Our Story

Talisman Therapeutic Riding was born through love.  A love of horses.  A love of caring.  A love of inclusion. A love of growth and healing.  Since being founded in 2012, Talisman Therapeutic Riding’s participants, staff, parents, volunteers, caretakers, and more have witnessed this love at the farm.

Each year, Talisman Therapeutic Riding, the only year-round, full-time adaptive horseback riding center on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, provides lessons across its broad range of program areas, serving clients from counties throughout Maryland and the surrounding Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

These lessons are designed to empower personal growth and healing through equine-assisted activities and enriching outdoor experiences. The beautiful 30-acre farm provides a peaceful setting to serve people of all ages with cognitive, physical, emotional, and social challenges, disabilities, and diagnoses.

In addition to the myriad therapeutic riding programs, Talisman is one of 42 licensed stables across the state certified as a Horse Discovery Center by the Maryland Horse Industry Board. This certification allows Talisman to grow the love of horses with many who would otherwise not realize the holistic power of horsemanship.

Talisman Therapeutic Riding continues to grow in the community, too.  We help Cub Scouts earn their horsemanship badges, high school teams get their service hours, businesses achieve their volunteer goals, conduct team building activities, and connect veterans to horses. For fun, you will also see many of our horses high-stepping it in local parades and fairs. We are a service minded farm and are excited, always, to enhance the powerful bond of equines and people.

To achieve its lofty mission and vision, and to maintain its foundation grown from love, Talisman Therapeutic Riding, a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) Member Center, employs PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors.  The instructors provide unique equine experiences through careful instruction and delivery of therapeutic activities. The instructors can also partner with licensed therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social service workers to create individualized client plans and lessons.

Talisman also employs professional recreational riding instructors to provide quality, entry-level training to individuals beginning their equine exploration in the Horse Discovery Program or through the Recreational Riding Program.

Talisman Therapeutic Riding, Inc. (Talisman) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Grasonville, Maryland.

Our Guiding Principles

The professional team at Talisman passionately believes in the life-changing potential of equine-assisted activities and the transformative power of nature and the outdoors. We are dedicated to providing our services to people of all backgrounds and abilities, and strive to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued.

We believe all children deserve extraordinary opportunities to grow and explore life within their own means. We deliver exceptional experiential programs to children as progressive learning pathways toward positive living and independence.  

 We respect our active-duty military, veterans, and first responders, and honor their sacrifices. We stand united with his group and support personal journeys of healing in the present environment with programs focused on strengthening mental and physical resiliency.

We understand that the trust of our supporters, patrons, and partners is the foundation of our organization. As stewards of donor funds, we are committed to transparent and responsible fiscal management.

PATH Certification

The PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) was founded over 50 years ago.  Its mission is to promote safe and effective therapeutic horseback riding.

PATH carefully evaluates its member facilities, ensuring that they are upholding the over 150 standards to sustain viable programs using best business practices, provide compassionate, humane equine management, program- specific standards, facility maintenance and precautions and contraindications for disabilities.  PATH centers must also uphold and abide by the core values of a PATH center including: Access and Inclusion, Compassion and Caring, Cooperation and Collaboration, Education, Excellence, Innovation, Integrity and Accountability, Professionalism, Service, and Holism. 

Likewise, instructors who are PATH certified must pass a rigorous training and testing process to work within the therapeutic riding program.  Therefore, becoming a PATH certified instructor and facility enables the team to provide excellent programs for both the participants and the equines.

Maryland Horse Discovery Center

Horse Discovery Centers are licensed stables that volunteer to become a Horse Discover Center.  To be accepted into the program, the stables must meet stringent criteria and eagerly welcome newcomers with open arms to educate them about horses and horsemanship. Criteria includes proof of commercial liability insurance; written programs and procedures addressing safety rules and public outreach; clean, sanitary conditions, equipment, and facilities; and of course, well cared for and healthy horses!  

Horse Discovery Centers strive to provide the general public with a safe, friendly, and educational experience, particularly for those individuals who have never or rarely experienced horses personally. In essence, Horse Discovery Centers are a fantastic way to inclusively connect Maryland’s people and horses.

MD Corp

Maryland Governor Wes Moore launched two service programs in October, the Maryland Corps Program and the Service Year Option.  These programs are designed to benefit government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or mission-oriented for-profit companies. The employees are paid through a combination of state dollars and contributions from the employers that host the participants.

Talisman is fortunate to have gained two staff members through these service programs.  Brad Krantz, a long-time expert in horsemanship, will work toward continually schooling and evaluating program horses, instruct participants, and host horsemanship clinics on behalf of Talisman.  Jennifer Donnelly, a recent graduate with a degree in Marketing, will work toward elevating Talisman’s social media presence, develop marketing campaigns, and assist in event planning. 

We are thrilled to have these two members on our team.  We thank Governor Moore for his belief that public service is integral to the community.  With the Maryland Corp and the Service Year Option programs, Talisman will be able to continue to provide and expand its services to the local community.