Renee Dixon, director and founder of Freedom Hills Therapeutic Riding Program in Port Deposit, has been named Region 2 Certified Credentialed Professional of the Year by the Professional Association For Therapeutic Horsemanship. Region 2 represents Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York in the national organization. Dixon said her daughter, Ellie Luther, nominated her for the award, citing her years of training, work and accomplishments in the field of therapeutic horse riding for those with physical and mental challenges, including veterans.
”I got a letter in May telling me I’d won,” Dixon said.
Dixon has been a member of PATH since starting Freedom Hills 36 years ago. She co-chairs the regional conference every five years. However, the award program is only 10 years old.
”I hope it gives me more credibility,” Dixon said. “Out of five states, they picked me.”
In nominating her mother, Luther also recalled a conversation Dixon held with her then-fiancee Patrick Dixon in 2012 stating she would never retire from this work she considers more a mission than an occupation.
”I absolutely love my job, it is my passion and my ministry,” Dixon said. “There is nothing I would rather do than to partner with horses, to help people grow to their full potential”.