Susan Patten was born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma. She grew up riding and training horses. Her father’s co-worker, George Boles, faithfully taught her about horses every Saturday during the school year and every day during the summer. While participating in the occasional 4-H show or local play day the majority of her experience was trail riding and observing horse behavior and how it was affected by humans. After graduating from Norman High School, Susan attended Oklahoma State University where she received her bachelor’s of science degree in Agriculture majoring in Animal Science. As a student at OSU, Susan spent a great deal of time at the horse barn both in class and as an intern learning more about horse herd management, breeding, and young horse training. Susan continued riding for pleasure and working with horses while working for a local veterinarian and then for her siblings managing their law office. Susan learned about therapeutic riding in a magazine article and became very interested. Within a year, Carrie Hare invited her to lunch to “talk about an idea”. Lunch was enjoyed and an idea was hatched. Susan and Carrie completed instructor certification with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) in the summer of 2009. Susan has two great kids, Will and Lauren . Hoofbeats for Hope Therapeutic Riding Center is located at the family farm with the support of her siblings Becky and Bill Patten
Carrie was born Carrie Peters in Weatherford, Oklahoma, in 1973. She moved to the town of Norman when she was 3 and has lived there ever since. Even though she didn’t live on a farm, Carrie was fortunate enough to have grandparents who lived in Chandler on one so she could be raised around the love of her life: horses! Around this time of her life is when she became friends with her future business partner: Susan Patten. Susan trained Carrie’s horses and helped nurture both their passions for working with horses. Who would ever have guessed that 25 years later these two women would be starting a therapeutic riding center together? After Carrie graduated from Norman High School, she attended the University of Central Oklahoma on a volleyball scholarship, which had become her 2nd passion in life. Teaching and coaching had run in her family for three generations, so she received her Bachelor’s in English Education and became a 9th grade English teacher and volleyball coach. This first phase of her adult life lasted for 12 wonderful years. Throughout this time, Carrie was fortunate to build many lasting relationships with upcoming adults at Norman High in the classroom as well as the gym. For this she will always be thankful. This is also where she was able to work with many students and athletes who had special needs. Working at the Special Olympics is one of her favorite memories during her years there. Horses were never out of the picture during this time of Carrie’s life…she rode whenever she could and always dreamed of getting back to working with them. While driving through Texas a few years back, Carrie heard on the radio of a therapy using horses. As soon as she heard this, she just knew: Horses and kids - this was what she had always been looking for. After contacting Susan with the idea, they spent the next few years completing their PATH certifications to become Riding Instructors for children and adults with special needs. Not many people get to follow not one but two passions in their life. Carrie has been fortunate to have a family and friends who have supported her from the very first: loving parents, Butch and Sue Peters, a supportive older sister Sherry, John – the love of Carrie’s life and dedicated husband, and 2 beautiful children: Ashton and Colton.
Susan Patten and Carrie Hare