I like to learn as much about a new student as I can before acceptance into my program. We can determine together if I offer the kind of equine experience and riding lessons you are looking for, and if I feel I can benefit you with my skills and my horses.
My goal is simply to provide the best possible equine assisted experience for each individual given your goals, desires and abilities.
Horse Time is a very intimate process of self-discovery through the power of the horse and willingness of the student. Good rapport, interest and curiosity are essential for our success together.
Steps To Becoming A Horse Time Student
1) Call Lori Conner, 406-777-4994
2) Attend Your Free Meet & Greet Session
3) Fill Out & Submit Signed Application Forms and Releases
4) Schedule Your First Lesson!
Free Meet & Greet Session
Yes, our first meeting is FREE !
After learning about Horse Time Qualifications, Precautions and Contraindications, and having a phone conversation with Lori, we are ready to schedule your Free Meet & Greet session.
This is a casual meeting with you, me, my horses. This is how we begin to get to know each other, and I make my assessments and begin lesson planning during this session.
The Meet & Greet session is especially important for children with special needs, to get used to the environment and the horses. I learn a lot about my students in a Meet & Greet Session.
I insist on my Meet & Greet session being free so there are no obligations or hard feelings if, after meeting me and my horses, either of us feels like Horse Time is not a good fit for you.
Horse Time Qualifications:
1) Students must be at least 3 years of age
2) Weight Guidelines: This only applies to students who intend to ride. If you exceed my weight guidelines, you are still welcome to participate in therapeutic horsemanship lessons, and experience all the benefits gained from having a relationship with a horse. PATH Intl. guidelines state that the maximum a horse should ever carry is 20% of their own body weight. Less weight is even better. This amount includes the rider's weight plus the saddle, blankets, and tack which can weigh as much as 50 pounds. So the weight limit will vary depending on which horse is used. I must also consider the difference between a rider who is muscular, fit and heavy, versus a rider who presents low muscle tone and weakness who is heavy. My other consideration is that I need to be able to perform a safe emergency dismount in the case of an emergency, and I weigh 135 pounds. I enforce a weight limit of 200 pounds.
3) Footwear: Adult riders must wear appropriate footwear for riding: Boots with a smooth sole and small heel. Hiking boots or tennis shoes are not permitted. Small children who ride in my tiny saddle may wear tennis shoes, as I use a tapadero stirrup (covered stirrup) so a foot cannot slip through.
4) Clothing: All riders must wear comfortable fitted but not tight clothing appropriate for the weather conditions of the day. Layers are encouraged.
5) Behavioral Guidelines: Any behavior presented by a student or guest that may prove to be harmful for my horses, myself or my assistants will be grounds for non-acceptance or dismissal from the Horse Time program.
6) Physicians's Release: I require a Physician's Release Form to be signed by your primary care physician stating that they agree that riding a horse can do no harm to your present condition.
7) Precautions and Contraindications: I follow PATH's guidelines for Precautions and Contraindications for horseback riding. There are certain physical conditions that make it non-beneficial or dangerous to ride a horse. (See below for details)
(Please Scan This Important Information Below If Applicable)
** Then Continue Reading **
Precautions & Contraindications For Therapeutic Riding
Horse Time, Therapeutic Horsemanship & Riding LLC follows PATH International’s guidelines for Safety, Precautions and Contraindications forTherapeutic Riding.
These Precautions and Contraindications DO NOT prohibit anyone from having a meaningful experience with a horse on the ground. These guidelines were established for the student's safety and they only apply to riding a horse.
Precautions For Therapeutic Riding
It is safe for riders whose conditions fit into the Precautions category to ride in a Therapeutic Riding program or a Hippotherapy program. "Precautions" simply means that special care and planning are required beforehand to ensure your safety. I will need participation and detailed information from your physician. Modifications, additional equipment, or regular re-evaluations may be required to assure appropriateness for riding.
Cerebral Palsy: If the CP is the spastic type affecting the legs and trunk, sitting astride may be difficult and hip alignment may be compromised. Riders may begin with legs bent near saddle horn until hips become flexible enough to straddle horse. Riders may also sit sideways on horse with Sidewalker’s assistance to feel benefits of horse’s movement.
