Nancie Roahrig President/Founder
Nancie brings a unique wealth of skills to the mission of TLC (Therapeutic Loving Caballos), the 501 (C) (3) non-profit corporation for equine-assisted therapy that she founded in 2006.
- 2009 Ben’s Bells Award for Community Service*
- 2012 “Heart of Hospice” Award as a TMC Hospice Honoree**
About Nancie and Step Up Into TLC
Born and raised in Tucson, with two generations of horsewomen before her, Nancie began her own relationship with horses when she became a horse owner in 1993. It was her first Clydedale, Lenny, purchased from Budweiser, who introduced her to the healing nature of horses, and kindled her interest in, and deep respect for, their profound presence.
In 1994, Nancie began providing services as a private in-home caregiver. In 1997, she began her own horse-drawn carriage company with Lenny. By 1998, Nancie had combined her skills and passions, for horses and for caring for people, into the concept of equine-assisted therapy visits. She began working with local nursing homes, hospitals, clinics, and retirement communities, sharing her knowledge, and demonstrating the profound connection that horses make to foster healing. Thus the combination of equestrian skills, augmented by caregiving experiences, became the impetus for Step Up Into TLC. (“Step Up” is a command for a gait increase when driving horses)
In order to manage and grow her dream effectively, in 1999 Nancie completed courses in Business Management at Pima Community College, developing marketing skills, scheduling proficiencies, and educational development strategies. She also continued as a dedicated caregiver, obtaining her Certified Nursing Assistant credential in 2002. As a CNA, she has garnered experience with many diseases, as well as terminal illness. Thus she too, like her horses, is a well-trained therapeutic presence.
Nancie not only addresses the physical needs of both children and adults, but their emotional needs as well, providing comfort with listening and support, and bringing in the horses to work their magic. She is observed to have her own magic, as she effortlessly engages those of any age, and also always entices a smile. When relevant, Nancie reports patient and/or family concerns she may observe to the facility team, respecting and adhering to patient privacy as a credentialed caregiver herself.
In addition to the education that Nancie offers on-site with the horses, she and her stable of “therapists” also Travel the Miles for presentations to students at schools and to groups in the community, as well as at local libraries on a scheduled basis.
Nancie’s passion has grown to a “herd” of thirteen in 2015, including two draft horses, two Shetland ponies, and three miniature horses, plus Arabians and other breeds that ride and/or drive for special events. She is as well-practiced with the safe handling of all the necessary equipment for the horses, and each individual animal, as she is with her caregiving clients. Always safety first!
Nancie’s deep and abiding belief is that we are not alone. Through her work with her horses, she is able to help others to re-connect and regain their sense of self-worth and hope. Through her love and passion for these horses, she is able to share their unconditional love with so many, who have so benefitted from their presence.
Step Up Into TLC, Inc, is a non-profit enterprise. Donations are very welcome. Thank you for your interest in and support of our work.
* “The mission of Ben’s Bells is to inspire, educate, and motivate people to realize the impact of intentional kindness, and to empower individuals to act according to that awareness, thereby strengthening ourselves, our relationships, and our communities.”
**The Heart of Hospice Award “recognizes physicians, staff, volunteers and donors who have shown dedication to TMC Hospice and have provided outstanding physical, emotional, spiritual or financial support for patients and their families. According to the nomination form, “Honorees uphold and contribute to the mission of TMC Hospice: helping those with life-limiting illnesses walk their path of life and receive compassion, dignity and love.” The honorees notified yesterday were staff members… The other four honorees were notified separately. They are volunteers Betty Cochran, Elin Ozdemir and Nancie Roahrig, and Rock ‘N Rodeo benefactor Desert Toyota 0f Tucson… Honorees will be feted during the Western-themed gala held at JW Marriott Starr Pass.”