In the News

News Articles

NorthWest Therapeutic Riding Center, Kaylin Stiefer, Bellingham Alive, July 2017 

Taking the Reins, Brianne Heid, Klipsun Magazine, Dec. 2014

Bellingham Therapy Horse Wins National Award

Healing Horses (pdf) Kenna Hogdson, The Western Front, July 9, 2004

One Hoofbeat At A Time... (pdf) Nicole Lanphear, Northwest Horse Source, July 2006

With the Help of Horses (pdf) Nicole Lanphear, Klipsun Magazine, Nov. 2007

NWTRC on Cover of Strides (pdf) Strides Magazine, Winter 2009

Denim to Diamonds Dinner and Auction (pdf) Whatcom Magazine, Feb. 2009

Perspectives on Acquiring Horses For Your Program (pdf) Julia Bozzo, NARHA's STRIDES, Winter 2005/2006

Kurt - NARHA 2006 "Horse of the Year"

Kurt, a 15 year old Norwegian Fjord horse, received the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association 2006 Region 9 horse of the year. Julia Bozzo, the Center’s director received the honor for Kurt at the NARHA national conference held on November 11 in Indianapolis. In addition to Washington State, Region 9 includes Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho and Montana.

Dutch Treat 1982 - May 8, 2013

We, at the Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center, sadly announce the passing of our beautiful "Dutch Treat" (DT), (a Dutch Warmblood), at the age of 31. For the past 16 years, DT set the highest standard with her exemplary work ethic and personality, a true shining star in our program. She was honored in 2012 with the prestigious PATH Intl. Region 9 Therapeutic Horse of the Year Award for her many years of service and extensive talents as a mainstay in our versatile program.

Throughout her life, DT always performed to the best of her ability. She could do it all - dressage, jumping, western pleasure, patient, kind and dependable therapeutic lesson horse; the leader of the pack. Several of our students have ridden DT for 16 consecutive years and will truly miss her, as will all of us at NWTRC. A final thank you goes to her owners, Pat Holmes and Carrie Bieber, who generously loaned DT to participate in our program all these years.

All who knew her will never forget Dutch Treat, the gorgeous, big white mare. We are establishing a memorial fund in her honor, the Stride For Distinction Fund, to continue the standards of excellence and follow in DT's hoofprints.

Dutch Treat (DT) - NARHA Region 9 - 2012 "Horse of the Year"

NorthWest Therapeutic Riding Center's beautiful (30 yr. old Dutch Warmblood) 'DT', has been awarded the 2012 Region 9 Therapeutic Horse of the Year by the PATH Intl.

Region 9 encompasses Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. DT was honored for her service to NWTRC at the PATH Intl. Awards Banquet in Bellevue on November 2nd.

We are delighted that DT has been recognized for her exemplary work ethic and personality. Here are a few tributes from those who know her:

Kleng - NARHA National 2009 "Equine of the Year"

Kleng, an 18-year-old Norwegian Fjord horse who has carried hundreds of disabled riders on his strong back over the years at the NorthWest Therapeutic Riding Center (NWTRC) outside Bellingham, Washington, won the "2009 Equine of the Year Award," presented in Fort Worth, Texas, by the NARHA, a national association of equine assisted activity and therapy.

Kleng has "a strong steady walk, a tireless trot and a ‘rocking horse’ canter," according to Julia Bozzo, his owner and executive director of NWTRC. A gentleman and a dandy horse, Kleng jumps, trail rides, longes well with a rider and is trained to pull a cart.

Dozens of horses from therapeutic riding programs around the United States and Canada compete each year, first in their respective regions and then among the regional winners for the national Equine of the Year. Kleng was chosen as the winner for Region 9 before the national conference held November 15-21 in Fort Worth. "When his name was announced at the conference gala as the winner, I thrilled beyond belief," said Bozzo. "Of course, anybody who has worked with or ridden Kleng knows that his smooth gait and friendly calm personality make him very special, but it’s just so gratifying to have him recognized nationally."

Kleng’s personality is so steady, according to Bozzo, that early in his therapeutic riding career he responded to the bouquet of purple balloons that arrived at the ring by leading his handler and rider over to get a better look and a sniff of the new purple arrivals. Norwegian Fjord horses are said to have been in evidence during the time of the Vikings, but Kleng originally hailed from Vancouver Island, where he was related to most of the other Fjords on the island. Trained since the age of four to work in equine-assisted activities, Kleng has worked as a therapy horse at NWTRC for 13 years. Kleng performs in many disciplines, in many environments and for many ability levels. "He thrives from lots of riding and handling and always seems to look forward to the next challenge," Julia Bozzo commented. "Especially at the end of the session when he gets a carrot," she adds.