Our horses are some of the most important members of the HETRA team, and we frequently get calls from individuals wanting to donate their horse.
There are many qualities that HETRA looks for in a Therapy Horse:
- Quiet, patient, healthy horses that enjoy working and being around people.
- Horses that are free from injury and have no lameness or health issues.
- Therapy horses are ideally between 13 and 15 hands tall.
When we receive a call from a owner regarding a horse that has all the above qualities our process includes the following.
- We request that the owner send a video of the horse with the following: A rider mounting the horse, moving at the walk, trot and canter both directions. Moving at a walk and trot in a small circle both directions. A shot of the rider dismounting the horse. We would also like a shot of the horse moving towards the camera and away from the camera at the walk and trot.
- Next we will set up a time to come out and visit the horse at their home. We evaluate the horse for suitability in a therapeutic riding program.
- If the horse management team decides the horse is a prospect, we will sign a contract with the owner taking the horse for a 30 to 60 day trial period. During this trial period we work on getting the horse accustomed to the duties of a therapy horse. This includes working around wheelchairs, walkers, toys, loud noises and mounting ramps.
- If the horse passes all these tests the horse will then become part of the HETRA herd!
The majority of the horses used are not owned by the program but are leased to HETRA. If for some reason the horse becomes unusable in the program for either health or behavioral reasons the horse is able to go back to its original home, and the program is not financially responsible for caring for an inactive member of the herd.
If you are interested in donating your horse, but your horse does not fit HETRA’s guidelines there are other options. We encourage you to visit www.donatemyhorse.com which is a web site that assists individuals interested in finding a good home for their horse.
If you are interested in talking with us further about a horse you think will fit into HETRA’s program please contact Maggie at Maggie@hetra.org or (402) 957-3745