Working in an equine-assisted therapy program is a mentally and physically challenging job for our equine partners. A great therapy horse is sound at the walk, trot, and canter, with three rhythmic and balanced gaits. The quality of the horse’s movement is what most benefits the participant. The horse should be obedient to both voice and leg signals, quiet and well-mannered on the ground, and accepting assistive devices and equipment. The horse must work easily in hand and tolerate one or two people walking and trotting beside it.
We will provide you with brief questionnaires to complete that detail your horse’s experiences and qualities. If possible, the owner submits a video of the horse being groomed, tacked, and ridden. If your horse seems like a good match, a staff member will visit the horse (including the groom, tack, and ride) in person. If your horse suits our current program needs and space at the facility allows, the horse will begin the vetting process. The horse will need a vet check by our vet and a negative Lyme test before the horse can come to our ranch. Once cleared by our vet, the horse will come to the ranch for a ninety-day trial period. During the trial, the horse will be ridden and evaluated by our staff and trained volunteers. We will evaluate its temperament, soundness, and ability to participate in the program safely and comfortably for all.