FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (F.A.Q.)
Can I come to the barn for a tour?
Due to the type of service that we provide, we strive to keep a therapeutic space at all times. As such, we do not provide barn tours or meet & greet sessions to the public. All clients have these included in their services.
How can I book an appointment/session?
Clients can schedule any of our services online through our book now option.
How much do your programs cost?
You are able to view our program options as well as their cost by visiting our book now page.
Do you have programs for people diagnosed with Autism?
Yes, we offer private equine-assisted therapy, ASD Thrive program and ABA services.
What is the minimum age requirement for your programs?
Our Equine Stimulation program is for children 10 months to 4 years; otherwise, all other programs have a minimum age requirement of 5 years old.
Are your services covered by extended health benefits?
Yes, our services are covered by extended health benefits. We have Registered Social Workers on staff. We also have Speech-Language Pathologists and Occupational Therapists as consultants. Your final invoice will have their registration number on it, to be submitted for reimbursement.
Can I watch my family member in the program?
With the exception of our Equine Stimulation program and our ASD Thrive program, no caregivers, siblings or family members are allowed on the farm. We serve a highly vulnerable population and our services are private, so we need to ensure that privacy at all times for our clients.
Can I bring my support animals?
No. Even if you have a registered therapy animal, we cannot allow outside animals on the property. We need to ensure the health and safety of our animals, staff, and clients.
Can we ride the horse?
No. Unless your child in registered in our Equine Stimulation program, there is no horseback riding in our programs.
What should we wear/bring?
- Weather-appropriate clothing (it’s always colder/hotter on the farm than you’d expect)
- Bug spray
- Chairs for some classes – see your confirmation email
- Any additional items will be listed in your confirmation email
Equine Assisted Therapy
Do I need to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder in order to receive your services?
No, you are not required to have a formal diagnosis. We work with clients with and without mental health concerns. We focus on mental, emotional, and social health factors in our equine-assisted therapy sessions.
Is there a waitlist for your program? How long is the waitlist?
Yes, due to the high demand for equine-assisted therapy, we currently have a waitlist. The waitlist time varies depending on how many people are on the list, but we try to open spaces as early as two weeks and as long as two months.
Why are horses used in your therapy programs?
Can I refer my patient to your program?
Yes. Please have them contact the office. (647)390-5397.
What therapy model do you use?
We use Equine Assisted Therapy combined with other evidence-based therapeutic models, such as CBT, DBT, Play Therapy, Family Therapy, Solution-focused therapy, and more.
What happens in a Horse Therapy session?
We have a client-centric model, meaning that we work at the client’s pace and at their comfort level. We will never push you into a space of fear, although at times you may be asked to safely explore just beyond your comfort level. We work with each client at their level during sessions. There are many factors that can impact what happens in a session:
- Clients comfort level
- Ability to process
- Current life
- Past life/trauma
- Mental health space
- Mental illnesses
Depending on what the client is working through we may work on activities as basic as walking and grooming the horse to more complex activities like off-lead work and obstacle courses.
How can I volunteer for your programs?
To become a member of the herd, you must first complete our volunteer certification program, then apply and interview. If you are chosen, you must attend our 2-day volunteer training, sign contracts, and finally, obtain your schedule.
Why do I need to have a volunteer certificate before volunteering with Horse Therapy Centre of Canada?
Before assisting in programs, HTCC requires that our volunteers be certified and adequately trained. Volunteers must understand our clientele, how to communicate within our organization and with clients, and how to manage problems appropriately, accurately, and to the best of their ability.
HTCC provides an in-depth, intensive 1-Day Volunteer Certification that will teach potential volunteers the following:
- Youth Volunteers ( 12 – 17 years old)
- Appropriate Volunteer Work
- Appropriate Volunteer Behaviour
- Horse Facility Volunteering Basics
- Basic Horse Handling Skills
- Adult Volunteers (18+)
- Advanced Leadership Skills
- Appropriate Volunteer Work
- Appropriate Volunteer Behaviour
- Horse Facility Volunteering Basics
- Basic Horse Handling Skills
How old do I have to be to volunteer?
