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Jean Kvamme Named PATH Region 11 Volunteer of the Year!

We are proud to announce LOARC’s Founder/Executive Director, Jean Kvamme, has been named PATH Region 11 Volunteer of the Year.  Jean’s vision to create a place for healing and joy through equine assisted therapy has touched the lives of many in need.  Her continued, tireless efforts to support and grow the center are appreciated throughout the community.

Thank you, Jean!

LOARC Spring 2018 Video

We are so blessed to have earned the trust of the families who have chosen Lichen Oaks Adaptive Riding Center. Check out this beautiful video about the incredible things happening at LOARC!


On a beautiful day Pat visited LOARC and watched a lesson of one of our amazing young clients that has TBI (traumatic brain injury) and cerebral palsy.  Pip is the therapy horse he rides each week when at LOARC.  Pat was so moved seeing this young client helped so much by Pip that he donated $600 per month for a year to cover all of Pip’s care in memory of his grandson, Arthur, who had TBI and died at age 3.  Pat wanted to do this wonderful gesture with loving memories of his grandson that were brought to mind while watching Pip and this young boy.  Pip and all of us at LOARC THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts.

LOARC young client with TBI/CP now has an ANGEL DONOR sponsoring him!!

Due to no fault of his own, a 9yr. old boy with TBI and cerebral palsy needed a home.  That was when his grandmother changed her life completely and took her grandson into her home taking full custody and care of him.  Funds are extremely tight and being able to come to LOARC regularly was not an option even though he was being helped immensely by LOARC’s program the few times at LOARC.  Jim Smaha watched one of his lessons and talked to his grandmother.  He was so taken by this young man and his grandmother relating to him how much the therapy riding has helped her grandson, that he is sponsoring him for as long as he wants to come to LOARC!!   The grandmother and all of us at LOARC are thrilled…THANK YOU.

Horse-riding in Felton Offers Therapy For Those In Need

MAY 23, 2017 — FELTON, CA — Naemi Frey has been recognized by UC Santa Cruz for her exemplary community service at Felton-based Lichen Oaks Adaptive Riding Center (LOARC) for special needs youth and adults during the 2016-2017 academic year.  Frey, a Felton resident and UC Santa Cruz junior, was presented a Gold Service award at a ceremony held May 22, 2017.

In love with horses since her childhood, Frey started volunteering at LOARC a year ago. She spends several hours each week handling a variety of tasks, from mucking stalls and feeding the horses, to helping with the students’ riding lessons.

As LOARC is a PATH-certified program, in addition to the horse handler, one to two side walkers are required during lessons depending on the ability of the rider. Frey has competently fulfilled both these roles. “It’s incredibly inspiring to work closely with these amazing, gentle horses and our students, and watch the students learn and progress in the arena,” she said. “Seeing the smile on a rider’s face is one of the greatest rewards of being a volunteer at LOARC.”

Frey’s instructor and mentor at LOARC is Melissa Abbey, a therapeutic riding instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. “Naemi has been a vital volunteer at our Center since her first day. She is a model of calmness and consistency, which is so important when working with horses. Her kindness and gentle demeanor has helped many students overcome their fear of horses and gain greater independence. I’m glad that UCSC has acknowledged her work with this award,” said Abbey.

When she first heard about LOARC, Frey was overjoyed to discover that there was a place where she could gain experience in the field that she has decided to pursue, animal assisted therapy, and simultaneously spend time with one of her favorite animals. “I have learned so much more than I ever thought was possible at LOARC, and I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute at the center and to help others. It’s been a dream come true,” she exclaimed.

About Lichen Oaks Adaptive Riding Center

Located in Felton, CA, LOARC aims to help young people as well as adults who the medical community views as having “special needs.” These needs may be the result of issues occurring as early as birth or they may come from an injury or accident suffered in the course of life – sometimes in service to our country.  We provide a caring program designed with individual needs in mind to effect positive change. We have seen the therapeutic results of working with horses and believe that our therapeutic riding program can help persons with these special needs meet personal goals – be it living more comfortably in the body they have, or improving their mobility or communication capabilities. Connect at:

LOARC Featured on My Scotts Valley Facebook Group

Lichen Oaks Adaptive Riding Center was recently featured on the My Scotts Valley Facebook group.  The post and video are below.  Many thanks to Robert Aldana!

“If you know someone with special needs or a handicap, a wounded warrior, or just know someone who could use some therapy or is going through a difficult time in their lives, riding a gentle horse could be one of the most therapeutic things you can do.

Here in Felton, there is a place called Lichen Oaks Adaptive Riding Center that was founded and is run by Jean and Floyd Kvamme that is about as good as it gets. The facilities are unbelievable, but the therapy that these beautiful gentle giants provide is priceless. They are a non-profit organization and would love to hear from you.

Check them out at

*They also have an after school horse club, a fun and educational program for 4th-8th graders on Tuesdays from 4-5:30pm beginning August 30th!”


Lichen Oaks Adaptive Riding Center is Now Open!

LOARC_FoundersWe are very excited to announce the opening of the Center!  Riding sessions can now be scheduled.

The creation of the Center has been a dream come true for me, and a labor of love. I would like to especially thank my husband Floyd for his incredible support and involvement throughout the project.  Much thanks also goes to Paul Kvamme, my 14yr. old grandson, who donated many hours with our initial computer set up, logo, business cards, instruction and support. Last, and certainly not least, the Center wouldn’t exist without our wonderful and gentle therapy horses. We are delighted to be able to share these beautiful animals with the community.

We invite you to help spread the word about the Center.  Please feel free to make an appointment to come by and tour the Center and meet our talented staff.

Jean Kvamme
President & Executive Director, LOARC