Coordinator EAS Programs

Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Office: TGEC
Phone: (970)-491-1651

B.S., Colorado State University
D.V.M., Colorado State University

Dr. Sharon Butler portrait

Dr. Sharon Butler grew up in Northern Virginia where she learned to ride. Her interests led her to Colorado where she completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Veterinary Science, going on to receive her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Colorado State University in 1986. She worked in private practice for several years, including having a small animal behavior consulting business, until her interests in human-animal interactions and animal behavior led to Dr. Butler’s pursuing certification as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor from NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicapped), now called the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH). Dr. Butler worked as the Head Instructor and Program Director for Front Range Exceptional Equestrians Therapeutic Riding Program for more than 12 years.

In 2005, Dr. Butler joined the faculty at Colorado State University as an Instructor in the Equine Sciences program where she teaches the Techniques in Therapeutic Riding class, and currently serves as the Coordinator for Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies at CSU. Dr. Butler currently serves chair of the Standards Task Force for PATH, International. In her free time, Dr. Butler enjoys riding and working with her three horses, including one retired therapeutic riding horse.

Courses Taught:

ANEQ 351- Techniques in Therapeutic Riding
ANEQ 365 – Principles of Teaching Therapeutic Riding
ANEQ 486 – Therapeutic Riding Instructor Practicum

Research Areas:

  • Equine behavior
  • Effect of the unbalanced rider on equine movement & lameness
  • Conditioning of horses for equine assisted therapy