Many of the horses in our programs have been donated to SIRA. If you are interested in considering SIRA as a home for your horse, please complete the Prospective Horse Form and contact Barbara Lonigro, Equine Operations Director, at 718-981-9251 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What makes a great therapy horse?
Thought it may not seem demanding, it is a mentally and physically challenging job for many of our equine friends. A great therapy horse is sound at the walk, trot, and canter, with balanced gaits. The quality of the horse's movement is what most benefits the participant. The horse should be obedient, quiet and well-mannered on the ground and accepting of assistive devices and equipment. The horse must work easily in hand, and tolerate one or two people walking alongside it. We prefer horses under 16 hands.
What is life like for a horse at SIRA?
Our horses usually serve 3-4 participants 4 days per week. They receive routine farrier care, vaccinations, regular worming and dental care. Horses are turned out in small herds with available shelter. Daily care and feeding are provided by the staff and dedicated volunteers.
The horse trial process is as follows:
• The owner provides SIRA with a video of the horse being tacked and ridden at all three gaits.
• If the horse seems appropriate, a SIRA staff member will visit the horse
• If the horse suits our current program needs and space is available at SIRA, the horse will come to SIRA for a trial of 45-90 days.
• During the trial, the horse will be schooled by staff and trained volunteers. We will evaluate temperament, soundness and ability to participate in the program in a manner that is safe and comfortable for the horse and our participants, volunteers and staff.