Exceptional Horses for Exceptional People
Most people don't realize what exceptional horses therapy horses must be. Therapy horses must be completely healthy and extremely well trained. Besides these, therapy horses must really enjoy being around people! Many of our riders require one horse handler, 2 side-walkers and an instructor for each horse in every lesson. In a class with more than one horse and rider, that is a lot of people hanging around the horses. Therapy horses, without exception, must accept being surrounded on all sides with humans.
Our horse must remain quiet and steadfast at all times. Some of the favorite games enjoyed by our riders and played from the backs of horses includes slam dunking a basket ball through a hoop, playing catch with a beach ball (which sometimes misses its mark and bounces off the head of the unsuspecting horse), and taking mail out of a mail box -- all from the horse's back. There are certain disabilities that can cause riders to have sudden, and sometimes very strong, movements of arms, legs or body. Riders who have led sedentary lives may have to overcome a huge lack of strength and/or balance. Mounting and dismounting riders from our therapy horses is sometimes a difficult and long process. These horses must be extremely even tempered, very gentle, patient, loving and forgiving.
Therapy horses must be sound and are generally between the ages of 6 and 20. Our horses are used with children and adults of all ages and ability levels and must be able to move freely at the walk, trot, canter and be able to carry up to 225 pounds of total weight on their backs. All donated horses must have a current veterinarian's health check, and be current and have a record of all shots and worming. Donated horses must also be tested on there ability to be climbed on, climbed over and under, ridden double, ridden bareback, handled by numerous handlers, stand still while being groomed as well as their ability to stand quietly while being mounted and dismounted, BEFORE they are accepted into the program. The testing process is very rigorous and lasts for several weeks.
If you have a horse that you believe would be a benefit our therapy program please contact Diana at 208-819-2603.
Are you interested in sponsoring one of our amazing therapeutic riding horses for one year? The cost of hay, feed, farrier, barn/pasture rent, and veterinarian care per year is $2,570.00 per horse. We will recognize the sponsors in our quarterly News Letter, on our Website, plus a plaque will be hung by the horse's stall with the name of the sponsor engraved. If you are interested in donating $2,570.00 to support one of our outstanding horses for one year, please contact Diana at 208-819-2603.