The JoyRide Center Preparatory Program (JRC Prep) is a functional Day Habilitation program where adults with disabilities can find joy and purpose in their lives.  At JRC Prep, we believe that every individual has a unique gift to offer, and that productivity and connections to others are the building blocks of a joyful life.  JRC Prep works to develop a broad range of skills and friendships that help our clients become more active, engaged members of their communities and families.

JRC Prep offers a complete learning program that integrates functional academics, life-skills, and pre-vocational skills into a work-based learning system.  Our clients are involved in every facet of JoyRide Center, as they learn the skills required to manage a non-profit therapeutic horsemanship program.  In addition, our clients are involved in developing and creating products that are offered as gifts for donations.

Individual goals and objectives are embedded into each activity, and carefully monitored.  Our primary goal is to empower each client to live a dignified and productive life.  In order to achieve this, we maintain a low student-teacher ratio.  Each class has one certified special education teacher, two staff mentors, and 1-2 trained volunteers working with no more than 7 clients.


JoyRide Center offers pre-vocational training in a unique blend of classroom instruction integrated into a worksite. The many facets of JoyRide Center provide rich and diverse opportunities for work-based learning to take place. JRC Prep combines direct instruction with continuous hands-on work experience. Goals and objectives are based on each student’s needs, and our approach is highly individualized. In order to achieve this level of individualization, we maintain a low student/teacher ratio of no more than 7 students to one teacher, two mentors and specially trained volunteers.

Currently, JRC Prep students attend class once or twice a week for 6 hours per day. We follow a school calendar with 14 weeks in the fall semester and 16 weeks in the spring semester , with an additional 7 weeks in the summer. Our students assist in all aspects of managing a small horse farm, including providing horse care, indoor and outdoor facility maintenance, and completing office tasks. They cook meals and run a small business in which they make and sell several products.

Our primary emphasis is on the development of personal independence and employability skills that will enable our students to become productive members of their communities

Our activities at JRC Prep Include:

Helping JoyRide Center

We help JoyRide as volunteers each class day.  Activities such as bathing and grooming horses, cleaning tack and grooming tools, and checking fencing, horse troughs and pastures help our clients develop a sense of meaningful belonging to the JoyRide family.  We are also involved in fundraising activities.  The JRC Prep group assists at fundraising events, and help write thank you notes to donors.


JRC Prep is learning all aspects of running a small business by developing our own horse treat line. Our clients have named the horse treats “Hearts of Texas”. JRC Prep participated in the state licensing process and now take and complete orders, maintain inventory, and track finances using a simple spreadsheet. We have recently expanded our product line to include other products such as: ceramic Christmas ornaments, herb gardens, and hand-made stationery. These products are offered as gifts for donations, and all donations go directly toward JRC Prep program expenses.

Meal Preparation

Every other month, JRC Prep prepares a full meal for our staff. On alternate months, we prepare simple meals that could be cooked at home with appropriate supervision. As a group, we plan menus, determine ingredients, inventory our kitchen, and develop a grocery list. We also send invitations to others who join us for the meal, set and decorate the tables and prepare and serve the meals.

Arts & Crafts

JRC Prep partners with Nancy Garrett of Nancy’s Fancy’s to create ceramic ornaments. We make Christmas ornaments for donations, but we also create clay projects just for fun! In addition to ceramics, we enjoy experimenting with stencils, creating mosaics, and a variety of other craft activities.


JRC Prep currently grows small herb gardens from seedlings in a small, portable greenhouse.  We are hoping to expand into a more traditional greenhouse within the next two years.

Recreation & Leisure

Social connections are a critical element of JRC Prep, and we consider ourselves to be a family.  Our clients are learning about the value of work and play.  We enjoy card games and board games.  As we move to a full day this Fall, we will add more active games, such as indoor bowling.


*The current class schedule is as follows and is subject to change:

  • MONDAYS: 9 AM to 3 PM
  • WEDNESDAYS: 9 AM to 3 PM

Semesters: JoyRide offers spring, summer and fall semesters which vary in length. Calendars are available at the center and on our website.

Client Qualifications

The client qualifications are subject to change.


Costs are subject to change.

•Evaluation Fee – $65… a one-time, non-refundable fee paid on evaluation day

• Administration Fee – $25… a yearly fee paid by all clients billed on your first month’s invoice, then again every January.

