Learning Lab

Learning Lab

Demonstration School & Workforce Innovation

As a professional learning community, we are a trusted national leader in innovative program design, helping the industry evolve while promoting best practices from established sources. Our credentialed staff and adjunct faculty help to coordinate federal grants, partner with universities to conduct evidence-based research and provide graduate level courses, while establishing new learning frameworks for the field of equine therapy and sports. With a variety of accredited equine-based therapy and sport programs, we can offer unique opportunities for career exploration and clinical training. 


Please see current annual calendar. All Internships are eligible for Carlisle Charitable Foundation support. Scholarships are available for Spring and Fall semesters only. Learn more and apply at www.carlislecharitablefoundation.org.


Carlisle provides ongoing educational clinics and train the trainer programs throughout the year to the general public as well to coaches and therapists. Each opportunity is listed on the annual calendar and is eligible for continuing education credit. Recently we worked with United States Equestrian Federation to pilot the Para-Dressage Coach Certificate Program and have an ongoing relationship with the University of New England to provide a unique undergraduate course, the “Introduction to Equine-Facilitated Therapy & Wellness”, where Carlisle’s faculty combine classroom time at the University with hands-on experience at the farm to create a veritable learning lab. 

The greatest strength of this course was the format (half lecture, half lab). Most of the learning which took place was during the hands-on portion. It allowed students to discover the ins and outs of equine therapy and interact with clients in real time, observing how interesting and (at times) challenging that could be. I enjoyed learning about all the theoretical evidence/knowledge surrounding hippotherapy but then experiencing it in person as well.

– UNE Student, Occupational Health & Wellness Program


Carlisle Academy offers professional mentorships for equine therapy and sports professionals/ practitioners to advance their personal and professional development. Carlisle Academy staff are credentialed as Hippotherapy Clinical Specialists, PATH, International Advanced Instructors, Para-Dressage Coaches, Equine Experiential Education Facilitators, and Pony Club Center Administrators. Additionally, Carlisle has a unique business model as an integrated riding school, utilizing a for-profit financial structure with non-profit partnerships for a sustainable enterprise. 

Minimum consulting contract: 10 hours 
Tuition: $500 


The Internship Program at Carlisle Academy is created for high school students, university students, as well as individuals exploring the field of equine therapy and sports. Interns undergo supervised practical learning in their area of greatest interest. These internships may be eligible for school credit or continuing education hours. All clinical and educational internships are fee-based programs with a tuition associated with each type, as well as prerequisites and an application/interview process. All interns who graduate will receive a certificate of completion stating their clock hours. For 12-week internships, onsite housing may be an option per availability (additional fee applies). 

Clinical Internship
(Graduate Level to Clinical Placement) 
Duration: 32 hrs per weekTuition: $3000; 12-week session

Level II Occupational Therapy Internship is a 12-week/32 hours per week immersion into hippotherapy as a treatment strategy within the scope of practice for occupational therapy. Interns will have an opportunity to work with children as young as 24 months old through adulthood with a variety of social, emotional, developmental and acquired conditions. Interns follow a rubric which meets AOTA fieldwork standards as well as learning objectives emphasizing the biomechanics of equine movement and its impact on human function, the human to animal bond and its impact on human behavior, and treatment competencies in this non–traditional setting. A weekly riding lesson is included to help the intern understand equine movement and its impact on human development. Students do not have to have equine experience to apply. 

Career Exploration Internship
(Hippotherapy, Para/Adaptive Equestrian, Traditional) 
Duration: 300 clock hours totalTuition: $3000; 12-week session
Duration: 100 clock hours totalTuition: $1000; 6-week session
Duration: 30 clock hours totalTuition: $300; 1 week session

Career Exploration Internship is designed as an entry-level, non-clinical experience for 12 or 6 weeks (100 hr. or 300 hr. option), giving interns exposure to a variety of modalities including hippotherapy, equine experiential education, traditional equestrian sports, and adaptive and Paralympic equestrian sports. Interns review the philosophy and methods behind training horses for each program type as well as the credentialing required for professionals within these settings. Interns may focus on a particular area backed by learning objectives/rubrics which can be customized. This program will emphasize best practices as well as effective teamwork and communication in the work environment, providing support for college or job applications. A weekly riding lesson is included to help the intern understand equine movement and its impact on human health and development. It is recommended that students have some basic equine experience prior to application


Service-Learning Apprenticeships offers community members a valuable educational exchange based on a service-learning model. There are three tiers of apprenticeship: Side-walker, Lesson Assistant, and Equine Assistant. Our tiered system is designed to safely place any qualified participant into a role which will maximize their learning while providing valuable assistance to the programs. There is no cost for this program and all apprentices have access to discounted riding lessons and educational workshops. 


Over the past 20 years, Carlisle has partnered with several New England-based institutions on a variety of research topics highlighting the benefits of equine-assisted therapy. Past projects include studying the impact of equine-assisted therapy on veterans with PTS, pre and post surveys measuring improved self-regulation for people in recovery, and a gait analysis for young children in hippotherapy. 

For more information, contact the office at 207-985-0374, or email your inquiry to info@carlisleacademymaine.com.