resiliency and increase self-esteem.
It's not too late to register
Session 2 ~ January 10 to March 25
Information and registration
for all PARDS programs is
available on our website at
For a list and overview of all programs and to register, please click on
Program Information & Registration

PARDS Program Sponsors
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!
 PARDS Therapeutic Centre
710009 RR 55
County of Grande Prairie #1, AB
T8W 5A7
Phone: (780) 538-3211