Horses are the lifeblood of our industry. Without great horses, our programing would fall apart. Because of their important role, we are very selective in determining which horses are accepted. If you are considering donating your horse, please read through the following information.
What do we look for?
Preferred Age: The ideal age range of a therapy horse for our program would be 7-17 years old.
Gender: Geldings preferred, mares accepted; no stallions, no exceptions.
Height: We prefer horses under 17 hands.
Soundness: 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. Must be serviceably sound and comfortable without the need of expensive corrective shoes, feeds, supplements, or medications.
Condition and Conformation: Must be in good physical condition. (Horses that come from a pasture life with limited handling, or have had several years off are generally not good candidates for our program.)
Personality/Temperament: It takes a very special horse to be a therapy horse. 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 wind-suck.
Training: Must be completely saddle broke and trained. Cheff is not able to accept green or untrained horses.
Trial Period: Owner/donor must agree to at least a 30 day trial period where their horse is stabled at our facility while its suitability for therapeutic riding and hippotherapy is thoroughly evaluated. During this trial period, the horse will be exposed to therapy equipment, mounting blocks, walkers, wheelchairs, toys, balls, sidewalkers, 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: 1. Does the horse accept and comply with what is being asked? 2. Does the horse demonstrate a patient and tolerant attitude? 3. How quickly does the horse improve upon any negative reactions?
Tax Deductions: Cheff Center is not qualified to place a value on your horse for a tax deduction and is unable to provide owners/donors with the required tax forms. The owner/donor is responsible for locating their own equine appraiser, and making their own arrangements for a tax deduction. Cheff will aknowledge your donation by sending a thank you letter which can be included with your tax records.
What is a therapy horse's life like at Cheff?
Cheff horses work hard and play hard! Most horses are used at least once a day year round in classes which involve lots of walking, trotting, and occasional cantering. They are constantly receiving love and attention from students and volunteers. Each horse spends time in their stalls and time outside in the field with their friends. They get routine veterinary care including worming, shots, dental work, and chiropractic care and are also seen consistently by the farrier. Our horses also receive special attention from an elite group of volunteers that comprise the "equine management team." These individuals spend extra time with the horses stretching them, taking them on trail rides, and giving them an opportunity to do some more trotting and cantering. These horses have great lives while immensely improving the lives of countless special needs individuals in our area. If you feel that your horse would be well suited to "therapy horse life" please fill out the following form:
Testimonial Tuesday: Meet Natalie
Everyone who comes to Cheff has a unique experience that oftentimes has far reaching effects. Today, we'd like to highlight Natalie.
Natalie is currently our youngest client at the Cheff Center- begining her journey at only 14 months. Click the link below to read her mom's thoughts on the experience.Read more Birthday Blessings
Since 2005, volunteer extraordinaire Kathy Keelan Pew, has donated her birthday to the Cheff (Ride-a-Thon) - to the tune of nearly $15,000 ($2,475 in 2016 alone!)
The Cheff Center means a great deal to our Danny and to us, his parents. It's not only therapy for Danny, it's a place we can come where we're treated with respect and dignity -- like you're one of the family so to speak. There is no place else on earth that we have found outside of our own home we feel more comfortable and welcomed. The Cheff Center staff, and I mean ALL the staff, take the time and effort to understand what it takes to give each student and family the best service they can provide.
|© 2017 Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center
8450 N. 43rd Street | Augusta, MI 49012 : View Map
269-731-4471 | gro.retnecffehc@ofni