Our Mission. . .
is Reaching Inside Souls using Equines by providing the best therapy possible for those who need it most!
Karen Fergason, PT, HPCS
Founder, Clinical/Interim Executive Director
Karen founded RISE Rehab in 2015 at RISE Therapeutic Equestrian Center just outside San Antonio. RISE incorporates her love of neurological rehabilitation and horses. She attended Texas A&M before graduating from physical therapy school in 1993 and developing a special interest in traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputee rehab, stroke and disabled sports.
Karen has a son who is on the autistic spectrum, making her particularly aware of the challenges presented by unique cases. It is the desire of her heart to bring joy and life to individuals and families with similar needs.
Andi currently attends Texas State University where she is pursuing her major in Animal Science. She loves to use her extraordinary equine skills to coordinate and train horses at RISE Therapeutic Equestrian Center.
She has been riding since she was six years old and has a natural instinct of horse behavior in addition to a background competing in the Hunter / Jumper Division with the Interscholastic Equestrian Association. Andi knows the horses at RISE well and cares for them daily.
Andi is also a Level 4 Certified Riding Instructor.
Debbie came to RISE with a good bit of horse experience. As a child, she was a member of a 4-H Club in which she rode and showed Western. She grew up next to an equine veterinarian, helped care for and ride the many horses and ponies on his farm, and went on many equine farm calls with him. As an 8-year member of the U.S. Pony Club, she represented Howard County Pony Club (MD) in national and regional rallies (eventing) and as a traveling instructor, participated in Pony Club shows, and graduated with a ranking of H-A. Debbie also spent 8 years working at Columbia Horse Center, a large riding/boarding facility in Maryland, where she did general barn work, schooled lesson horses, taught lessons and summer riding camps, and eventually became week-end barn manager. To pay her way through college, Debbie began galloping racehorses and working as a groom at Laurel Park (MD) racetrack.
She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a B.S. in Animal Science with a horse focus. She spent the next 18 years at various east coast racetracks working as groom, pony girl, exercise girl, assistant trainer, trainer and owner. She eventually took a job in racing’s frontside, in a publicity department, where she worked on computer and writing skills. She wrote an article entitled “Attack That Tack” which was published by Horse Play magazine. Upon moving to Texas, she was employed by Retama Park, and has worked for that track in full time and part time positions in the publicity and simulcasting departments since 1994. After going 25 years without riding, Debbie caught the “bug” again, and purchased a young Warmblood mare who she enjoys immensely. Prior to volunteering for RISE, Debbie had previously volunteered for two other therapeutic riding facilities; Special Equestrians in Bucks County, PA., and Saddle Light Center in Selma, TX.
Our instructors are RISE Certified
Therapeutic Riding Instructors
Certified by PATH International
Our therapists are trained by
The American Hippotherapy Association
providing the highest
quality of care and the safest
environment for our clients.