aka Prancing Horse Center for Therapeutic Horsemanship   |   Southern Pines, NC   |


The mission of Prancing Horse is to enhance the lives of individuals with special needs by providing a safe environment for therapeutic horsemanship. We are a PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) International member, certified at the premier level. All of our instructors are PATH certified.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Ellen Wall

Main address

P.O. Box 327

Southern Pines, NC 28388 USA

Show more contact info



NTEE code info

Health Support Services (E60)

Rehabilitative Medical Services (E50)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Register now


Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We are constantly in need of volunteers. Our current force of ~ 100 work hard either serving as active members of our board; on one or more of our six standing committees; in the arena with the horses/clients; at the farm performing the constant maintenance required to keep our facility up to top PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) International standards; and in our gently used tack shop, A Bit Used. We are reaching out to recruit new volunteers through local media; our two annual fundraising events; current volunteers; and presentations we give to local business and civic groups. We are also working to assess current and future staff needs. As our organization continues to grow, we will need to expand our staff in a fiscally responsible way.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Equine assisted activities and learning for children and adults with disability

We work with clients who have physical, cognitive or emotional disability. Our program uses the healing and intuitive power of horses to increase core muscle strength, flexibility, balance, self-confidence, self-awareness, and self-esteem. We accept clients into our program regardless of ability to pay. We work with clients age four - 50+ with a wide range of disability, ranging from mild to profound. In addition to private clients, we work with veterans and their families, and children of active duty military personnel.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Older adults
Low-income people

The Freedom Reins program is designed to serve active and retired military personnel who have suffered physical and/or mental trauma. We also serve the families of these personnel. The program provides equine-assisted programs tailored to address specific issues faced by wounded and traumatized military personnel, while also providing a supportive and therapeutic environment for their families and loved ones.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel
People with disabilities

Saddle Up! is a summer program that targets children age 8-14 of active duty military personnel who are exhibiting behavioral issues due to multiple relocations or long deployments of family members. It is designed to introduce these children to the intuitive, healing power of horses and to teach horsemanship, equine care and education, and basic riding.

According to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University “Youth in military families experience a relatively (sic) unique set of stressors that can put them at risk for numerous psychological and behavior problems. Thus, there is a need to identify potential mechanisms by which children can gain resiliency against these stressors….” At Prancing Horse we believe that one potential mechanism by which military children can gain resiliency against these unique stressors is to work with horses – sensitive, intuitive animals that provide immediate, nonjudgmental feedback.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Economically disadvantaged people
Military personnel

Where we work


Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International - Premier Accreditation 2022

Affiliations & memberships

Premier Level - Professional Assoc. of Therapeutic Horsemanship International 2022

Equus Foundation - Guardian designation 2021

Lone Survivor Foundation - program partnership 2022

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

* ensure long-term sustainability while continuing to provide a high quality, safe, life-altering opportunity to our clients.

* grow our staff

* While we may increase the annual number of clients with disability we serve, we want to make certain that any client expansion does not negatively affect the high quality of our current programs. We will continue to adhere to the highest standards of performance, treating each client with dignity and respect, and monitoring changing trends in our industry to make sure our programs are We'd also like to establish a program designed for seniors and field trips for groups focused on troubled youth.

* establish and operate summer activities for children with disability

* host PATH certified training on site for other PATH organizations and the general public.

* provide able-bodied riding lessons

* become certified to provide hippotherapy and other mental health therapy

* offer support groups to parents and caregivers of children with special needs

We built a covered arena so that operation of our programs is not weather dependent. This arena is lit so we can work with clients after dark. Additionally, we fenced a second outdoor arena to allow multiple activities to occur at the same time. Finally, we now also have a round pen for training our horses and for on ground client work.

To implement new activities and programs we must first be focused on long-term sustainability. We took a major step in that direction in late 2018 when we made the final payment on our 30-acre farm loan. We are now begin to focused on expanding our programs and staff in a fiscally responsible way.

We currently have (and plan to maintain) a full year of operating reserves to enable us to weather potential economic downturns.

