Advocates for Camp Able (d/b/a Camp Able of Buffalo Gap) is an equine therapy and horse rescue nonprofit that provides therapeutic riding and skills-based training to individuals with special needs in The Big Country of Texas. Currently, it is a 100-percent volunteer run organization.
Camp Able's mission is to cultivate healthy, independent living for people with special needs through equine-assisted therapy and skills-based training, with a special focus of using horses that have been rescued from difficult circumstances. Its vision is that self-sufficiency is a reasonable and achievable goal for humans, regardless of mental, emotional and physical capabilities, with the full acceptance and understanding of their caregivers and society at large.
At its base operation in Buffalo Gap, Texas, Camp Able offers weekly therapeutic riding instruction and skills-based training through its Day Camp program for individuals and groups. In addition to the Day Camps, Camp Able developed an innovative four-day Residential Camp for disabled children and their families in partnership with a private nonprofit foundation near Cross Plains, Texas. Residential Camps were designed to provide families of special needs people a place where they could gather together for four days of therapeutic learning and special instruction without the distraction of every day life.
Camp Able’s founder, Renee Hicks, is a Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor and a Certified Equine Therapist in Mental Health and Learning by PATH International. Renee has leveraged her career as a physical education teacher, coach and riding instructor to create Camp Able based on her passion for horses and desire to help people. To date, Ms. Hicks and Camp Able have successfully used equine-assisted activities to help individuals diagnosed with autism, stroke, emotional disabilities, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, post-traumatic stress and many other conditions.
In addition to its focus on providing therapeutic and educational services to people with special needs, Camp Able of Buffalo Gap is an active horse rescue organization recognized for being the first to accept more than one horse at a time from the Taylor County Animal Rescue Center. All of the horses at Camp Able are evaluated for use in therapy programs. If they are found to have the right physical characteristics and temperament for therapeutic activity, they are continuously trained to do so. If they are not used in equine-assisted therapy programs, Camp Able seeks to find suitable adoptive homes for them while providing loving shelter and care for the entirety of their natural existence.
Camp Able was formed in February 2014 and designated a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization in September 2014. Camp Able accepts donations in support of its horse rescue and equine therapy programs.