History & Mission

History & Mission

Founded by co-founders Nick and Sarah Armentrout in 1998, the program was first established as the Equest Therapeutic Riding Center and later transitioned to Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports in 2011. For twenty-three years, the center served the community with first-rate equine-assisted therapies to hundreds of children and adults with emotional, intellectual, and physical disabilities. These programs were embraced and supported by the community, and most notably by the Carlisle Charitable Foundation, which served the student body through generous scholarships season after season. By the end of 2021, the life of the farm was evolving, and the difficult decision was made to close the equine-assisted therapeutic services side of the business. (See community announcement here).

Carlisle Academy continues to provide equestrian sports education, wellness programs, and academic fieldwork opportunities, while also utilizing the Spring Creek Farm property for retreats and learning in this natural, life-giving setting.

Mission & Core Values

The Core Values and Beliefs that make this program what it is today.

Mission Statement:

Carlisle Academy works in partnership with Spring Creek Farm to create health and wholeness through the joy and learning from horses and nature. The Academy provides equestrian sport education, wellness programs, and academic fieldwork experiences to a diverse student body within a professional learning environment.

Vision Statement:

Carlisle Academy’s vision is to create a positive impact through educational leadership, innovative curricula, emerging research, and effective business models.

Core Values:

Carlisle Academy’s core values encompass our principles of Integration, Integrity and Innovation combine to offer lasting Impact to those we serve.

Graphic triangle implying that Integrity, Integration and Innovation lead to Impact.
  • We hold a deep respect for humanity, animal kind and the natural world, and are committed to learning from our interdependence.
  • We believe in the power of the horse to teach, inspire, and heal while providing a unique presence that can be demonstrated to benefit a person’s functional health and wellness. 
  • We believe in equestrian sports, including para-equestrian sports, that promote inclusion, community, and growth in mind, body, and spirit.  
  • We believe that the working farmscape is central to our connection with nature, the animals in our care, and the healing environment we provide.
  • We believe that collaborative teamwork combined with credentialed professionals and courageous leadership foster innovation, greater efficacy, and program excellence.
  • We believe academic partnerships and fieldwork experiences are critical to advancing and shaping the practical and theoretical frameworks in equine-based fields and the emerging beliefs of young professionals.   
  • We believe that safe, ethical and honest relations are paramount in all our affairs.

Learn more about our staff, horses and facilities by clicking below.

close up of Onyx's eye


Respect, Inclusion, & Connection. These are words and concepts that drive much of the work we do here at Carlisle Academy. Our lens for affecting positive change happens to be through horses, and the healing and joy they bring does not discriminate. Everyone is welcome here. All belong.

As our core values state, “we hold a deep respect for humanity, animal kind and the natural world, and are committed to learning from our interdependence”. Today we send a message of solidarity and compassion to people of color. We condemn racism in all its forms and commit to doing our part to dismantle the structures that perpetuate it. We are listening and learning. We are envisioning new ways we can empower, create access, offer hope, and increase equity and kindness in our small corner of the world.