Mission & History

Mission: The mission of the TREE House of Greater St. Louis is to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families through therapy, recreation, education, and exploration.



Our History: Formerly known as Therapeutic Horsemanship, TREE House of Greater St. Louis is the legacy of a visionary commitment from three extraordinary St. Louis women – Susie Duesinger, Sandy Rafferty and Laura Carpenter Balding – who started services in 1975 because they believed in the benefit of equine-assisted therapy for children with disabilities. The organization has accomplished much over its 40-year history growing from five clients the first year to now serving more than 300 individuals annually. During the early years, TREE House leased several different sites, including Three Creek Farms in St. Charles County and Wessel Stables in Weldon Spring. In 2005, the organization moved into its current facility, which is situated on 88 acres in Wentzville, Missouri.

What started out with borrowed horses in a friend’s barn, has evolved into a state-of-the art, 88 acre facility and a herd of 20 specially trained therapy horses. The TH team of volunteers, therapists and horses have served more than 3,000 people with disabilities in St. Louis and five surrounding counties.

In 2014, Therapeutic Horsemanship officially changed its name to the TREE House of Greater St. Louis. TREE stands for therapy, recreation, education and exploration – the four main branches of the TREE House. Our goal is to expand services in these four areas to fill the current gap of services and recreational activities in the greater St. Louis area for children, adults, and veterans with disabilities. Therapeutic riding will remain the cornerstone for all future expansion.

In 2015, TREE House celebrated its 40th anniversary!