Katharine Chrisley

Katharine Lark Chrisley, NHC, RMT, Equine Specialist, Veterinary Assistant

A lifelong horsewoman and advocate for equines, Katharine has owned and operated four schools of gentle horsemanship with holistic care since 1973. She was a contributing writer for horse magazines (from Dressage & CT and the Chronicle of the Horse, to Western Horseman) for decades. She wrote the Plant Profile column for Natural Horse Magazine for years. 

She got her degree in Veterinary Assistance and worked with an equine Vet. She was taught by her herbalist/midwife grandmother the ways of natural healing from a young age. The combination of both modalities brings proactive and preventative methods to her horse husbandry and teachings. 

Katharine rode Western and Saddleseat as a child. She changed to Hunter/Jumpers as a teenager and at age 17 started riding in clinics under Charles de Kunffy. A passion for real Dressage was born and she studied under some of the world’s masters of the art, remaining, always, an advocate for her horses.

Katharine ran programs in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Hippotherapy where her appreciation of elder equines took root. Many senior horses in her care showed uncanny awareness of the humans in those therapeutic programs and became not just teachers for her, they became her friends. She has used all of her skills over the decades to keep horses in their 20’s, 30’s, even 40’s healthy, active, happy and strong.

She and her friend Rachel Steffan run the Senior Horse Support Network. SHSN provides support for owners of senior equines in all aspects of their life from care and healing to training and special needs protocols. Through videos, courses and manuals, SHSN brings the vast knowledge of decades of senior care for hundreds of horses to the public. 

She is the founder and executive director of Dharmahorse Equine Sanctuary where senior and special needs horses, who were at risk, find homes for life. They live as a herd on a track system with enrichments, receiving species appropriate foods and herbs. With her husband, Mark Schreiber, they have built and run the Sanctuary (since 2015 as a nonprofit). Katharine designs the feeding programs, the treatment programs, manages intakes and maintains the Sanctuary’s online presence. Mark designs and maintains the unique facility. 

A life lived with horses is a life well lived.

Katharine Chrisley

Katharine's 2024 Presentations

Track System Life for Horses - 

Track Sytems are an innovative, relatively new way to provide a "close to Nature" way in which to keep horses that provides forage, friends and freedom as well as constant movement. Horses on Track Systems experience better health, physically and emotionally.

Confidence Building Part 1 -

Building confidence means approaching each horse without an agenda while allowing him/her to feel safe with us no matter what is happening around them.

Confidence Building Part 2  -

Building confidence means approaching each horse without an agenda while allowing him/her to feel safe with us no matter what is happening around them.

Senior and special needs horse support -

Natural Health and Healing for Senior Equines and those with Special Needs, including Emotional support and handling.