Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Article Image Alt Text

Full-service therapeutic riding program RED Arena is hosting their grand opening for their new San Marcos location, 1708 Center Point Rd., on Oct. 14. RED Arena provides a variety of services such as equine-assisted therapy and activities to people with disabilities. Above, RED Arena rider Joseph works with therapy horse Hans. Photos courtesy of  RED Arena

RED Arena brings hippotherapy to the 'Neigh'-borhood

Thursday, October 4, 2018

RED Arena, a full-service therapeutic riding program serving hundreds of participants in the Austin area since 2008, will hold a grand opening celebration for its second facility, RED Arena San Marcos, located on 20 acres at 1708 Center Point Rd., from 3-6 p.m. on Oct. 14.

The general public is invited to attend the festivities, which will include barbecue, live music, tours, demos and the opportunity to meet the therapy horses, mini horses, board members, staff and volunteers. Free parking is available.

Located at what was formerly the A.W.A.R.E. therapeutic riding program, RED Arena San Marcos features completely renovated facilities, including a 200 ft. by 100 ft. covered arena with 14 stalls and wheelchair accessible walkways, feed room, tack room, an ADA accessible restroom, private therapy rooms, rebuilt mounting ramps, air conditioning and heat to family areas. 

“We welcome everyone to come celebrate the opening of this new facility with us,” Physical Therapist, Executive Director and Founder of RED Arena Jen Young said. “We want to demonstrate how empowering horses can be, especially for children and adults with disabilities, limitations or special needs. We’re particularly excited about the new covered arena, which will help us decrease the number of weather-related cancellations, and the office space, which will allow us to expand into new programs we actually can’t house in our facility in Dripping Springs."

Young said the San Marcos location will allow them to better serve families in the city, as well as in Kyle, Buda, New Braunfels and surrounding areas.

Plans are to build out some kid-themed riding trails by the spring, with shade covers for the activities along the way. Also on the list as future projects are a parking regrade and rain water collection system. 

RED Arena rider Charlie doing trick riding as part of his physical therapy.

Data shows there are more than half a million people with various physical, social and emotional challenges in the greater Austin/Texas Hill Country areas alone that could benefit from therapeutic riding services, called hippotherapy. These challenges include autism, cancer, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, genetic syndromes, PTSD, stroke and traumatic brain injury. 

RED Arena San Marcos will begin serving with six horses, three PATH (Professional Therapeutic Association of Horsemanship International) instructors and two physical therapists, who’ll be able to provide up to 72 riding sessions per week. 

“We currently have about 30 participants ready to start,” Young said, “so we’ll be able to double that over this school year.” 

Riders can start as early as two years of age, and there is no upward age limit. The program will provide inclusive horse camps for kids of all abilities and hopes to expand those through summers and holiday breaks. In Spring 2019, staff will add in the RED Arena reading program and counseling programs.

RED Arena San Marcos is already partnering with San Marcos High School on the RED Arena job training program for young adults with disabilities to learn horse care, teamwork and barn management. Young says they’ll be working to schedule “lunch and learns” with pediatric health services in the area, so people can tour the facility and learn about the programs. Staff will also be willing to make presentations to additional groups requesting information and/or a tour. 

For those interested in learning how to become a participant in the RED Arena San Marcos riding program, volunteer at the new facility or gain additional information, visit the RED Arena website. Participant forms are under the Programs page.

RED Arena is a 501c3, nonprofit corporation dedicated to empowering individuals with disabilities through horses. RED Arena provides a variety of services such as equine-assisted therapy and activities to people with disabilities, sibling and family support programs and opportunities for gaining social, recreational and life skills. RED Arena also offers a job training program for adults with disabilities to gain hands-on experience and training in the horse industry, RED-Y to Read programs and veterans programs.

For more information, contact RED Arena at 512-807-6505 or

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666