Since 1991, Rising Stars of Equestrian Therapy has provided therapeutic and recreational horseback riding lessons to children and adults with physical, mental, social and/or emotional challenges.
Our founders, Pat Morris and her step-son Ric were always horse people. She was a nurse and he was a teacher. They realized long ago that combining their love for helping people with their love for riding horses could benefit others, especially those with disabilities.
Oswald Vargas, LMFT joined the team in 2014 to aid in targeting specific needs of our clients.
Meet Our Board of Directors
Rising Stars Equestrian Therapy is a nonprofit approved by the State of California and recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Director & Founder - Pat has a background in nursing and has provided therapeutic horseback riding lessons to the injured and disabled for nearly 40 years. Pat has been recognized for her dedication and outstanding work as a "Community Hero" by the City of Rancho Cucamonga, the Daily Bulletin, & the U.S. Postal Service. She has also received the "Community Service Award" by the Chaffey Joint Union High School District and a "Community Project Award" by the Foothill Optomists Club.
President & Founder - Ric is a retired local businessman and Theater Arts teacher. As a retired Captain of the U.S. Cavalry, Ric heads up our "Soldiers Helping Soldiers" program, aimed to help injured Veterans through equine therapy.
Vice President - Michael is an insurance agent and the owner of Michael Gonzales Farmers Insurance Agency in Rancho Cucamonga.
John Mannerino, Attorney at Law
Board Member - John has been a successful attorney in Rancho Cucamonga since 1974 and is currently a consultant for the San Bernardino County Assessor's Office.
Brooke Dvorak, Retired, Financial Industry
Board Member - Brooke was employed at Arrowhead Credit Union for 36 years before retiring in 2010. She has been enjoying retirement, spending time with family and community involvement.
Secretary/Treasurer - Lily works in the dental industry.
Member - Jim is a retired businessman.
Oswald Vargas, LMFT
While not on the Board of Directors, "Dr. Oz", as we like to call him, is our own in-house Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). Oz is the owner of Lionheart Counseling and Consulting Group.
Want to know more about us?
If you have any questions, please contact us!