• $65 per day

Would you like to apply to the program?

Due to the limited number of clients we can serve in the JRC Prep Program, please contact Debbie Blackmon dblackmon@joyridecenter.org directly to inquire about openings for new clients. JRC Prep paperwork is specific to that program and can be obtained by contacting Debbie Blackmon, Director of Operations, dblackmon@joyridecenter.org.

Download the Client Packet

JRC Prep paperwork is specific to that program and can be obtained by contacting Debbie Blackmon, Director of Operations, dblackmon@joyridecenter.org.

Please read the information in the Client Packet carefully and return the completed forms including: Client Registration/ Release, Client Goals/ Skills/ Health History, JoyRide Seizure Information, JoyRide Class Availability Fall & Spring Semesters, Client Medical History and Physician’s Statement, Prescription for Physical or Occupational Therapy, Getting to Know You, It Take a Village (or a Barnful!!), and JoyRide Competition/ Horse Show Opportunities if applicable.

The client packet is subject to change.

Click here for your CLIENT PACKET.


Medicaid Waiver Tuition Payments: If you have Medicaid Waiver funding through a service provider (i.e. Scoggins, Astrocare, REACH), we can contract with that provider to offer services. Please be advised that if, for any reason, the client loses service eligibility or the funder refuses to pay for services, the client family will be responsible for payment. JoyRide can only bill the service provider for days that you receive services; therefore, if you are absent, JoyRide does not get paid even though all the horses still have to eat and the bills still need to be paid. We base our budget on a certain number of clients riding per semester, so extensive absences can negatively affect our ability to fund the entire program. If a client whose tuition is paid by a service provider is absent more than 3 times per semester, we will have to assess if we can continue to serve them in our program. Some service providers do not cover the yearly $25 administrative fee; therefore, it may need to be paid by the client families.

Class Cancellations: We make every attempt not to interrupt the semester with class cancellations; however, occasionally classes need to be cancelled due to instructor illness, horse shortage or dangerous weather conditions. We will call you at the number you have designated on your registration form in the event of a class cancellation.

Illness: We want to keep everyone healthy; therefore, the client should not attend unless he/she has been fever- free with no vomiting or diarrhea for at least the past 24 hours.

Medical Leave: Medical leave may be applied to clients who are absent due to a hospital stay or a significant medical issue. The instructor will determine, on a case by case basis, if the absences are considered “Medical Leave”. Common illnesses and doctor’s appointments are not considered Medical Leave. Clients may have up to 4 consecutive absences for medical leave during a semester without losing their place in the program or being charged an Absence Fee. A new Client Medical History/Physician’s Statement form or a written release from your physician will be required in order to resume riding.

Long Term Medical Leave: Long Term Medical Leave is when a client is on medical leave for more than 4 consecutive classes. After the 4th absence, the client is offered 2 options:

Option 1. The client may request “Medical Tuition Assistance” to hold their place in the program. This means that the client is responsible for paying half of the tuition amount for each class missed over 4, and the other half is paid from the JoyRide Tuition Assistance Fund**.

**This option is only available if the Tuition Assistance program has adequate funds available.

Option 2. The client may choose to give up their place for the rest of the semester so it can be offered to someone on the waiting list. If they choose to give up their place but plan to return to the program in the next semester, they are placed at the top of the Returning Client Waiting List .

If a client has been on medical leave for more than 12 months, they are moved to the bottom of the Returning Client Waiting List and must be re-evaluated before returning to the program. Regular class fee will be charged for reevaluations. Extenuating circumstances may be handled on a case by case basis.


Parking: Clients may park on the concrete parking area opposite the covered arena.

Dogs: Due to insurance requirements, dogs are not permitted on the property during class times with the exception of service dogs.

Conduct at the Center: It is mandatory that everyone complies with all posted safety rules and abide by all posted off-limit areas. JoyRide is a no smoking facility and the use of drugs or alcohol on the property is strictly forbidden. Open carry of handguns is prohibited. Firearms or weapons must be secured and locked in your vehicle while on JoyRide property. No mistreatment, abuse or suggested abuse of any person or animal will be tolerated. We reserve the right to ask anyone to leave the premises.