Laura & Blue
Laura Rutledge, Executive Director
Laura has been in love with horses ever since she started riding at age 4. She was an active 4-H member, competing in Chester County. She started volunteering at Thorncroft Equestrian Center as a teenager. In 1994, she graduated from Penn State and worked as a recreation therapist in a sub-acute rehab Brain Injury unit. Two years later, she was working with teens in a drug and alcohol treatment center. After taking time off to have her 2 children, Laura continued to pursue training in professional riding instruction and therapeutic riding. In 2000-2003 she worked for Lancaster County Therapeutic Riding, and became Vice President. In 2003, she took a 30-week instructor course at Thorncroft. In 2005, she was certified by PATH
Intl. In 2006, she completed an international clinic and studied in Kurten-Biesfeld, Germany, under Marietta Schulz and Barbara Heine. In 2008 and 2014 she worked on her Advanced Instructor Training at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding (CT). Laura believes in continuing her education with course work, clinics, lessons and networking to stay current in the field of therapeutic riding. As a teenager she saw the amazing results of therapeutic riding. This philosophy is what motivated her to start her own program in 2005, named Triangle Therapeutic Riding, for the triangular style of teaching that was learned in Germany and for serving the trio of counties - Lancaster, Lebanon and Berks. Laura is currently a member of PATH International, PACTH & HETI. Laura continues to take jumping lessons with trainers Jerry Frankhouser , and Becky Weik and Larissa Ott. She also continues to take Dressage lessons.
Besides our Executive Director, TTR consists of a staff of 2 additional instructors (and 2 in training), each with a strong background in horsemanship and teaching individuals with special needs. We are dedicated to continuing education and upholding the highest possible industry standards.
Rita began volunteering at Triangle in 2009 as a leader and side aid and began pursuing her PACTH (Pennsylvania Council onTherapeutic Horsemanship) instructor certification in 2013, with the completion of Phases I and II.
With both grandfathers; various aunts, uncles and cousins; and a father being involved in the horse world, there’s no wonder that Rita has loved equines all of her life. She has owned her own horses since 1976 and, in 1989, acquired her first mule. Since that time, she converted completely to mules and has owned five of them. Before retiring from competition, she accumulated 3,000 miles of competitive trail and endurance racing with ECTRA (Eastern Competitive Trail Riding Association) and AERC (American Endurance Riding Conference), 2,000 of them being with her mules. Rita still enjoys trail riding and taking her mule on multi-day trail rides throughout Pennsylvania and the neighboring states. During the past decade, Rita has honed her horsemanship skills by participating in natural horsemanship clinics with great horsemen such as Buck Branaman, Greg Eliel, Brian Neubert, Buster McLaury, Brad Cameron and Joe Wolter. Of her involvement with Triangle, she says “I receive so much more than I give. This is a truly rewarding experience that has changed my life.”
Rita and Star