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trying to place a horse in a therapeutic program

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  • trying to place a horse in a therapeutic program

    I am looking to rehome a 13y/o OTTB who has no health issues except kissing spines - he's not really a riding horse, but he's certainly pasture sound and still loving life. When I had him at a summer camp I remember he was SO good with the troubled and autistic kids that were there. I was thinking this might be a use for him.

    Has anyone else done this with success with any of their horses? Does anyone know of programs I should contact? He is currently in the Charlottesville VA area but I don't think transportation would be a problem anywhere from about Atlanta to Pennsylvania.

    I have posted him on the giveaways forum, but I want to be a bit more intentional about trying to place him appropriately, since he will be put down by his current owner if I can't find somewhere for him (I can't afford to keep him either, unfortunately).

    Thanks for the help - and if I should post this somewhere else, let me know. I wasn't sure where this should go.

  • #2
    I went through the process a couple of years ago. The first thing to do is look for a couple of theraputic places that are looking for horses. I know that one of them that I dealt with had a big list of potential horses. They were one of the best in CT. Mind you I am in MD. He went up there in November and in December they decided that he wasn't going to work out. So another place picked him up for a trial. They love him. He loves his new job and is a barn favorite.
    OTTB - Hurricane Denton - Kane - the big dog!
    Tuggy - RIP 9/12/2016 - Wait for me at the bridge
    Foster LolaMaria AKA LolaBean (Boxer)


    • #3
      Don't take this the wrong way, but therapy programs need sound horses. Some NQR-ness can be tolerated, but I don't know of any programs that would take just a pasture sound horse. It's not fair to the program or the horse. If he's "not really a riding horse" I can't imagine it working or don't think most programs would take that risk. Maybe look at Equine Assisted Psychotherapy programs that are all groundwork-based? I don't know how many of those are out there that don't have a riding component, either.

      There was a great thread awhile ago on here about the demands of the therapy horse job, you should check it out. It's a physically and mentally difficult job for a horse, although it doesn't appear that way at first.
      Goodreads | Blog | Cassius the Dog


      • #4
        The kind of thereapy you need is of the mental variety rather than therapeutic riding. Many of those do not use the horses for ridiing, only for interactive purposes. Do a search ending search on equine assisted psychotherapy.
        RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


        • #5
          Check out this site and search for programs http://www.eagala.org/
          I had a lady last summer who wanted my Haffy for a program but I wasn't comfortable with my mare being turned out with other horses. I was looking at more riding/hippotherapy programs.

          I'd just start by e-mailing directors of programs and tell them you have a horse to donate. If they are looking, they will respond to you and try to work something out.

          Good luck


          • Original Poster

            Thank you! I was definitely talking about the psychotherapy programs without the riding component - didn't realize this forum didn't pertain at all to that! Thanks for the website - will start there.

            I just hope I can find him someplace because I don't think he's ready for his life to be over, and he has some serious wisdom from his life that I think could help some folks. Thanks again!