ATRC provides opportunities for people with varying ability levels and physical disabilities to challenge themselves physically and emotionally by setting goals to improve quality of life through equine facilitated therapy.
Founded in 2007 by Kenneth and Vickie Burkett, The American Therapeutic Riding Center (ATRC) is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization and a PATH Center Member (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship). ATRC opened to the public in August of 2008.
ATRC Founder’s Kenneth and Vickie own and operate privately held companies, American Waste Control, Inc. (AWC), American Environmental Landfill, Inc. (AEL), and Tulsa Transfer and Recycle, Inc. (TRT). They have been so blessed, they wanted to give back to their community and inquired as to where their efforts could be the most productive. Todd Green, an employee and friend, has been an advocate for individuals with special needs for years. Todd suggested they visit a neighboring therapeutic riding center, AllStar Riding Academy in Ramona, Oklahoma.
“When I saw a special needs individual get out of their wheelchair and sit upon the horse their face glowed. I watched as they rode around the arena the wind in their hair, their smile and a look upon their face of freedom. This therapy gave them much needed exercise and a feeling of being free from their chair.” – Vickie Burkett
“Kenneth, Vickie and I toured AllStar Riding Academy. This was a life changing experience and it captured our hearts. We knew exactly what we had to do, we had to help meet a need. We began this journey.”
Standing idle on property owned by American Environmental Landfill, was a barn with stables and an indoor arena, previously an Arabian horse farm. The decision was made to prepare the facility to become the American Therapeutic Riding Center, where individuals of all ages could experience a quality of life change through the use of horses. In order for the facility to be ready for our incoming guests, we had to go through major renovations to meet P.A.T.H. standards. Our financial angels, the Burkett’s and their companies, ensured ATRC had everything they needed to open to the public and continue to assist.
Over the first 5 years we grew to 70-75 riders, 10 program horses, 3 staff and a ton of volunteers. We will forever continue to further our programs and we are thankful to those who are helping to further our vision and mission.