What to look for in a Theraputic Program - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 21 Old 01-27-2013, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tbcrazy View Post
We are up for reaccredidation this spring... Did you have to do it all by yourself? If so, WOW!!
I had help from the directors, but I did the course, looking through our standards and making sure we comply and the site visit myself. I just had some help on getting the little things up to snuff, like gathering complete volunteer forms on days I wasn't there. It was one of my 2 senior projects in high school! It was exhausting and stressful, but I sure learned a lot!
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post #12 of 21 Old 01-27-2013, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by aliliz View Post
I had help from the directors, but I did the course, looking through our standards and making sure we comply and the site visit myself. I just had some help on getting the little things up to snuff, like gathering complete volunteer forms on days I wasn't there. It was one of my 2 senior projects in high school! It was exhausting and stressful, but I sure learned a lot!

I've been cursing the standard manuals for the last few weeks, I figured if I started now then by the time they get here I'll be good to go haha. Much be such a relief to have it done though :) All for a tiny-ass plaque....lol
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post #13 of 21 Old 01-28-2013, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. I think volunteering is a really good idea. There is one center fairly close to where we'll be that seems reputable. I'm just worried about costs now. I think in the long run, it will be great for our family and I would feel better knowing my little one will eventually be around MY horse.
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post #14 of 21 Old 01-28-2013, 03:44 PM
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Chessie, you've gotten good advice, but I'd add a couple of things.

1. I volunteered at a terrible center where it was essentially social hour for the instructor and "her" volunteers. They would stick a child on a horse and go to town gossiping. They actually seemed annoyed when the rider needed something!! I had volunteered with a different program before that, thankfully, and knew that just wasn't the norm, or I think it would have soured me to therapeutic riding all together. Bottom line- volunteers should be friendly and talk when appropriate (i.e., not distracting the instructor or rider)- but the instructor sure better be focused on the rider at all times!

2. Re: costs. I don't want to pry into your personal situation, but I will say that many locations have scholarship partnerships with local agencies working with families with disabilities. It sounds like your child is very young, and when I lived in NC, our center actually had a partnership with the early intervention agency in the county so we primarily served young children ages 3-5, who paid on a sliding fee scale. You might want to ask around, either at your prospective center or with other community agencies you work with.

I think volunteering will give you great insight into what a center is like, but will say I've seen some lessons that work better when the parent isn't a volunteer. That is obviously a very personal decision that depends a lot on your child's goals, and certainly something you should talk over with the instructor.
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post #15 of 21 Old 01-28-2013, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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I was wondering about costs, because the military insurance system doesn't pay for hippotherapy, so I'm going to have to check around for other resources.
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post #16 of 21 Old 01-28-2013, 04:03 PM
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Not to get too political, but have you seen this article about Tricare and equine therapy?
The Pentagon Says No to Disabled Daughter of Navy Captain - Andrew Cohen - The Atlantic
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post #17 of 21 Old 01-28-2013, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, that's the issue in a nutshell.
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post #18 of 21 Old 01-28-2013, 05:33 PM
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I was wondering about costs, because the military insurance system doesn't pay for hippotherapy, so I'm going to have to check around for other resources.
Oh yes they will! When the person who provides the service bills make sure they DON'T let on to anything having to do with the horse. It's just PT, speach, if OT. That all they have to know. And it is, what's the difference whether PT is facilitated with a ball or a horse? Or in a building or outside? .... Well its doesn't make a difference on paper at least. Lol. It will probably be more challenging to find a person who will "take insurance".
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post #19 of 21 Old 01-28-2013, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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In order to get any of the therapies, I have to take my daughter to whatever therapy center they have approved and already have a referral in the system. I can't manipulate it like that. They hold all the strings.
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post #20 of 21 Old 01-28-2013, 06:15 PM
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I have volunteered at a therapy riding center for 7 years now and the number one priority is safety. The center I am at is not PATH certified, and in my opinion they should be. PATH sets standards and regulations for safety that otherwise is up to the instructor or whoever is in charge, which can be perfectly fine most of the time, but not always. I think being PATH certified just shows the public that the center is professional, willing to be held accountable for the safety and teaching of the special needs individuals, not just a few people leading kids around in their backyard.
Look for:
1. Very, very calm broke horses.
2. Experienced handlers of appropriate age(a twelve year old child or an inexperienced handler should not be responsible for the safety of your child.)
3.condition of the facilities- are they safe? Are they clean?
4. Condition of horses
5. Progress of the children

Talk to the volunteers!!! Ask them about their experience, other volunteers, the kids, how therapy helps them, care for the horses, if they know of problems with the center. A volutneer is more likely to be honest with you than the owner of the barn. Ask the parents of the kids and what they think of the center. Get a tour. Just do your research. I have seen some amazing centers with fantastic results, and I have seen stressful, dangerous accidents waiting to happen. Just choose wisely.

Its a lot like nuts and bolts. if the riders nuts, the horse bolts -Nicholas Evans
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