Friday, February 19, 2021

Riding To The Top salutes volunteer and horse for outstanding service

Every year PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) selects regional winners in a variety of categories who demonstrate extraordinary service and dedication to the field of equine assisted services. This year two of Riding To The Top’s team members were selected as Region 1 (all of New England and eastern maritime Canada provinces) winners. Pat Niboli, was named the Region I Volunteer of the Year, and Luke, one of RTT trustworthy Haflingers, was named the Region 1 Horse of the Year.

Riding To The Top is a Premier Accredited Center with PATH Intl.—the organization that advocates for equine assisted services and sets industry standards for safe and ethical human-equine interactions.

Riding to The Top team member Pat Niboli of
Windham has been honored as the Region I 
Volunteer of the Year and Luke, a 27-year-old
Haflinger gelding, was named Region 1 Horse 
of the Year by the Professional Association of
Therapeutic Horsemanship International.
 Pat Niboli of Windham has volunteered at Riding To The Top for more than 10 years. She is a dedicated and passionate advocate for RTT assisting in the barn, working in lessons (both therapeutic horseback riding and carriage driving), exercising and training horses, and leading fundraising efforts. Niboli is a friend to all and she strives to recognize the best in every person. She has been extraordinary through thick and thin and shows up in snowstorms, during pandemics and lends a hand with many special projects.

RTT Volunteer Coordinator, Nick Doria, said she is reliable and versatile.

“Pat is one of Riding to the top’s most dedicated volunteers, she is always ready to lend a hand wherever help is needed,” Doria said.

Luke is a 27-year-old Haflinger Gelding and has been a member of the RTT herd for nearly 15 years. Luke is an amazing horse (actually a pony, but don’t tell him that); steady and calm for those needing a lot of support, and responsive yet challenging for emerging independent riders.

His versatility is matched by a larger-than-life personality that endears him to his riders, volunteers and instructors.

According to Kristin Meaney, PATH Intl. Certified Instructor and RTT Equine Manager, Luke is a perfect fit for RTT and its clients.

“Luke has given confidence and happiness to countless riders and is adored and trusted by all of our instructors and volunteers. This award is well deserved, and we are so proud of him,” Meaney said.

Next, Niboli and Luke join all of the Regional winners as they move on to the International competition, with the winners announced in October.

Founded in 1993, Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center’s (RTT) mission is enhancing health and wellness through equine assisted services. RTT is a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International).

Located in Windham, RTT is the state’s only year-round PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center solely dedicated to serving people with disabilities through equine assisted services. RTT is a community-based nonprofit, receives no federal or state funding and provides scholarships to more than 60 percent of its clients.

Currently visitors at the farm are limited due to COVID-19.

For more information about client services, volunteering, or making a gift, please visit or call 207-892-2813. <

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