Anyone above the age of 12 is invited to apply to volunteer with our organization.
When do you have your volunteer training programs?
We train volunteer cohorts four times per year.
How many hours per week do I need to volunteer?
We ask that volunteers dedicate a minimum of four hours per week for three months. Most of our volunteers stay with us for years, but there is a three-month commitment required due to the extensive training that we provide our volunteers.
Equine-Assisted Group Therapy
What is group therapy and why would it be beneficial?
Group therapy provides an opportunity to bring people who share similar experiences together. Group therapy usually focuses on a specific mental, emotional or social health concern such as social anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. Completing group therapy can help those understand that they are not alone.
Is group therapy covered by benefits?
Yes. Depending on your benefit coverage, you may be able to have these services covered. Ask your provider if Social Work is covered on your plan.
Do I need to bring my own group?
No, this is not a requirement. We provide private group therapy for individuals who wish to interact with friends, family, coworkers, and more.
What is Equine Stimulation?
Is a fun, engaging, and therapeutic program for children aged 10 months to 4 years. Your child will have fun while increasing their abilities in four developmental areas while working with a professional developmental expert, a horse, and other care workers.
How can Equine Stimulation help my child?
Equine Stimulation will benefit your child’s cognitive, verbal, motor, and emotional skills. During this session, your child will be able to ride a horse, participate in creative activities, explore their natural surroundings, play games, sing songs, and participate in a variety of other developmentally appropriate activities.
Do I have to attend Equine Stimulation with my child?
No, you are not required to participate in horse stimulation with your child. Your children’s practitioner will provide you with at-home activities that you may do with your child to aid in their growth.
I don’t know if my child likes horses, do I have to commit to 5 sessions?
Once accepted into our program, we ask that you commit to five (5) sessions of equine stimulation. This commitment will assist your child in establishing a rapport with their instructor and in achieving some of the specified goals – this will assist you in deciding whether they will continue with Equine Stimulation as part of their developmental routine.
What is play therapy?
Play therapy is a type of counseling or psychotherapy in which play is utilized to assist children in expressing or communicating their feelings.
How can play therapy help my child?
Play therapy can help children 2-12 in many ways. These include emotional, mental and social health concerns, such as: trust in self, trust in others, emotional awareness, family of origin problems, communication, trust, forgiveness, trauma and much more.
Does my child play with the horses in play therapy?
In the play therapy program, children are completely hands on with toys, games, and creative projects. Our play therapy program does not include horses.
What is ABA Therapy?
ABA is an evidence-based therapy for people diagnosed with Autism. We focus on key behaviors that are crucial to the well-being of individuals we serve and have a socially significant influence on their life. Speaking and language development, social skills, adaptive hygiene skills, nutritionally oriented food, and school preparedness are all examples of this. For more information visit our ABA Therapy Page.
How would ABA Therapy benefit my child?
ABA Therapy can Improve learning, language, and communication abilities. It helps improve attention, focus, social skills, memory, and academic performance, as well as reduce problematic habits.
Is your program eligible for Ontario Autism Program funding?
Yes, our clinical supervisor is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) who can provide an attestation form to be submitted to the ministry with expense forms.
ASD Thrive Program
What is the ASD Thrive program?
Our ASD Thrive program is a supportive program developed for our ASD clients who require support and who may not be a good fit for our traditional Equine Assisted Therapy program. ASD THRIVE participants are identified as having a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder Levels 2 & 3.
How would the ASD Thrive assist my child?
Parents and caregivers of ASD participants have expressed that their Level 2 / Level 3 ASD child has gained tremendous benefits from participating in our program, which many standard ASD therapy programs do not deliver. These include: seeing physical affection towards horses while previously unresponsive to physical affection, sleeping through the night, a reduction in self-stims, an overall rise in mood, and more!
Does my child receive any therapy in this program?
This program allows our clients to engage with the horses in the way that they want to and is non-therapeutic in nature, although many client experience therapeutic benefit from being in the program.
How is reintegration therapy beneficial?
