WHO ARE OUR PARTICIPANTS IN
Our participants range in age from five to senior citizens. All have a physical, cognitive, or emotional life challenge. Some of the challenges we serve include autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, MS, PTSD, spinal cord injuty, traumatic brain injury, depression, anxiety, behavior disorders, bi-polarism, hearing and vision impairment, development delay, arthritis, and more. We also serve veterans and their families. Most of our participants have multiple challenges.
FUN "HORSEY" RESOURCES
As a PATH (Professional Association of
Therapeutic Horsemanship) member center,
we offer recreational therapeutic riding and
equine assisted learning. PATH requires high
standards of professionalism and safety for
people working in the field.
In general, equine-assisted activities include recreational therapeutic riding and other mounted and ground activities such as ground driving, round penning, advanced obstacle leading, grooming and stable management, where participants, volunteers, instructors, horses and/or other equines are involved.
SPONSOR A RIDER OR PARTICIPANT
Some of our riders/participants come from low-income or financially challenged families and cannot pay for services, but we do not want to turn them away! It costs us $1,200 a year (or $40 for 30 lessons) to serve a rider. Any contribution toward a lesson or a series of lessons is much appreciated. Just click on the DONATE button below the photos of our herd. Thank you so much!
OUR THERAPY HORSES
Each of our therapy horses was specifically chosen for his or her unique gait, personality, size, width, and training. After a horse arrives at Colby's Army, he or she undergoes a rigorous vetting and training process that teaches each individual how to be a therapy horse. Only after a minimum of 90 days of specialized training, is the horse allowed to participate in lessons. Each horse also has a specific, year-round feed, exercise, conditioning, and training schedule that is adjusted according to the needs of each individual. Our herd is currently full, and at this point in time we are not looking for new horses or ponies.
MEET THE HERD
Tessie: 15.2 hand chestnut Belgian/Quarter Horse mare born in 2001. Tessie was bred and trained by the Amish as a cart horse. Tessie is the PATH Region 5 2017 Equine of the Year!
Quincy: 16 hand registered bay Appaloosa gelding born in 1999. Quincy is a retired 4-H, event, and third-level Dressage horse.
Lex: 16.2 hand silver dapple bay Thoroughbred/draft cross gelding born in 2002. Lex is a former trail and hunter/jumper lesson horse.
Spike: 16.2 hand registered gray Quarter Horse gelding born in 2002. Spike comes to us from Minnesota, and his previous job was to go on week-long trail rides in South Dakota's Black Hills, and in the Missouri Ozarks.
RECREATIONAL THERAPEUTIC RIDING
Therapeutic riding (TR) is an equine-assisted activity with the goal of improving the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of people with special needs through mounted activities on horseback.
Our therapeutic riding participants learn horsemanship, sportsmanship, grooming and tacking, social skills, and everything from left/right directions, counting, two- and three-step directions, critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, and much more. Participants must be age five or older and under 195 pounds. We currently are not able to serve any mounted wheelchair participant who weighs more than 140 lbs, however we encourage participation in unmounted equine assisted learning activities.
We also reserve the right not to offer mounted activities to any participant if our certified instructors feel the safety of the participant, horse, or volunteers would be compromised.
EQUINE ASSISTED LEARNING
Equine-assisted learning (EAL) is an experiential learning approach that promotes the development of life skills for educational, professional, and personal goals through equine-assisted activities.
Our equine assisted learning participants learn about horses and themselves through activities such as horse health, stable management, grooming, longeing and round penning, ground driving, advanced obstacle leading, learning about herd dynamics, and other fun, experiential activities with horses. Each lesson is tied to an activity that involves leadership, time management, affect, respect, teamwork, etc. Participants must be age ten or older.
INTERESTED IN TR OR EAL?
Each participant must have a medical or mental health professional sign our paperwork. (Some medical and mental health conditions are contraindicated for equine activities.) The participant is then assessed onsite at our learning center, to be sure the activity is a good fit. After the assessment and initial meeting, the participant can then be assigned an instructor and a horse, and slotted into a lesson time during the next scheduled riding session.
Typically, we offer Spring and Fall sessions, and we are somewhat weather dependent, since we do not have a covered riding area.
WE PROVIDE EQUINE GROUND PROGRAMS FOR VETERANS
Each program runs eight weeks and can teach self-respect and increase pride and self-esteem through fun activities with horses. Download our veterans brochure here.
Note: if the actual or "feels like" temperature is 94 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, or if the combined temperature and humidity is 150 or greater, we will not have equestrian activities on that day. Volunteers, and participants or their families, should text their instructor if they have not heard anything regarding a heat-related cancellation for a specific lesson. Cold weather temperatures are set by the instructor, and s/he will contact the participant and volunteers if it is felt it is too cold to ride.
Please contact us to learn about lesson fees and other information.
Mission: Helping People with Life Challenges Through Outreach and Interactions with Animals and Nature