About Us

AnnWithDogsSM

Ann with Ty, Nikki and Atticus.

Ann Alden, MA, CEIP-ED, PATH International Certified Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning

Director of Borderlands Center

Ann was born horse crazy, first started taking riding lessons when she was 8 years old, and earned her first horse when she was 13. She owned and operated Esperanza Stables in Tucson, Arizona from 1977 -1986 and served as a Pony Club instructor during that time. She has been providing equine assisted activities since 1986. Ann received a BA degree in psychology from Newcomb College, a BS degree in ecology and evolutionary biology and a Master’s degree in special education and rehabilitation counseling from the University of Arizona. She began volunteering at Therapeutic Riding of Tucson (TROT) in 1986 and completed their instructor training program in 1988.  In 1992 she first became a NARHA certified instructor. She added the PATH International Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning certification when it first became available and is a Certified Equine Interaction Professional as an Educator.

She was hired by Barbara Rector to work for the EFP program at Sierra Tucson, and in 1992 founded The Riding and Rehabilitation Center, a NARHA Accredited Center in Tucson. From 2001 – 2006 Ann provided equine assisted services at L Lazy E Ranch. She is past president of EFMHA (Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association), a faculty member for the PATH International Equine Specialist certification workshop, and a faculty member for the Adventures in Awareness internship. From January, 2009 to May, 2012 she served as program director and head instructor at CANTER, a PATH International premier accredited center in Sierra Vista, AZ.  She has served on the PATH Certification Oversight Committee for the last 3 years and recently joined the board of directors of the Horses and Humans Research Foundation.

Ann is a faculty member for the PATH International Equine Facilitated Mental Health and Learning workshop and is available to travel to teach this workshop as the equine specialist member of the teaching team. 
For more information email Ann Alden. Or contact PATH International.

about-jennJennifer Alden Parker

Jennifer has been riding since she was 3 years old and competed in many disciplines before specializing in dressage. She has competed through Grand Prix, is a USDF Learner Judge Program graduate, and graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Special Education and Rehabilitation. In her 22 years as a professional, she has won numerous Regional and National Championships, has earned her USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals, and has coached several students to the FEI Levels in dressage. Jennifer’s Honors Thesis, entitled “The Effects of Therapeutic Horseback Riding on Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,” was the first of its kind to show statistically significant results for students who rode versus those in the control group. She has been involved with equine assisted activities/therapies since 1986 when she first volunteered at Therapeutic Riding of Tucson (TROT) while in high school.

Equine Staff:

about-crackersCrackers, a 32-year-old (DOB April 1981) Arab-Welsh cross, bred and raised by Ann Alden, started his career at Sierra Tucson in the early 1990’s. His abilities as a psychotherapy horse have been written about in four different books and several articles. He is one of the pioneers of the horse world for providing equine assisted services and has touched the lives of hundreds of children and adults.

about-serraSerra June, a 31-year-old (DOB June 1982) Half-Arabian Half- Percheron cross is another renowned therapy horse at the Borderlands Center, bred and raised by Ann Alden. She provides a strong yet gentle grounded presence for mounted and unmounted work and excels at both traditional therapeutic riding and equine facilitated learning and psychotherapy.

about-bogottaBogotta +/ is a 26-year-old (DOB April 1987) purebred Arabian gelding trained to Grand Prix dressage. During his lengthy show career, he earned numerous regional and national wins, including US National Champion at Intermediate 1 in 2001 at Arab Nationals. “Mr. Big” is a challenging presence but enjoys the mental process associated with EFP and EFL. He works well with people with histories of abuse.

SamPunkWeb copySum Punk, a 23-year-old Half Arabian and Half Curly Bashkir, came from Al-Marah Arabians. He was a breeding stallion until he was gelded at age 10. He is absolutely adorable, very smart, wise and a great horse to ride. He’s very laid back and confident.

aul KimayaWeb copyAul Kimaya (Maya for short) is 9 years old (DOB May 2004) and is observing sessions at this point. She’s an elegant moving, Arabian mare who is smart and sweet and loves people.

ChanceWebChanceis an 8 year old Quarter horse. He’s very affectionate and loves attention. He’s the newest member of the Borderlands herd, and he’s really nice to ride in the arena and on the trail.