Shining Stars Therapeutic Ministries

Our mission is to provide therapeutic horsemanship programs to children, adults, and families with special needs in order to improve physical, mental, emotional, and social areas of their lives.

Our Vision: We exist to embrace our community with hope and unconditional love by serving individuals with special needs in order to develop strength, build confidence, and achieve goals. At Shining Stars, families get the therapy they need from the horses they love.

We’re celebrating 20 years of ministry in 2023

In 2003, Shining Stars began as a Sunday school program, offering children with developmental disabilities an opportunity to learn about Jesus in a setting that was designed specifically for their special needs. At that time, I had just retired from a 20-year career in the equine industry. It was there that I witnessed the dramatic impact horses had in the lives of those who were hurting – both mentally and physically. I saw firsthand how God created a connection between humans and horses. So, with the support of my husband Vaughn, a team of volunteers that had a heart for God, a love for children, and an understanding of horses, Shining Stars became not only a Sunday school program, but an equine therapy ministry as well.

Today, Shining Stars continues to exist because of the generosity of others. Currently, we are operating from two locations and more growth is on the horizon. We are grateful for the many individuals and businesses that fund these programs and keep our horses well-fed and cared for. We could not do this without you!

For several years now, I’ve been praying for someone to step in as an executive Director for Shining Stars. Someone with business experience, who could oversee the administration, improve community outreach, administer grants, and work closely with our Board of Directors. We are now actively seeking a qualified individual to fill that role. In addition, we are searching for a Development Director who would direct capital campaigns and other major fundraising drives.

God has established Shining Stars in our community as a mission field. We serve as a refuge for those searching for hope and healing. He has a plan and a purpose for each one of us.

My dear Shining Stars, I love you and can’t wait to share more of the marvelous things that we see happening in 2023. I ask that you join us in earnest prayer as we continue to build what God started and the direction He has placed on our hearts for the growth of Shining Stars.

—Brandy Crago, Executive Director

Psalm 90:17 “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands.”


Therapeutic Riding

Our riding programs help children and adults get unique rehabilitative therapy. Students work on physical, social, emotional, & cognitive concepts as they ride & receive instruction geared to their individual needs. Classes are small, relaxed, friendly, and a lot of fun.



Therapeutic Cart Driving

The Driving Program is open to students of all ages who cannot mount a horse for various reasons, such as size/weight, emotional issues, or wheelchair confinement. Specially-equipped carts have safety features for wheelchair students.



Silver Stars

Silver Stars offers a variety of ways to incorporate horses into a physical routine that helps to strengthen muscles. Silver Stars provides equine therapy effective in helping older folks who suffer from depression, feelings of agitation, anxiety, and other psychological issues.


Stars & Stripes for Veterans

Stars and Stripes is an innovative program designed for military veterans’ needs. All veterans, from any era, are welcome to participate with us in “natural horsemanship” and many other therapeutic endeavors, including grooming and horse behavior.

We also offer special needs Ministries & Fellowship opportunities:

Pappy’s Project • Summer Horse Camps