EQUI-KIDS was founded in 1989 with one horse in our founder’s backyard. As the program grew, the organization relocated to two shared facilities where a handful of children were served during the fair weather months. For almost two decades the program and capacity needs grew and EQUI-KIDS was in need of its forever home.
In 2009, following the generous donation of 92 acres of land by a local developer and a $5.5 million capital campaign, a state-of-the-art facility was built and EQUI-KIDS moved to its current location.
Our facility was built specifically for equine-assisted therapy work and the individuals we serve, with every nook and cranny deliberately considered. From the calming, soothing color scheme to the interactive classroom with handicapped learning access to a teaching stall, not a detail was overlooked. The entire facility is ADA compliant, offering handicapped parking, six handicap accessible restrooms, zero transition flooring, and decor lighting and paint colors designed by a regional specialist. Every detail incorporates sensory considerations, ensuring that those we serve have the greatest opportunity for reduced environmental distractions. This environment has allowed the program to expand from our origins of being child focused, to offering a broad spectrum of services across a much larger population base.
In 2010, with the expanded capabilities and capacity offered through the new facility, EQUI-KIDS added the EQUI-VETS program, dedicated to those impacted by time serving our nation in the armed services. Due to the unique challenges faced by those leaving their military careers and readjusting to civilian life, serving transitioning veterans has been a priority of the EQUI-VETS program since its inception.
EQUI-KIDS is a Premier Accredited Center through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.), which differentiates us as a center that provides the highest level of equine-specialized professionals and program services delivery. PATH Intl. is the largest nonprofit professional organization for therapeutic horsemanship programs and its accreditation process is a voluntary evaluation recognizing that a center has met established industry standards. A center that meets the accreditation requirements, based on the administrative, facility, program and applicable special interest standards, becomes a Premier Accredited Center for a period of five years.
PATH Intl. provides industry standards in the areas of center administration, facility safety, equine welfare and activities. Accredited centers and PATH Intl. Certified Professionals sign an annual statement of compliance that they will follow and abide by PATH Intl. standards.