Since our Executive Director (ED) is currently our primary staff member, we have developed an Executive Director succession plan to facilitate a smooth transition when the time comes.

We have six very active standing committees who annually develop and implement requisite plans to meet our stated goals.

Through our Public Relations/Marketing Committee we are developing a marketing plan and relevant collaterals to reach more potential clients. Specifically, since we are very close to Fort Bragg and there are many military families living in the area, this will be a target market.

Through our Fund Development Committee we are continuing to develop and implement plans to reach a larger funding and potential volunteer audience through increased marketing efforts including expanding our potential with social media. We are also Identifying and developing relationships with community leaders who have an interest in equine therapy and who are willing to help us reach a broader audience of donors.

We are a PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) International member, certified at the Premier level. All of our teachers are PATH certified. This designation gives us great credibility in the equine community.

We are the only Premier level PATH certified program in our area. With more than 13% of North Carolinians estimated as disabled in some way (US Census 2018 Community Survey), we know there is a need for our services.

Prancing Horse has been an established organization in the Sandhills area of North Carolina for 36 years, and we have a solid reputation in the community.

We have a strong working board of directors and six standing committees ready and willing to develop and implement our plans of action.

We have a large (~ 100) pool of dedicated volunteers.

We are financially solvent including an endowment and a full year of operating support in reserve to cover any potential shortfall.

We have developed and are implementing a strategy for identifying and meeting with community leaders willing to help us garner larger contributions and visibility from donors interested in our mission.

In late 2018 we successfully concluded a 2 1/2 year $1,000,000 capital campaign to own and operate our own 30-acre facility - a major step in long-term sustainability.

We have acquired a herd of twelve therapy horses and ponies. Our herd includes 3 rescues and one disabled Haflinger (Stuart is blind in one eye)

In addition to purchasing large and small equipment necessary to maintain the farm, we have added three run-in sheds, bringing the total number to six - one for each of our six pastures. We also built a hay barn to store hay away from the horse barn

We are providing able-bodied lessons for our volunteers. We have not yet made this opportunity available to the general public

We also plan to establish parent/caregiver support groups, in addition to a summer program of activities for able-bodied and special needs youth

We plan to add a program designed for senior citizens who have balance issues. We also plan to increase the number of field trips we make available to groups focused on troubled youth

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We provide therapeutic horsemanship to children and adults with physical, cognitive, or emotional disability. Our clients come from all walks of life, economic circumstances, and cultures. We promote a culture of diversity and inclusion. Our clients include private individuals, as well as active and retired military personnel and their families. We accept our clients based upon their disability, not their ability to pay for service.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Case management notes, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    1. We received a request to provide a program for dependents, age 8-14 years, of active duty military to address issues of self-esteem, isolation, and self-confidence stemming from multiple family moves or the long-term deployment of family members. Our new program, Saddle Up!, began in summer 2021. This very successful program will continue in 2022. 2. In addition to the Wounded Warriors Program, we have been looking for a partnership opportunity to meet the needs of veterans with disability. In late 2021 we entered into a partnership with the Lone Survivor Foundation, to provide non-mounted sessions as part of a program to help veterans heal from traumas such as PTSD, mild brain injury and chronic pain. This partnership will continue through 2022.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Listening to the needs of our clients is one of the best tools we have to make sure that the individualized goals we set at the beginning of the program are right for their needs. If we find, through feedback or other measures, that the goals are not working, they are reassessed and altered. Our staff and clients work as a team to attain the best program outcome for each individual who participates in our program.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,



Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.


Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Board of directors
as of 04/04/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Lisa Blythe

Wells Fargo Bank (retired)

Term: 2022 - 2023

Nancy Schoephoester

ConocoPhillips (retired)

Nancy Piscopo

IBM (retired)

Kak Johnson

Letty Baker

US Military (retired)

Judy Lewis

Bill Lewis

IBM (retired)

Molly Rowell

Retired Consultant

Carolyn Thompson

Teacher (retired)

Pat Watts

Financial Services (retired)

Patti Henderson

Education (retired)

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/4/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/04/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.