Our Foundation

Windridge Therapeutic Equestrian Center of East Texas, Inc. (Windridge) is a Premier Accredited Center with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH, Intl.). Founded in 1988, by Margo Dewkett, an ex-racehorse jockey and trainer, who wished to share her passion for horses with children and adults with disabilities

On March 6, 1989, in a small wooden framed barn with five horses, five volunteers, and two clients Margo began offering therapeutic/adaptive horsemanship sessions. Margo was Windridge’s first certified instructor and executive director. In July of 2016 Margo Dewkett retired from Windridge, but her passion for excellence in horsemanship continues.

In 1997, 25 acres of land adjacent to Windridge’s founding location was purchased for the construction of a 38,000 square foot covered facility.  Windridge was the first in Texas to design and build a facility specifically for therapeutic/adaptive horsemanship programs. The facility design has been used by other centers across the nation.  In January 2002 classes began in the new state-of-the-art facility.  Windridge’s permanent home was completely paid for by East Texans.

A program participant’s father once expressed, “I never thought others would be interested in my son’s well-being until I came to Windridge. One week I found out Windridge has never sought state or federal funding like most non-profits. That’s when I realized how important my son and other children are to my neighbors. It is my neighbors that are responsible for the existence of this organization, I became overwhelmed”.

Windridge has been a leader in research and education for therapeutic horsemanship profession. In 2007, a research room was built, complete with an equine treadmill and motion capture system, to provide scientific proof of what occurs when an individual with a disability sits astride a horse at a walk. In 2016, Windridge co-authored the textbook, The Comprehensive Guide to Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies. This extensive textbook is for individuals beginning their journey in the therapeutic horsemanship profession and is utilized as a reference by universities and instructors-in-training throughout the United States.