Our equines at Hearts & Horses are the true heroes of our program. To become one of our four-legged therapists is a great honor, as these equine athletes are chosen with extreme care. The ideal therapy equine is sound, has an unflappable temperament and unlimited heart. Our equines have come from many different backgrounds including the show arena, ranch work and trail riding. If you have an equine you'd like Hearts & Horses to consider for our program, please read our therapy equine criteria below to see if your equine fits the bill!
Hearts & Horses occasionally accepts equines as a donation to our program. More frequently, however, equines are leased on a long-term commitment to Hearts & Horses. As part of a lease, Hearts & Horses is responsible for the highest quality care and maintenance of your equine which includes:
- Three feedings per day with the highest quality grass hay
- Ranch-Way grain
- Regular psyllium treatments
- Comprehensive fitness and training plan
- Blanketing as needed
- All staff handling time required for farrier and routine and/or emergency veterinary needs
- Turnout seven days per week (weather permitting)
The equine owner is financially responsible for farrier and all routine and emergency veterinary expenses (to be paid directly to the veterinarian and farrier).
Each equine considered for Hearts & Horses must:
- Be completely sound in all four limbs. It is essential that our equines have a free-moving stride at the walk, trot and canter and are capable of smooth transitions
- Have a solid, strong back and be physically fit
- Be well trained under saddle to respond to all four aids: hands, feet seat and voice
- Be unflappable (nothing bothers them)
- Have full and complete vision
- Be forgiving of an inexperienced and unbalanced rider
- Be between 8 and 16 years of age (age exceptions are sometimes made-depending on equine’s physical/mental condition)
- Be comfortable around a variety of people and with other equines at a tie rail or standing alone
If our Equine staff believes that your equine might be a good candidate for our program, we will ask you to bring your equine to Hearts & Horses for a trial period that will last up to 90 days before officially being accepted into the program. Expenses such as worming, farrier and veterinary (emergency and routine – including vaccinations) will be the responsibility of the equine’s owner during this trial period.
On behalf of all our riders, thank you for your interest in placing your equine at Hearts & Horses Therapeutic Riding Center. It is only through the generosity of people like you that our riders can achieve remarkable accomplishments and experience the joy of riding an equine.