Jessica grew up in the small Alberta town of Vauxhall and spent much of her childhood as a member of her local horse 4-H club. As a teenager, she volunteered at the Lethbridge Handicapped Riding Association where her love and passion for therapeutic riding was born.
Jessica founded Prairie Sky in 2010 to address a need in the community for equine therapy, with a vision of offering safe and quality programming that leveraged the benefits of working with horses. She is driven by a relentless desire to help individuals tackle their challenges while creating a space where people can feel part of a community and reach their full potential.
Jessica is proud of what Prairie Sky has become and is rewarded by witnessing the progress that riders make and their physical and mental changes as they grow and become more independent.
Jessica graduated from Portage College and works as a Paramedic for Alberta Health Services and was previously the Director of Programming for a Calgary-based Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy program.
Christine (Chris) Horgan is a life-long horsewoman (some 60+ years) who has been involved with therapeutic riding since the very first programs started in England more than 50 years ago. Over and above the obvious benefits from being around and riding horses, the gifts therapy horses bestow on their riders makes a positive change in the lives of PSEAT program participants. Chris is committed to using a combination of her skills and experience to help PSEAT participants enjoy their horse time and to help PSEAT expand its programming.
Evan Fraser has a degree in Psychology and has volunteered and worked in youth mental health for many years. He has a passion for helping and improving the lives of those in need with a lighthearted and joyful energy. Hockey and playing with his animals are always high priorities, as you can often find him at the dog park with Ellie the Basset Hound pup! Evan has mentored Conall for 7 years and they were both excited to hear of an opportunity they could take part in together.
Assistant Volunteer Coordinator
Conall Weber is a family man with two dogs who he loves very much! He is a hockey player and plays once, sometimes twice a week. He is a die-hard Philadelphia Flyers fan! Conall loves helping people and believes volunteering is a great way to start.
Therapeutic/ Adaptive Riding and Youth Program
Level 3 Cognitive Disabilities
Level 2 Physical Disabilities
PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI)
First Responders & Military Personnel PTSD Program
First Responders & Military Personnel PTSD Program
Vernon’s life has always had an equine influence. As the youngest of seven children raised on a mixed farm outside of Coronation, Alberta, it’s safe to say the family horses were his first babysitter.
After raising four children of his own, Vernon found himself seeking an opportunity to put his time to purposeful use. He began volunteering at a local farm where he started to witness the power of the human-horse bond.
After years of volunteering, assistant teaching and refining his skills with horsemanship training, Vernon went on to gain his CHA – IRD certification. Vernon now holds dual certification with CHA-IRD as well as PATH Intl.
Vernon’s intuitive ability to know what best serves each client is a talent that cannot be taught. His teaching style yields a remarkable balance of assessing the logistics of one's capacity and knowing when it’s safe to provide a nudge towards something new. His level of awareness, compassion, and empathy for both rider and horse is what sets him apart from other therapeutic riding instructors.
Everyday Vernon is inspired by the smiles and the tangible physical and cognitive improvements his clients make. One of his greatest joys is witnessing the moments where his clients step beyond their realm of comfort to experience a profound step towards growth. Whether it’s a child establishing a deep connection with their horse, someone breathing a little deeper, lifeless hands reaching for the reins, or a spoken command from a non-verbal child, these are the moments that fuel the passion for his work.
Through his teaching, Vernon is humbled to play a part in the bigger picture of each client's story. We all have our challenges and obstacles, and he is honoured to provide a leg up to help his clients on their journey.
Horses have always been a major part of Thomas’ life. He started his riding career
in Switzerland in 1971 and has competed in dressage, eventing and combined
driving ever since. When he came to Canada in 1984 to obtain a Ph.D. in geology at
the University of Calgary, he bought his first horse. Ever since then, horses have
helped him keep sane during his professional career as a geologist. Thomas
obtained his coaching certification in 1990 and is a licensed competition coach with
About 20 years ago he started getting into natural horsemanship and has been on a
continuous path of learning in the field. He is hoping to be able to pass along the
acquired knowledge and skills to our clients in the PTSD program. He is also
volunteering his time to work with our horses outside of the regular classes.
Together with the veterinarian and our dedicated volunteers, he is working to
ensure that they stay healthy and get appropriate exercise and treatment for their