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Ride With Us

New Participant Information

Swiftsure Ranch | Ride with Us

Ride with Us

The goal of Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center is to empower those we serve through equine partnerships and ranch experiences. We are a nonprofit organization that offers equine assisted activities to individuals with physical, emotional, social or cognitive diagnoses or challenges at no charge to the participant or their families.

Eligibility for Services

Participants must be at least 4 years of age.

Participants must have all paperwork completed to be eligible. Paperwork includes a New Participant Form and the Professional Referral form. An AAI form is necessary for any individual with Down syndrome participating in mounted activities. An annual update form must be completed to maintain eligibility.

Participants must have the Professional Referral Form completed by a licensed specialist. If the individual is applying for services for a physical diagnosis or if the individual has a physical issue that may be of a concern, a physician must be one of the referring specialists. Other specialists may include; PT, OT, behavior specialist, mental health therapist, social workers, special education teachers, etc.

Participants will have to complete a yearly updated Professional Referral form to maintain eligibility. Some individuals will graduate from the program.

Participants must have reliable and timely transportation to and from the ranch for their lesson.

Swiftsure has the right to provide alternate services other than mounted activities if there are any safety concerns for the participant, instructor, equine or volunteers.

Benefits from Equine Activities

The rhythmic motion of the horse allows participants to improve muscle tone, balance, coordination, flexibility, sensory registration, motor control and many more physical benefits while having fun enjoying exercise and learning in a positive environment.

The connection between horses and humans has proven to foster respect and confidence while the patient nature of our horses helps reduce anxiety and fear. Learning how to work with horses can be incredibly empowering for individuals.

Learning horsemanship and riding skills is highly motivating for participants to accomplish difficult tasks and reach their full potential.

Horse, participant, instructor and volunteers become a team, offering the rider the opportunity to develop social and communication skills that go beyond the barn.

The Lesson

Lessons at Swiftsure are one hour once a week. Many lessons are supported by incredible volunteers who donate their time.  We have limited resources so lesson availability is filled in order of need.

Swiftsure is a learning barn and not a show training barn. Every lesson focuses on the physical, social, cognitive or emotional needs of the participants and instructors support those needs through equestrian and ranch activities.

Cost: FREE
Days: Monday through Friday year round
Time: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Four Sessions: winter, spring, summer, fall
(208) 578-9111
(208) 788-0259 fax

Referral Requirements

All new participants must be referred by a doctor, therapist, teacher, social worker, probation department, mental health professional or other health professional.

Swiftsure will accept any new participant for whom the appropriate resources are available, including but not limited to horse, tack, equipment, instructor, volunteers, and facility, and for whom activities are not contraindicated according to Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.).  If mounted activities are not recommended, then Swiftsure may pursue unmounted activities for that new participant.

Parent or Legal Guardian Interaction

A parent or legal guardian must contact the Lead Instructor at the Swiftsure office to discuss eligibility and fill out all applicable enrollment forms. No participant may begin sessions with Swiftsure until all forms are received. The enrollment forms can be obtained following an initial conversation with the Lead Instructor. Once all enrollment forms are received, the Lead Instructor will contact the participant/parent/guardian to schedule an in-person preliminary assessment.

Preliminary Assessment

The participant and his/her parent(s) or caregiver must attend a preliminary assessment with a Swiftsure instructor. This process is in place to help Swiftsure set goals and establish the best plan possible for each individual student.  It is also at this time that precautions and contraindications to riding for particular disabilities are reviewed and discussed on an individual basis.  If no contraindications are present and Swiftsure is able to accommodate the perspective student, the Lead Instructor will communicate with the participant/parent/guardian to schedule a weekly lesson.  Should there be no available lesson times, the participant will be placed on the waiting list and will begin lessons as soon as a lesson spot becomes available.

Swiftsure reserves the right to deny or remove a participant from a session if his/her actions jeopardize the safety of the horses, staff, volunteers or him/herself.