As trusted and lovable companions, horses are blessed with the ability to not only challenge us physically but also move us emotionally. With their kind eyes and gentle temperament, horses speak to us in ways that can either empower or humble our confidence. As a result, our program horses are so special because they patiently teach us to become the best version of ourselves.
Program Horses at HGR
Horses who serve individuals through therapeutic riding and equine-assisted services are commonly known for being both inspiring and forgiving. Once upon a time, these horses had other careers of their own, and because of their diverse backgrounds and disciplines, HGR requires a 90 day trial period to determine whether or not our programs are a good fit for their future.
Keep Your Eyes Open for Us
Expectations of a Program Horse at HGR
Preferred Age: The ideal age of a program horse for our therapeutic riding center is 7-17 years old.
Gender: Geldings are preferred; mares are accepted. No stallions are considered or accepted; no exceptions.
Height: Under 17 hands
Soundness: The horse must have a free moving stride with no physical issues that would cause the animal to be uncomfortable (with or without a rider) at the walk, trot, and canter. The horse must be serviceably sound and comfortable without the need of expensive corrective shoes, feeds, supplements, or medications. Walk only horses are not suitable for our programs.
Condition and Conformation: The horse must be in good physical condition. (Horses that come from a pasture life with limited handling, limited time under saddle, or have had several years off are generally not good candidates for our programs.)
Personality/Temperament: It takes a very special horse to be a program horse that serves at a therapeutic riding center for individuals with special needs and disabilities. These horses are tolerant of their environment and of their riders. They enjoy attention, have great ground manners, and are able to handle having people on all sides of them while being ridden. Because our clients actions are not 100% predictable, great therapy horses tolerate the occasional shout or spastic movement. These horses are by nature, very quiet and forgiving. They must not bite, buck, rear, kick, pace, crib or have other stable vices.
Training: The horse must be completely saddle broke and trained. HGR does not accept green or untrained horses.
Trial Period: Owner/donor must agree to a 90 day trial period while their horse is on site at HGR to determine its suitability for our programs (including Equine Assisted Learning, Therapeutic Riding, and Equine Services for Heroes). Compatibility is thoroughly evaluated. During this trial period, the horse will be exposed to program equipment, mounting blocks, walkers, wheelchairs, toys, balls, side walkers, leaders, loud noises, sudden movements, unbalanced riding weight, and applied pressure on all parts of the body. The horse’s body language and reactions will be noted and graded.
Other Ways You Can Help
Please donate and sponsor
any one of the following
Our “hayburners” eat 4 round bales a week!
1 Round Bale = $70
4 Round bales = $280 per week
Have you ever wondered how much weight a horse can carry?
They say up to 20% of their own body weight, including tack.
The average English saddle weighs 17 lbs.
Western saddles can weigh up to 60 lbs!
You add the weight of the saddle
and a 200 pound adult, who may be unbalanced,
and that’s a lot of weight on a horse’s back —
as well as their shoulders, hips, and feet!
1 chiropractic adjustment = $100 per horse
10 program horses = $1,000 per season
Emergency farm calls to Fredonia Veterinary Clinic
are sometimes scary but always necessary.
Please help us build a reserve
for our best friends when they need it most.
A gift to our “Equine Angel Fund” is most appreciated.
1 farm call & 1 physical exam = starts at $130
Farm call for euthanasia = $400
Removal & cremation = starts at $1,200
Donations can be made to Heaven’s Gait Ranch, Inc., 940 S. Main St., Cedar Grove, WI 53013.
You can also text to give at any time, using the following number and keyword.
When you text “horses” to the number below,
you’ll receive a link to access a secure platform, GiveCentral.
Here, you can make a one-time or recurring donation.