Hydrocephalus/Shunt: The fit of the helmet should be adequate for the enlarged head with no increased pressure on the shunt. The rider should have independent head control, even with the added weight of the helmet. If wearing a helmet is impossible, a Helmet Waiver Release Form must be signed by you and your physician. Riders with shunts always have the full team of Horse Leader & 2 Sidewalkers if not able to wear a helmet.
Muscular Dystrophy: Fatigue may dictate tolerance. Rider dictates how long these lessons last according to endurance levels.
Rett Syndrome: Balance is often affected with possible impaired ability to use the arms to catch a fall. Balance may be greatly improved through Therapeutic Riding.
Spinal Cord Injury: Paralysis below T-6 benefit greatly from Therapeutic Riding, creating stimulation to lymphatic system & bowels and allowing the rider independence of mobility.
(Horse Time does not yet have a wheelchair mounting ramp. There is a safe ramp at Faith Therapeutic Riding, and I would be honored to work with you in coordination with this team at their facility)
Contraindications For Therapeutic Riding
Contraindications refer to conditions that prohibit a person from riding a horse in a
Therapeutic Riding program.
Riders whose conditions fit into the Contraindications category might still be able to ride in a Hippotherapy Program, or they may only be appropriate for non-mounted equine activities through a Therapeutic Riding program.
A contraindication may be permanent due to safety or health concerns, or it might be temporary condition as a person recovers from a traumatic injury or until their health improves. Riding may also be contraindicated temporarily until appropriate conditions exist at this program to accommodate your special needs. If Riding is contraindicated, groundwork and other equine assisted activities may still be explored.
Certain Types ofDowns Syndrome: When neurological symptoms of Atlantoaxial Instability are present.
Coxa Arthrosis: Mounted seated activities place extreme stress on the hip joint.
Head/Neck Control: If there is an inability to control for excessive head movement during mounted equine activities.
Seizure Disorders: Recent seizure activity accompanied by strong, uncontrollable motor activity, or atonic or “drop attack” seizures due to their sudden and complete loss of postural muscle tone.
Horse Time Paperwork
When we all agree and you make a commitment to my program, I will present you with a New Student Package with 5 forms for you to fill out and return to me, including:
1) Liability / Hold Harmless / Assumption Of Risk
2) Physician Approval
3) Emergency Medical Treatment
4) New Student Application
5) (Optional) Media Release Waiver
Lori volunteering with Faith Therapeutic Riding as a Certified Instructor, spring 2014
Faith Therapeutic Riding
If you are not a good fit for Horse Time, you may be a good fit for Faith Therapeutic Riding.
Tara Hays is a PATH International Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Volunteer Coordinator for Faith Therapeutic Riding. Tara and I share a goal: we both want to provide the most beneficial equine assisted experience for each individual.
Our Therapeutic Riding programs are very different, nearly opposites actually, and we see this as a good thing. Between Faith and Horse Time, you are likely to find the program that suits your needs. Tara Hays and I refer students to each other as we determine which program can best fit a student's specific needs and desires.
Faith has a fabulous program in Florence, Montana, only 10 miles from mine here in Stevensville. Every lesson at Faith is a celebration, with lots of friendly people and horses, and lots of stimulation. Faith is involved with the Special Olympics and practices skills in preparation for these games. Tara mainly teaches group lessons and only a few private lessons. There is always a big happy team of skilled volunteers when you arrive at Faith. The opportunities for socialization and teamwork are tremendous with this group.
Where Faith is highly social and exciting, Horse Time provides a quite, slow, calm, private, relationship based lessons between horse and student.
Tara and I recognize that our programs are perfect compliments for each other and believe that between Faith and Horse Time, there is a perfect fit for every horse lover.
Let's Get Started!
Now I know enough about you to design a program specifically for you to meet your individual goals and requirements.
When you arrive for your first lesson, your lesson horse, my trained staff and I will all be prepared.