Beginning in 1998 Anne Galliher founded and grew Freedom Ride into a premier therapeutic horseback riding program in Orlando, Florida. After purchasing Crooked Creek Farm in Sanford, Florida, Anne began to envision a smaller, more intimate therapy program. Out of Anne's heart and with the space to make it happen, CHAPS Center, Inc. was born in 2012 with a mission of providing a therapeutic experience that helps individuals overcome emotional and physical challenges.
Surrounded by natural beauty and staffed by committed and compassionate professionals, CHAPS Center at Crooked Creek Farm is a true refuge of peace and healing in the heart of Seminole County. Our program is open to individuals of all ages and backgrounds, and our staff is dedicated to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone feels safe and supported.
The vision of the CHAPS Center is simple. We believe that everyone should have access to the healing power of horses, regardless of their circumstances. Our program participants come from all walks of life, including those with disabilities, veterans, at-risk youth, and individuals facing mental health challenges. Our horses are carefully selected for their jobs. They are patient, gentle and intuitive animals that are able to create a special bond with their riders. By participating in our program, many of our students gain new skills, improve their communication abilities and develop a greater sense of self-awareness and confidence. At the CHAPS Center, we believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential and our program is designed to help individuals achieve just that. We are infinitely grateful for the support of our community and look forward to continuing our mission of making a positive impact in the lives of those we serve.
PATH Certified Adaptive Riding Instructor
Jeannie became a PATH certified instructor in 2000. Jeannie truly enjoys working with her students whose special abilities are being discovered every time they interact with a horse. When not in the arena teaching or riding, Jeannie continues to be active in advocating for individuals with special needs and their families on a local, state and national level. Jeannie brings a lifetime of knowledge and personal experience to CHAPS and we are very thankful and proud to have her on our team!Jeannie became a PATH certified instructor in 2000. Jeannie truly enjoys working with her students whose special abilities are being discovered every time they interact with a horse. When not in the arena teaching or riding, Jeannie continues to be active in advocating for individuals with special needs and their families on a local, state and national level. Jeannie brings a lifetime of knowledge and personal experience to CHAPS and we are thankful to have her on our team.
PATH Certified Adaptive Riding Instructor, Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning
Lori has always had a love for horses, but she discovered therapeutic riding through sharing her own horse for lessons at a center in PA. Immediately she knew this had to be part of her life and started volunteering. After relocating to Florida, she began as a volunteer at CHAPS. From there her love for therapeutic riding led her to become a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI) and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL). With the help and mentorship of CHAPS instructor Jeannie, she received her certification in 2017. “Every day is a new life lesson working with horses and riders, it feeds my heart and soul to help riders achieve their goals.”
Shelby's journey with CHAPS began in 2017 when she started volunteering at CHAPS. CHAPS provided an opportunity for Shelby to combine her love for horses and passion for helping others. Currently, Shelby is pursuing a degree in nursing. In 2023 with Shelby’s natural ability to empower and educate others, she added Volunteer Coordinator to her list of accomplishments. A role that was perfectly suited to her knowledge and nature. She takes great pride in watching the students and volunteers grow and develop around the horses. Shelby's dedication and commitment to CHAPS are evident in her work, and her contributions are invaluable to the organization.
Our horses have a way of connecting with us all on a deeper level. Their gentle demeanor and powerful presence can be soothing to our spirits and calming to our minds. There's no denying that our horses have a special kind of magic that can make us feel more alive and connected to the world around us. Please consider sponsoring a horse by making a monetary donation or purchasing a need off our wishlist.
The Tennessee Walking Horse breed is known for its calm and friendly nature. Ace embodies all of these qualities and has been a part of chaps since the beginning. Ace has served as a therapy horse for many people, his quiet presence and kind spirit make him the perfect partner for those who are seeking comfort and healing.
Belle is a remarkable 20-year-old Quarter Horse that has gained fame for her incredible training and amazing disposition. She is the star of the book "Count Down to Broke" written by Sean Patrick. Belle builds confidence in all her riders with her wonderful personality. She is well-trained and has been an excellent companion to those who have ridden her. Her calm and patient demeanor has made her a favorite among riders of all ages and skill levels.
Blue is a 15 year old Friesian/Percheron Cross. Standing at an impressive 16.1 hands he is the largest of our horses, but gentle enough for all sizes. In his past, Blue was a versatile horse that was used for chuck wagon racing, ponying young colts, and ranch work. He has proven to be a true gentle giant that is suitable for a variety of tasks, it's no surprise that he is a favorite among those who have the pleasure of working with him.
Jed is an integral member of our team, and at the age of 35, he is the oldest of our horses. Despite his age, he brings a youthful energy and enthusiasm to the program. He is the perfect size for our smallest of riders and as the patriarch of our team, he is loved by everyone.
Doc is a 21 year old Quarter Horse with a heart of gold. Doc was previously used as a versatility ranch horse and trail horse at Forever Florida in Osceola County. Doc's sweet nature and willingness to please make him a favorite among students and volunteers. His friendly personality never fails to put a smile on everyone's face. Doc is always patient and cooperative, making him a reliable and trustworthy mount for riders of all ages and skill levels.
Lucy, the 28-year-old Spotted Walking Pony, is truly a gem. Her sweet and gentle disposition has the power to make even the most timid person feel confident and at ease. She is a beloved member of our community and brings joy to all who know her. She is a true gift, and we are lucky to have her in our lives. We love our Lucy!