Any person diagnosed with an emotional, physical, cognitive disability from age 2 and up is eligible to apply for enrollment into one of HOPE’s programs. There are additional requirements that clients must first meet before we can enroll them in our program.
- The first step is to contact the Therapy Director at HOPE to discuss space availability. We do maintain a waiting list and move people off the list readily. Once an open spot is determined, the client, client’s parent(s), or legal guardian must fill out copies of all the HOPE’s enrollment forms. No client may begin until all forms are received. The enrollment forms can be found on our website or may be obtained through the mail or email.
- The client and his/her parent(s) or caregivers must attend a preliminary evaluation and intake meeting with HOPE’s Therapy Director. This intake and evaluation process is in place to help establish the best treatment plan possible for each individual client. It is also the time that precautions and contraindications to equine assisted therapy for particular disabilities are reviewed and discussed on an individual basis.
- For health of our horses and the safety of our clients and side walkers, we generally do not accommodate clients in excess of 200 lbs. Alternative means of interaction with horses will be recommended for individuals who would still like to participate in an equine-facilitated activity. If you have any questions about the suitability of any of our Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies for you, please do not hesitate to contact HOPE’s Therapy Director.
- Clients with specific treatment plans that include specialized emergency procedures, medical prescriptions, or actions to be taken around behavioral issues must have a parent or caregiver accompany them to each session.
- HOPE currently accepts clients starting at age 2. Clients younger than 2 years may be accepted depending upon the findings of the initial intake with HOPE’s Therapy Director and at HOPE’s discretion. Generally speaking, children with disabilities between ages of 2-5 and adults with acute or sub-acute disability related issues are typically enrolled in HOPE’s Equine-Assisted Therapy program. Older clients who are able are typically enrolled in Adapted Riding or Grooming. Although HOPE utilizes many different staff, volunteers and horses, some clients are difficult to provide for because of a physical, mental or behavioral challenge that scares or threatens those around them, most especially the horses. HOPE staff will attempt to create the best rider, horse, staff and volunteer combination possible. HOPE reserves the right to deny or remove a client from a equine-assisted therapy/activity session if their actions jeopardize the safety of the horses, staff, or him/herself.