Reintegration therapy (RT) is usually mandated by the courts, due to parental alienation problems. In RT we specifically focus on reintegrating the child(ren) with the alienated parent in a way that ensures parental accountability, healthy communication and a safe relationship for the child; however, in general, RT can assist with co-parenting relationships, setting healthy boundaries within relationships, working through difficult emotions, general parenting education, and communication skills.
Do I need to be court-ordered to come to Reintegration Therapy with my family?
No, you do not need to be court-ordered to attend RT to help your relationship with your child(ren); however, you do need to have the permission of your co-parent and we hope that they will also attend to ensure fluidity in healthy relationships for the child(ren).
What kind of retreats do you have?
We host different retreats each year. The subject material is dependent on the year; however, we have family, couples, friends, and singles retreats with subject material that ranges from self-care and general wellness to healing from trauma and abuse.
Where do your retreats take place?
Our international retreat center is located in Cali, Colombia.
How would this retreat benefit my family?
Your days will be packed with activities designed to help you and your family heal at our Equine Assisted Reintegration Therapy Retreat. You will go through the same process as in our standard Reintegration Therapy programs, accepting accountability, creating trust, and beginning to form a healthy relationship with your child(ren). Individual and group treatment and activities will be used to accomplish this.
Do I need to be a practising therapist to complete the EAT Certification Program?
Yes, you need to have a degree in the mental health field, practice under a governing board/body and have over 300 hours or 2 years of horse-handling experience.
What program can non-therapists complete?
What if I am not a mental health professional?
Our Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is a learning method that uses horses to improve learning results. It emphasizes the development of psychosocial skills such as communication, active listening, leadership, teamwork, and many more.
What are the requirements to be registered in Equine Stimulation?
Health practitioners should have at least two years of clinical experience in their discipline, including treating and handling patients, as well as two years of horse-handling expertise. The HTCC certification program is designed for occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathologists, although additional professionals are welcome to participate.
What happens if I do not meet the 300-hour or 2-year horse handling requirement?
For those who have all of the professional requirements but no horse experience, H.T.C.C. provides a 3-day intensive horsemanship program. This supplementary training will assist you in launching your practice and will provide continuing assistance and monitoring for your new venture.
Horse Therapy Camp
Do buses come to my area?
Bus service from Toronto, York Region, Durham Region, and Barrie. Our buses will pick up and drop off your child at one of our authorized bus stops. To guarantee camper safety, all buses are accompanied by a camp counselor.
Can my child attend if they have mobility issues?
Yes, you may give HTCC an overview of your child’s mobility concerns as well as any particular assistance that your child may require.
Can my child attend if they have behavioural issues?
Yes, they can attend; however, depending on the severity of their behavioural issues, they may need a 1:1 or a 1:2 counselor.
Can my child attend if they have social issues?
Yes, they can attend; however, depending on the severity of their social issues, they may need a 1:1 or a 1:2 counselor.
What is a 1:1 or a 1:2 counselor?
Horse Therapy Centre of Canada provides 2-to-1 and 1-to-1 counselors for our clients who require additional help to guarantee the participation of all of our campers. Your child will remain a member of their group, but they will attend camp with their own staff member who will assist them during the day. Please contact us to discuss your child’s requirements.
Is this covered by benefits?
Yes! Most insurance companies cover Equine Assisted Therapy Camp. Inquire with your extended health benefits provider regarding Registered Social Workers’ coverage.
My child is allergic to (allergen) and needs an EpiPen, can they attend camp?
Yes. You can provide us with an EpiPen that can be stored in our camp refrigerator. We have an on-site nurse who can aid incase of emergencies.
Why is your horsemanship program different than other programs?
You will work one-on-one with an HTCC staff member to learn at your own speed and at your own level. Our knowledgeable team will walk you through all you need to know about horses.
What will I learn?
The dynamics of herds, At all times, safety, How to Deal with Horses How to Take Care of Horses (including feed, health, and more), Horse attire (blanketing, masks and boots), Proper use and fit of equipment, Equine experts and their roles in equine care, Equine anatomy, Equine nutrition, Stable management, How to interact with horses using energy, and much more.
