"Empowering Lives Through the Healing Power of Horses"

SMART Rider in Bradenton Florida

Mission Statement:

Enriching the lives of people with special needs through therapeutic horse-related programs.


  1. Provide our services to as many children and adults in our community with special needs as possible, providing them the opportunity to develop to their greatest potential.
  2. Maintain our commitment to play a leading role in improving the lives and well being of our riders and their families and continue to provide our services to all eligible individuals regardless of their ability to pay.
  3. Ensure the high quality and safety of our program, continuing to operate in an environment designed to meet the individual needs of our riders and their families. All existing and new professional staff and volunteers will continue to be well trained and committed to serving the goals of the organization.
  4. Increase the effectiveness of our program by continuing the development of program outcome measurements that accurately reflect the beneficial results of therapeutic riding.
  5. Develop an active, interested, and diverse Board of Directors from members of the community.
  6. Maintain fiscal responsibility by controlling expenses while increasing revenues.
  7. Develop a broad base of financial support that will continue to grow with the organization.

2016-2017 Goals:

  1. Secure funding and support to cover our arena.
  2. Continue with the expansion of services and programs to increase revenue streams.
  3. Secure funding to pay off our mortgage so all annual revenue can go toward providing services.


SMART was founded by Betsey London-Fish of Greenwood Riding Academy in Sarasota shortly after she observed striking improvements in one of her young riding students who was dealing with the challenges of Cerebral Palsy. She decided to start a not-for-profit organization that would provide therapeutic horseback riding for other children and adults with special needs.

SMART became a 501 (c) organization on March 2, 1987.

Throughout the years, SMART moved to several different locations. In Feb of ’93, SMART moved to Sarah Clark’s property at 4800 CR 675 in Bradenton, FL. Sarah was the executive director of SMART from 1993-2004. Sarah sold her property to Bridgecreek, Inc. (the Hunsader Family) in Oct 1998 and SMART had a free lease on the property from 1996-2011. In December of 2011, SMART purchased a permanent home; an equestrian facility just a few driveways north at 4640 CR 675 in Bradenton, FL.

SMART became a member center of North American Riding for the Handicapped Association in 1990 and was a NARHA Premier Accredited Center from 2002-2007. SMART became a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International Premier Accredited Center in 2013. SMART was a partner agency of the United Way from 1994-2016 and has been a service provider for Manatee County Gov't Children Services Division since 1994.