Help us Find Our Next Program Horse!
Does your horse have what it takes to serve our participants & veterans at HGR?
Donations are much appreciated, and lease options are carefully considered.
What We’re Looking For In a Program Horse
Preferred Age: The ideal age of a new 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.
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. 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.
Also taken into consideration will be the following checklist:
Checklist for Screening Prospective Equines for Program Needs at HGR
- Does the horse accept and comply with what is being asked?
- Does the horse demonstrate a patient and tolerant attitude?
- How quickly does the horse improve upon any negative reactions?
- Is the horse easily & safely “caught” in the paddock?
- Does the horse stand calmly for grooming?
- Does the horse stand calmly for tacking?
- Does the horse stand calmly for fly spray?
- Does the horse pick up his hooves without fighting the person who asks?
- Does the horse stand square and safely in cross ties?
- Does the horse stand calm & square between the mounting ramp & block?
- Does the horse halt next to the lead walker?
- Does the horse calmly accept the bit & bridle?
- Can the horse be ridden calmly & straight without a lead walker, using a halter & reins, without needing a bit?
- Can the horse go out alone on the trails with the rider?
- Does the horse stand calmly when he/she hears loud noises, especially in the stalls, cross ties, mounting area, arenas, and trails?
- Does the horse bend?
- Is the horse calm being ridden alone within an arena?
- Is the horse calm going out alone on the trails?
- Does the horse have any vices, including cribbing, weaving, head tossing, biting, pawing, or kicking?
- Does the horse comfortably and calmly walk, trot, and canter?
- Can the horse comfortably handle both children and adult rider weights?
- Can the horse comfortably handle children riders?
- Can the horse comfortably handle adult rider weight limits, up to 200 lbs?
- Does the horse stand calmly around wheelchairs?
- Does the horse stand calmly around motorized vehicles?
To Learn More
About our Herd
Contact Margaret Mary
at (920) 400-0628