Frequently Asked Questions

Joining the Program

How do I, or someone I love, join the EQUI-KIDS program?

The process to become an EQUI-KIDS participant involves many steps. It is important to us that all who participate have the potential to benefit from our services, so we want to be sure each individual is a good fit. The following is the step-by-step process for getting involved with the program:

1. Contact Kathy Chitwood, Program Director. Reach her by email at kathy.chitwood@equikids.org or call her at 757.721.7350. Provide her with information detailing the age, diagnosis (medical and/or mental health) and physical limitations of the prospective participant.

2. Receive feedback. The Program Director will contact you by phone or email to discuss the information you’ve provided, ask for further details and determine if our programs are likely to benefit the prospective participant.

3. Schedule Assessment. If the Program Director believes our services can benefit the prospective participant, she will schedule an assessment. During the assessment, the prospective rider and family members or caretaker will meet with a PATH-registered instructor to determine which of our programs would be appropriate. Visitors will also go for a facility tour, meet the horses (no riding), and discuss and review the registration process and materials.

4. Complete Registration Packet. A registration packet will be provided at the assessment, which must be submitted annually. It includes the following documents:

  • Participant Application
  • Participant Medical History & Physician Statement
  • Authorization for Emergency Medical Treatment
  • Lesson/Camp Policies & Procedures
  • Participant Goals & Expectations
  • Photograph & Media Release
  • Participant Release Agreement

 

5. Processing of registration forms. The Registration Packet will be reviewed and program opening availability will be determined. EQUI-KIDS can provide services to a maximum of 110 riders per week. If no openings are currently available, riders will be placed on the waitlist.

6. Scheduling. The Program Director will send a signup form to determine the rider’s availability.

How long does it take to join the program?

The average time between contacting our Program Director and participating in the first lesson is two months. This can vary based on the timeliness of submitted documents, lesson availability, rider’s schedule, etc.

Can anyone come to EQUI-KIDS and ride a horse?

EQUI-KIDS does not offer pony rides to the general public. We offer only therapeutic riding and equine-assisted activities to individuals with disabilities. 

Riding Lessons

How often does a rider participate in a lesson?

Riders participate in lessons on a per session basis. Sessions vary in length between three and eight weeks and riders will participate in one lesson per week for the duration of the session.

How many sessions do you have per year?

This depends on the type of lesson in which a rider is enrolled. We offer private lessons (1 rider), semi-private lessons (2 riders) and group lessons (3-4 riders).

How long is a session?

Sessions differ in length depending on the particular session but are either four, six or seven weeks long.

How many riding lessons are included in a session?

Riders have one lesson per week for the duration of the session. 

Will others be riding during the lesson?

This depends on the type of lesson in which a rider is enrolled.

How long is a riding lesson?

Private lessons are 30 minutes, semi-private lessons are 45 minutes and group lessons are 55 minutes.

Costs & Fees

What do your services cost?

Lessons are offered at a nominal fee for our riders. We cover a majority of the costs for our riders in order to make therapeutic riding accessible to as many individuals as possible. The true cost of a single riding lesson is around $229 but EQUI-KIDS charges only a fraction of that. Costs vary by session length and number of riders in the lesson.

MOUNTED RIDING LESSONS

LESSON TYPE DURATION SESSION LENGTH COST PER SESSION
Private 30 minutes 4 weeks $200.00
Private 30 minutes 6 weeks $300.00
Private 30 minutes 7 weeks $350.00
Semi-private 45 minutes 4 weeks $140.00
Semi-private 45 minutes 6 weeks $210.00
Semi-private 45 minutes 7 weeks $245.00
Group 55 minutes 4 weeks $140.00
Group 55 minutes 6 weeks $210.00
Group 55 minutes 7 weeks $245.00

Private lessons include 1 participant.
Semi-private lessons include 2 participants.
Group lessons include 3-4 participants.

BARN LESSONS

LESSON TYPE DURATION COST PER SESSION
Private (1 participant) 30 minutes $100.00
Group (3-4 participants) 50 minutes $100.00

All barn lesson sessions are 4 weeks long.

EQUINE-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY

Individual and group sessions with a Licensed Professional Counselor are available. Please call for rates and availability. Insurance coverage may be provided.


EQUI-VETS

As a thank-you to the men and women of our armed services, our EQUI-VETS program is offered to those wounded in the line of duty free of charge.

Will my insurance cover your services?

Our equine-assisted psychotherapy sessions may be covered by some insurance providers. All other services are provided for a nominal fee in order to make them accessible to everyone who may benefit from them.

What if I can’t afford the fees associated with your programs?

Many scholarship opportunities are available. We want everyone who could benefit from our services to be able to enjoy them. We never turn anyone away due to financial hardship and will gladly help you pursue a scholarship or corporate sponsor to cover the costs. 

Volunteering

What types of volunteer opportunities do you have?

We offer many chances to volunteer throughout the year, including program positions on a regular basis and some special events. Visit the volunteer opportunities page for more information.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

All volunteers must be 14 years of age or older. To assist with our veterans program, volunteers must be 21 and older.

Do I need training to become a volunteer?

Volunteers must attend one of our orientation programs, which are held monthly. During this orientation, potential volunteers will learn about the different opportunities we offer and receive their Volunteer Application Packet. For upcoming orientation dates, see our event calendar.

Who can I contact for more information about volunteering?

Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 757.721.7350 or volunteer@equikids.org.