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How do we pick our horses?

This past week we added 4 hooves to our barn: Cody! He is a 13-year old Palomino quarter horse. He is so calm, gentle and loving, we know he will fit in with our herd!

What makes a therapy horse, a therapy horse?

Great question! 

Therapy horses are selected on a variety of determinations.

First: we look at the horse’s health.

Our horses have to be able to work across climates and be able to carry our children and veterans in our therapy sessions. Our horses are all well-loved and cared for at HorsePlay and receive all the healthcare they need.

Pictured: Ringo during his Monday massage (yes! Our horses get bi-weekly massages to keep them comfortable and injury-free!)
Pictured: Our Monday riding club. Every Monday, our horses receive appropriate exercise to keep them strong!
Pictured: Ringo getting his “pedicure”

Second consideration: The horse’s personality!

Just like people, horses have their own unique personalities and are very expressive! Horses are very social beings, and we want to make sure that they will fit in not only with our clients but the other horses as well 

Third: The horses’ adaptability and desensitization

At HorsePlay Therapy, clients are playing with a variety of toys in their therapy: balls, bean bags, sound/light toys, and more! Our horses have to have calm demeanors and demonstrate a level of comfortability with a constantly changing environment, as well as being okay with wiggly new riders. Pictured below are photos of our barn manager, Chelsea, doing some assessments with Cody on flexibility with new items in his environment.

Although not pictured, these assessments include lots of different toys and new items. Hula hoops, rain jackets, balls; all things our horses would see in treatment!

Therapy horses do not need to be a certain gender, bread, or size. Fitting the needs to serve our patients is our number one goal! 

If you have a horse that you are interested in donating to HorsePlay Therapy Center, or would be interested in volunteering and working with our special horses, please contact us at [email protected] or 904-315-8525