“We love what Wildhorse has done for our son, Dylan, who has an autism spectrum disorder.
In the short time he has been riding with Wildhorse, his attention span, ability to follow verbal directions, and self-confidence has increased.
We have also seen a marked decrease in hyperactivity and sensory related issues. Kari Ann and her volunteers are very compassionate individuals!”
~Amy and Stephanie, Dylan’s moms
“Dakota loves going to Wildhorse! He loves the horses, and he also loves Kari Ann.
He tells me how he wants to grow up and be an animal doctor for both dogs and horses. He finally has something all for himself that makes him proud, and he wears his western boots everywhere and tells everyone about his lessons. We thank Wildhorse! from the bottom of our hearts.
Dakota is becoming more confident, and his motor skills are improving greatly.
Kari Ann, who is adopted Native American, has taught Dakota the traditional Native American greeting, “All my relations,” and as I am Native American, I feel very happy with Kari Ann’s sensitivity and respect.
Kari Ann calls me her Native American sister, and I am proud to be her sister as well.
~ DM Clark, Livermore CA
ABOUT KARI ANN
Kari Ann Owen was once 98% mobility impaired from crippling sciatica, and still requires a service dog’s assistance on steps and inclines. Her disabilities have motivated Kari Ann to serve others. Kari Ann is a Registered Instructor certified by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) in June 2004.
From world-renowned Centered Riding* clinician Lucile Bump, Southmowing Stables, Guilford, VT, one of only fourteen Senior Level IV instructors in the world:
“Kari Ann rode well when she was here at Southmowing Stables. She rode Momo, one of our Percherons, having never ridden her before. Kari Ann performed walk trot and canter, working through fear with determination. She even went on to do turn on the forehand, leg yield at walk and even at a trot.Well done, Kari Ann!”
Kari Ann was a riding student in English and Western riding and horse sponsor and trail rider for several years before her sciatic nerve injury in 1993 had her briefly in a wheelchair, and after her injury was a devoted student at Cornerstone Equestrian Center, a NARHA/PATH Intl. therapeutic riding center in the Napa Valley.
As her injury became more manageable, Kari Ann’s riding skills progressed, as did her horse knowledge. After a 118 pound weight loss in December 2000, Kari Ann’s late husband, physical and soul giant Silas S. Warner, bought Kari Ann her first horse, an Icelandic named California Joss (Jocelyne). Jocelyne and Kari Ann ribboned in several horse shows.
Kari Ann began teaching disabled and abled riders in the Summer of 2001, and completed all NARHA (now PATH International) requirements by June 2004, gaining instructional certification in June 2004, Kari Ann spent two and a half years as a NARHA-certoified instructor at Cornerstone Equestrian Center and founded Wildhorse! in November 2006.
Deepest gratitude is owed Kari Ann’s many instructors for teaching her joyful and skilled horsemanship:
- Natalie Rooney Pitts, US Dressage Federation, assistant Lisa (dressage)
- Sarah Crary (English equitation)
- Lynnette Belt (Western equitation)
- Becky Hart (Centered Riding)
- Michelle Motyl (dressage and equitation)
- Patty Walters (Western equitation). Patty has been CA State Horsemans Association Trail Trials and Horsemastership Director.
- Chris Rossi,US Dressage Federation (dressage)
- Lucille Bump (Centered Riding).
- Margaret Edison and Peggy Persico, dressage.
- Shelley Scott, all around instructor in English and Western