Dr. Maureen Vidrine, APRN-PMH, BC is Director and psychotherapist with Horse Time, Inc., an equine-facilitated mental health and wellness center in Covington, Georgia. Horse Time has served hundreds of children, adolescents, and adults in individual and group psychotherapy and in therapeutic horsemanship lessons. Horse Time has worked with clients and students from residential treatment programs, day treatment programs, mental health centers, county school systems, and self-referred individuals throughout the Greater Atlanta and Athens areas.
Maureen was introduced to vaulting while working in a psychiatric emergency room, when a colleague shared photos of a young man standing on a horse's back. He explained that this was a camper he worked with at Camp Sunshine, a camp for children with cancer in nearby Rutledge, Georgia. He said that his adolescent male campers were angry, depressed, and difficult to engage in activities, but that vaulting was the ONE THING with which they truly connected. Within a few months Maureen had tracked down Priscilla Faulkner, the coach of the Falconwood Vaulters- the facilitators of Camp Sunshine's vaulting experiences. Maureen learned all she could about vaulting from that point on, including taking vaulting classes herself, participating in clinics, reading books, and assisting with competitions, community demonstrations, and group therapy facilitated by Priscilla, who became Dr. Faulkner. As part of her foundational training in equine-facilitated work, Maureen studied with Barbara Rector in Arizona and has since worked with her both on structural development and ongoing activities for EFMHA/PATH and in equine experiential settings. Barbara remains a mentor. Priscilla and Maureen founded Horse Time in 1997 and have heavily utilized therapeutic vaulting, especially for group psychotherapy.
Horse Time clinicians have trained numerous clinical students from universities such as Clemson, Emory, Georgia State, UGA, and the State University of West Georgia. We also are proud to have hosted trainees from across the USA in addition to England, Australia, and Belgium. Special needs served at Horse Time have included cerebral palsy, acquired brain injuries, Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, Down's Syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and a variety of other developmental, trauma-related, anxiety, behavioral, mood, psychotic, and substance abuse disorders. Additionally, the program has worked with clients with gender identity and attachment issues and eating disorders. Maureen specializes in treating psychotherapy clients with co-morbid medical issues/physical special needs and in long-term psychotherapeutic work at the barn.
Maureen has been involved in therapeutic horsemanship since 1983, and is nationally certified as a NARHA (now PATH) advanced therapeutic horsemanship instructor and ESMHL (Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning) through PATH. Maureen is also certified as a Special Olympics equestrian sports coach. She is a founding member of the Equine-facilitated Mental Health Association. She has served on their Board of Directors, helping to write their by-laws. She was the first Chair of the EFMHA Standards committee, served as an EMFHA newsletter editor and co-wrote NARHA's (now PATH's) Psychosocial Safety Guidelines for all programs. Maureen has presented on the topic of therapeutic horsemanship and equine-facilitated psychotherapy at conferences and workshops around the country, including national nursing conferences. She is one of a handful of advanced-practice nurses who have published on the topic of equine-facilitated psychotherapy in a juried journal, and she has several publications on adolescent suicide in juried journals.
Maureen attended Emory University's School of Nursing, received her Master's in nursing from Georgia State University, and earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Brenau University. Her thesis research examined human field motion in children with cerebral palsy participating in a therapeutic horseback riding program. She is ANCC certified as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist. Prior to Horse Time, Maureen worked at the Crawford Center for Therapeutic Horsemanship in Atlanta and with the equine-facilitated therapy program at Murphy-Harpst Vashti residential treatment center in Cedartown, Georgia. She currently is an Associate Professor of Nursing at Brenau University in Gainesville, GA and sees clients at a local public mental health center in addition to working at Horse Time.