Each of our horses provides about 320 hours of therapy under saddle during the course of a year. Each also provides countless hours of pleasure to our volunteers, riders and parents who enjoy their company and their unique personalities.
Our therapy horses are chosen for their quiet and generous personalities and their smooth and therapeutic gaits. They are intuitive, nurturing and each equine therapist is very special to all involved the program. Most have lived active and productive lives before joining the therapy program.
NFTRA Therapy Horse Criteria:
- Preferably 7-18 years of age.
- Gelding or mare.
- Show or pony club experience preferred. With our limited time & resources, we do not have the ability to train a horse from the ground up, we will only provide training specific to therapeutic needs.
- Comfortable in arena and on trail.
- Have current veterinary records available.
- Be up-to-date on all vaccines and worming.
- Serviceable sound.
- Have been shod or trimmed ten (10) days prior or less.
- Displays even temperament and predictability.
- Can be ridden and led with people on both sides..
- Obeys voice commands in all gaits.
- Lunges through all gaits going both directions.
- Is able to accept strange noises on and around them.
- Performs smooth transitions being led, lunged and ridden.
- Accepts special therapy equipment.
- Can work independently with riders, as well as with assistance.
- Respects people on ground around them.
We cannot accept horses that have chronic health issues such as hock problems, back pain, loss of vision, etc. or behaviors that bear a potential danger to our program.
NFTRA’s Vision is a respectful workplace for all members at our facility. This included horses, riders, volunteers, staff AND our environment. Thank-you for trusting us with your beloved herd member.
If you have a suitable horse please contact our Head Instructor Rachael:
We currently have seven therapy horses:
Buck | Rupert | Orion | Teddy | Joy | Finn | Tina | Harley | Old Man | CeeJay
Tina came to NFTRA in 2011; she is a chestnut Quarter horse mare born in 1994. She stands 15hh high and is a very dependable girl who is not fazed by much. She´s a great horse for our more independent riders. Tina’s toes (shoes) are proudly sponsored by Northern Lights Learning Center.
Buck & Rupert are almost as wide as they are tall, these Norwegian Fjord geldings had been enjoying a lot of pasture time prior to NFTRA receiving them in the program in November 2009. The pair settled well into life at NFTRA and have proven to be a great asset to our program. Norwegian Fjords are typically strong, gentle in nature, and willing work horses. As well they are generally under 14HH which makes them ideal Therapeutic Equine Therapists. In order to tell one from the other, Rupert has been given a Mullet Mane hair cut and Buck has a mane hair cut that looks like a piano keyboard. Buck & Rupert are 10 years old.
Bramber´s Orion (AKA Orion) If NFTRA had a mascot it would be Orion. His stocky, solid body, and huge face always draws people to him. Orion has the most beautiful, soft, brown eyes you´ll ever see. He is a registered Fjord gelding born in the prairies on March 15, 1996. In March 2002 NFTRA was lucky to welcome him into our program. Orion patiently accepts all riders and calmly does his job helping those folks on his back to enjoy their ride.
Teddy Bear (AKA Teddy) We just can´t seem to have too many of these Fjords. Soon we´ll have enough for our own drill team! Teddy is a 13.1HH Welsh Fjord Gelding born in 1997 whom we purchased in November 2003.
Finn is a 14.2hh Andalusian/Paint gelding, born in 2003. He’s a great horse for our independent riders as he takes great care of his riders.
Joy is a 12.1hh Welsh pony mare, born in 1998 whom we purchased in 2015. She’s a wonderful dependable pony loved by many of our riders. She is trained to ride & drive, a pony of many talents.