Open T.R.A.I.L. Ranch is currently seeking younger, more experienced horses for sale or donation.

Open T.R.A.I.L. Ranch provides equine-assisted activities and therapies to children, adults and veterans with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. 

Working in a program that provides various Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies is a difficult job and not every horse is cut out for this type of program. 

A typical therapeutic activity horse gives about three lessons a day and most likely will be used four days a week. Our programs at OTR are less strenuous on horses than some forms of competitive riding but all of our herd still needs to be in good shape and able to work on a consistent basis.

Therapy Horse Criteria

  • Calm, patient and friendly temperament with excellent ground manners
  • Sound in all three gaits (walk, trot, canter or walk, job, lope)
  • Symmetrical conformation with no injuries or vices
  • Ideally between the ages of 8-20 years old
  • Training in a Western or English discipline preferred
  • Show ring experience is a plus
  • No major health issues and up to date on vaccinations, deworming, dental, and farrier
  • Sight in both eyes

As part of the OTR Herd, your horse will receive:

  • Feeding three times a day
  • Turn out everyday (except in bad weather)
  • Groomed 1 or more times per day
  • Hand walked and/or exercised 2+ days a week (in addition to warm-up and class time)
  • Lots of love from volunteers, staff, and riders
  • Their own stall every night

Frequently asked questions about donating a horse:

Open T.R.A.I.L. Ranch is not a sanctuary for retired equines, nor a rescue organization, but rather a special place where a special category of equine comes to fill a special need.

It is the policy of Open T.R.A.I.L Ranch to accept donations of equines from their owners for the purpose of our EAL/Therapeutic Riding Program.

Equines accepted into Open T.R.A.I.L Ranch’s program must be mentally and physically healthy and sound, and they must be able to maintain a moderate work schedule.

Yes, Open T.R.A.I.L. Ranch asks for a 90-day trial period.

Yes, Open T.R.A.I.L. Ranch asks for a 90-day trial period.

Within the 90 days, the equine gets acclimated to his new environment and then matriculates into the herd. After that Open T.R.A.I.L Ranch staff and conditioning team riders will ride him to make sure that he is not stressed in the new environment. Then we will conduct another evaluation similar to what was done at your property.

If all of that goes well (and this takes 2-3 weeks) he will get put into classes to partner with riders with disabilities. This can cause stress as well. If there is ever a point where we feel that we are causing too much stress and your horse is not happy, he will be dismissed from the program.

It is Open T.R.A.I.L Ranch’s policy that to have a therapeutic session, it must be mutually beneficial to all those involved, including the horse!

We recognize that you are donating a valued and loved family member. We want you to be ready to sever this emotional tie.

At day 90, you may say that you made a mistake and are not ready to part with your friend., and that is OK.

We will work something out. It may mean that we take ownership earlier than 90 days and if he does not work out, and you cannot take him back, we will find him a good home.

Open T.R.A.I.L Ranch may refuse an equine donation for any reason at any time, but absolutely will not take:

  • Any equine that is not sound at the walk, trot, and canter.
  • Any equine diagnosed with Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) via a positive Coggins Test. A
  • Any equine that is blind in one or both eyes
  • Any equine diagnosed with Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM), and/or other neurological conditions.
  • Any equine that is a stallion

 

Two evaluators will come to your horses current living facility.

We will observe you grooming and tacking up (during this time we will be evaluating his ground manners as well as his conformation)

  • We may get involved and poke and pull and touch ears to see if he has any sensitive spots.
  • We then will test his sensitivity to silly stuff like balls, noisy toys, bags, pompoms, bubbles, etc.
  • We will lead him at a walk and trot from both sides.
  • You will ride at a walk, trot and canter both directions.
  • We will then lead him while you are mounted. We may even act like you are one of the clients and crowd him with side walkers to see if he tolerates this.
  • One or both of the evaluators will ride him at a walk, trot, and canter.
Generally the evaluation can take up to 90 minutes.

If the horse is not sound at the walk trot or canter

If the horse has negative behaviors such as biting, kicking, rearing, bolting, or even attempts any of those

Any injuries sustained while on the property of Open T.R.A.I.L Ranch will be paid for by Open T.R.A.I.L Ranch.

If after vet check, the veterinarian recommends a treatment for an undiagnosed or undisclosed issue, we will consult with the owner.

If the owner chooses to have treatment done, it will be at the owner’s expense. If the owner does not treat a condition that could progress, then Open T.R.A.I.L. Ranch may choose to end the trial and return the horse to its owner.

Open T.R.A.I.L. Ranch does not have colic surgery performed on equines in our possession. We will make every effort to contact the owner/donor if you would elect to pay for colic surgery. The horse would then become your responsibility for rehabilitation.

Once the equine’s service is completed, the donor will be the first party contacted. If the equine cannot be returned to their care, a suitable home will be found for the equine.

You can absolutely come and visit your horse any time the Ranch is open for business or at a prearranged time with the Executive Director.

Due to insurance issues, you may continue to ride your horse if you go through volunteer training, get on the conditioning team, and follow the rules of Open T.R.A.I.L. Ranch.

Open T.R.A.I.L. Ranch is a nonprofit organization, which means that you may deduct the fair market value of the horse you are donating to our program and any cost associated with transferring the horse to us (transport, Coggins, etc.).

A copy of your signed Equine Donation Contract serves as your receipt, as we ask you to indicate the fair market value of your horse on this document.

Horses with a fair market value of $5000 or higher must be appraised by a current member of the American Society of Equine Appraisers, and a copy of the appraisal must accompany your donation contract (www.equineappraiser.com) – not our rule, the IRS’s.

You will also need to retain a copy of any appraisal for tax purposes. This will not be done by Open T.R.A.I.L. Ranch.