Kimber_montage

Kimber Main Hirsch, B.A.,SPED., M.A. SPED., Graduate Certificate in Autism

As President and Chairman of RETREAT, “Ms. Kimber” has been working with children with special needs for over 30 years and working with horses for almost 40! A Native El Pasoan, she has a Master’s in Special Education with a Graduate Certificate in Autism, and is a Certified Special Education Teacher in Texas and New Mexico. She works with children on horseback and, if necessary, in our private classroom, which is specifically equipped for children with Autism. As an expert in Autism and Pervasive Development Disorders, as well as children with diagnosed behavioral disorders, Ms. Kimber designs and conducts all of the lessons for children with special needs. She has advanced training in evidence-based intervention practices such as Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), TEACCH, PECS, RDI and other methodologies, which she incorporates into her riding therapy. She is also proficient in American Sign Language (ASL).

Formerly an in-home ABA Therapist, Kimber received her ABA training at The University of Washington and has over 20 yrs using ABA techniques with children with special needs, most of whom were on the Autism Spectrum.
Ms. Kimber grew up with horses and has been actively riding since 1983. Over the years, she has taken numerous classes and clinics in specific riding techniques in both Western and English disciplines, as well as advanced level “train the trainer” courses. She has been teaching riding since 1993.
Ms. Kimber is a lifetime Girl Scout, a former Troop Leader, Leader-Trainer and Assistant Service Unit Manager, and Ms. Kimber lead the only all-disabled Girl Scout Troop in Western Washington. In this capacity, she introduced a non-verbal child with autism to horseback riding and, miraculously, within two weeks he said his first word: “horse.” From that point on, her dedication to special needs children and her love of horses merged, and she has been working with and developing equine programs for children with disabilities ever since.

I incorporate both therapeutic riding techniques and hippotherapy approaches in order to achieve developmental goals with special needs students. When working with a child with special needs I am willing to evaluate an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and incorporate some of the same goals into a class. I am also willing to coordinate our exercises and activities with other caregivers, such as O/Ts, P/Ts, SLPs or M.D.s. In special circumstances, I am willing to attend an Annual Review and Dismissal (ARD) meeting, so that your child receives unified goals across the board that are consistent with our therapeutic riding goals. Most of all, though, my goal is that all of my students gain the self-confidence and skills to safely ride and have fun around horses. They are truly majestic animals and can provide a lifetime of love with the proper knowledge.” 

Meet Our Team!

We have one of the most advanced teams of riding instructors, each with their own specialty. Take a second to get to know them!

Mrs. Madeline Laiz, B.CJ, MSW

Ms. Maddy  has been riding horses all of her life and previously worked at the El Paso Sheriff’s Posse running the barn. Maddy has a Master’s in Social Work with a Graduate Certificate in Military Social Work, and wants to one day work as a full time therapist working with children and adults with challenges to help them overcome them using horses. 

Mrs. Lauren Ramos

Ms. Lauren is an English Riding Specialist who works with youth of all ages. She has been riding for 27 years. Lauren also assists in lessons for children with special needs. Interesting fact: Ms. Lauren competed in a Western-Style Gymkhana riding in an English Saddle and gave all those cowboys a run for their money!

Volunteers

As a 501(c)(3), we rely on our volunteers to help us keep the ranch running! We are very fortunate to have a group of dedicated people who give freely of their time to help us stay afloat.

 If you are interested in volunteering, PLEASE CONTACT US! We always have opportunities to help!!

Behind the Scenes

Les

Les Hirsch, Administration

Les is Kimber’s husband of 31 years. That pretty well explains his role around the barn!