Refuge Services home Refuge Services - Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy, Hippotherapy, Therapeutic Riding
Transforming Lives

Statement of History

Refuge Services, Inc. is a public, non-profit organization established in 1999 to provide services for the whole person: body, mind, and spirit. Refuge Services is a Christian based organization providing equine-assisted therapies to individuals of all ages. Refuge Services, Inc. provides hippotherapy, therapeutic riding, and equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) to over 100 clients per week.

Nationwide, equine-assisted therapies have become very popular forms of treating many issues from disabilities to mental health and behavioral diagnoses. Refuge Services provides a therapeutic setting for physical, occupational, speech-language, or licensed counseling professionals to incorporate horses into their treatment plan. During the hour-long sessions the therapist concentrates on improving the client’s physical, sensory, emotional, cognitive, and/or psychological deficiencies as diagnosed by a medical doctor. Communication, trust, and bonding between the client and the horse provide a unique opportunity for increased productivity that has not been previously experienced in a traditional therapy session. The counselors and therapists are able to transfer the relationship between the horse and individual to the implementation of therapeutic goals and objectives, capitalizing on the increased self-esteem, body awareness, stimulated senses and overall positive receptiveness of the individual in a Christian setting.

To date, Refuge Services’ remains the only EAP service provider in the community. Therefore, much time has been spent educating the community about this innovative and effective form of therapy. Refuge Services’ support and reputation is known around the world as a leader in equine-assisted psychotherapy. In 1999, the directors of Refuge Services, Randy and Patti Mandrell, became EAP certified. Then in 2001, Randy and Patti received their Level III EAP mastery certification – the highest credentialing in the country. The Mandrell’s have experience working with clients in both inpatient and outpatient programs and have implemented EAP to both settings. Patti Mandrell, Director of Family Services, has a Masters in Counseling Education. She has been a Licensed Professional Counselor for approximately 8 years. She has over 28 years experience with horses. Her husband Randy Mandrell, Director of Equine Services, has over 30 years experience riding, training, breeding and caring for horses. Randy has experience managing and caring for over 50 head of horses at one time.

In October 2006, Refuge Services purchased a 40 acre horse facility and expanded equine services to include hippotherapy and therapeutic riding. Refuge Services' clientele more than doubled after the purchase of this established hippotherapy/therapeutic riding equestrian facility and business.

Lubbock’s Refuge Services, Inc. is outstanding and unique in the following ways:

  • Employs the author of the only textbook in print on Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy

  • Employs international trainers for the leading EAP organization Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) www.eagala.org

  • Employs two of EAGALA’s advanced certification mentors

  • Employs the first professor to have taught a course on EAP at a major university in the country

  • Was the first certified, “out-patient” Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy service in Texas, leading the state in this innovative approach

Locations served:

Refuge Services primarily serves a 37-county target area surrounding Lubbock with mobile services including the following counties: Deaf Smith, Randall, Armstrong, Hall, Brisco, Swisher, Castro, Parmer, Bailey, Lamb, Hale, Floyd, Motley, Cottle, Childress, King, Dickens, Crosby, Lubbock, Hockley, Cockran, Yoakum, Terry, Lynn, Garza, Kent, Stonewall, Scurry, Fisher, Mitchell, Howard, Borden, Nolan, Dawson, Andrews, Midlands, Martin, and portions of southeast New Mexico.

Refuge Services provides therapy, training and consultation for clients, professionals and agencies around the world.

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