A talented and well-rounded herd is the backbone of our program. While we need horses of all shapes and sizes, all of our horses must have good temperaments, respond well to the training and care of our instructors and be willing to work hard for all of our clients.
All horses admitted to our program come from loving, private homes and all have had previous careers. Some have been English or Western show horses while others have been trail riding partners. Some horses have slow, smooth gaits while others are more active. We have big, draft horses and smaller horses, broad-backed horses and narrow horses – each of whom have a unique personality and are matched to serve the specific needs of individual program participants. Instructors know our herd well and choose the right horse for the right job – a crucial element for both the safety and enjoyment of everyone involved. Having just the right equine partner helps our participants reach their individual goals.
Healing Reins is not able to rescue horses that have been neglected or abandoned. Knowing a horse’s history and where he/she comes from is critical to the safety of our riders and volunteers!
Healing Reins is fiscally conservative which is why we prefer to lease, rather than own, our horses. Care-leasing allows us to change up the herd to fit the myriad needs of our rider/participant population each year. It also allows the animal to choose the work. If and when a program horse is no longer physically or emotionally fit, we are able to return the animal to their caring owner.
Healing Reins is fortunate to have the support of veterinarians, farriers, feed and hay suppliers, and supplementary horse care experts which allows us to give our animals everything they need in order to do this important work.
We take care for our horses seriously, and develop “happiness plans” for each individual horse which includes consideration of their unique personality and ability to serve.
Program horses must:
- Complete a minimum 30-day trial period, during which we expose them to the work they are expected to do and make sure they mesh with our clients and instructors.
- Be sound and seasoned
- Be between 8-20 years of age. All sizes and breeds are considered.
- Fill a niche in the program.
- Enjoy the work!