Carlisle Charitable Foundation (CCF) raises scholarships for children and adults with disabilities in financial need, enabling access to life-enhancing, equine-facilitated therapy programs at Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports in Lyman, Maine.

Additionally, we support innovative research and professional development in the areas of disabilities education, inclusion, and intervention. Through these efforts, we promote the health and well-being of individuals and families in need, while supporting the  advancement of the field of equine therapy and sports.

Individuals, schools, and agencies representing participants with special needs may apply to the Foundation for partial Student Scholarships, which enable their enrollment in Equine-Facilitated Therapy or Wellness Groups at Carlisle Academy. Therapists, clinical students, coaches and practitioners may apply to the Foundation for Leadership Scholarships which provide tuition support for Carlisle’s professional development internships and courses.  Lastly, competitive athletes in adaptive equestrian sports or para-equestrian sports may apply for tuition support for any applicable Carlisle Academy Clinic or Camp through the Zoe Fund.

About Carlisle Academy:

Carlisle Academy serves over 300 participants per year through its nationally-accredited programs including the largest Hippotherapy program in northern New England, the first approved equine program in Maine for disabled veterans, and pioneering education in adaptive and para-equestrian sports. The Academy is led by the Head of School, an Advanced Level PATH Instructor certified since 1995, maintaining a strong belief in an inclusive environment, a collaborative team approach, and program excellence.

All instructing staff are nationally certified, including credentials from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) or the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA), with specialty training in Vaulting, Carriage Driving, Mentoring, and Para-Equestrian Sports. Our Sports Program is led by a Paralympic Coach and British Horse Society Instructor with 25 years of international coaching experience. The Therapy Program is led by a full-time occupational therapist, a practitioner of 35 years earning the esteemed credential of a Hippotherapy Clinical Specialists (HPCS) by the American Hippotherapy Certification Board, which represents the highest level of credentialing in the field. All clinical staff are licensed health professionals including occupational and physical therapists as well as recreational therapy specialists with certifications in Sensory Integration and Neuro-Developmental Treatment.

Additionally, professional horse handlers are on staff to long line and manage horses, creating safe, consistent lessons and optimal outcomes for the riders. The team is rounded out by lesson apprentices and clinical interns offering side walking support, while gaining professional mentoring in therapy and education. With this composition of highly talented program staff, Carlisle Academy has emerged as a center of excellence and leader within the industry.

Carlisle Charitable Foundation’s History

Carlisle Charitable Foundation’s roots go back to 1998 when the program was first established as the Equest Therapeutic Riding Center, co-founded by Nick and Sarah Armentrout on their farm in Lyman, Maine. For twelve years, the program served the community with first-rate equine-assisted activities and therapies, providing services to hundreds of children and adults with emotional, intellectual, and physical disabilities.

In 2011 a new business model was adopted. Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports, LLC was launched, building upon the success of Equest while expanding into new areas of training and leadership and integrating traditional and para-equestrian education. Today, Carlisle Academy continues to be an industry leader, providing exceptional programming, innovative curricula, and sustainable business practices.

At the time of this transition, the Carlisle Charitable Foundation was also formed, maintaining the original 501(c)(3) non-profit status and assuming the responsibility of philanthropic fundraising for families in need.  The mission carries on today. Through tuition-supporting scholarships which provide access to the Academy’s valued services, CCF continues to impact quality of life through the healing power of horses.