I have a horse, can I bring it to the farm for lessons?
No, we cannot have other animals on site, as much as we would want to have our furry friends visit our facilities with their parents. This is to protect the safety of our employees, animals, and other participants at our facilities.
Is horsemanship covered by benefits?
No, however, if you want to join a program that is covered by your benefits, we have many others that you can attend.
We want to address key issues in our teams, can you do that?
Yes, you can present our staff with the three major concerns you want us to address across the board. To address these issues, HTCC will provide a customized curriculum filled with games, engaging activities, practices, and more.
What subjects can we cover in the event?
We can discuss a wide range of subjects throughout the program. The programs are tailored to your group and the specific issues and concerns that you desire to address.
We want to do group therapy to address internal system traumas, can we do that?
Yes, we can provide corporate group therapy.
We have a small/large group, can we still come?
This is not an issue; we accept small and large groups.
Stable Minds – School Program
Is there a minimum or maximum number of students we can bring?
We have a maximum of 30 students in each class that can attend our facility. This is to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and animals.
Can this be reimbursed through benefits for parents?
Yes! Inquire with your extended health benefits provider regarding Registered Social Workers’ coverage.
Can low-income families be provided with support through your agency?
You can submit a scholarship application to our organization if you are interested in program assistance for your child(ren).
Is this even relaxing?
No, this is goat yoga! They will jump on you, run about like crazy, accidentally run into you, and give you all the cuddles in the world. Goat yoga is not intended to be relaxing; rather, it is intended to be memorable and enjoyable.
Why yoga with goats?
Why not? We considered performing yoga with pigs, but they are really lazy. Goats are sociable, funny, and joyful. They’re ideal for yoga. In addition, the horses are too large for yoga. Goats are the ideal size!
Can I get injured by the goats?
Goats are well-known for attempting to headbutt you. It indicates that they want to play with you. You will be well as long as you are cautious, aware of your surroundings, and respectful of the animals. You are more likely to get pooped on than to be injured.
Is there an age requirement?
No. We provide a fun, hands-on birthday party experience for children of all ages. We can make your next birthday memorable for everyone, from toddlers to senior members.
Is there a maximum amount of people I can bring?
HTCC limits the number of birthday party guests to 35 to protect the safety of guests, staff, and animals.
Are food and snack included in the price?
Food and snacks are offered at an extra cost. We provide decorations and decorating services. We can also supply cake/cupcakes. If you are interested, please include a request for these additional add-ons and services in your application form.
Who is this for?
HTCC provides assistance to anyone who may require it. There is no age limit. Send in your application today! We use a triage-type system with funds allocated to the most in-need clients first.
Are there specific documents required for the application?
Upon the completion of your application, you must provide HTCC with proof of income as well as documentation of any third-party assistance you are currently receiving.
How do I know if I get approved or denied?
If I fill out an application, am I guaranteed funding?
No, you are not guaranteed funding. We use a triage-type system with funds allocated to the most in-need clients first.
Does HTCC always have funding?
No, funding is 100% dependent on private donors. If there aren’t any funds available, then we cannot provide funding.
Where do the donations go?
You, as the donor, have the option of selecting. You may sponsor a client, a horse, or camp tuition. You can donate as a named or anonymous donor.
What does it mean to sponsor a horse?
All sponsorship funds go directly towards paying for the horse’s care. This includes hay/feed, medicine, vet and farrier services, and much more!
Can I come to meet the horse that I sponsor?
Once a year HTCC has a sponsor appreciation event. At this time, you will be invited to come to spend time with the horse that you have sponsored, take pictures, and meet the entire HTCC team.
Can I meet the client that I sponsor?
Due to client confidentiality, we cannot guarantee that the sponsor will meet the client; however, it is something that we offer the client and if they agree HTCC can organzie a meeting between parties.
How do I get funding from any of your community partners?
We will make every effort to assist you with funding.
Is there a limit to funding from your community partners?
The client, their circumstance, and their needs decide funding amounts and limits.
Have you had clients struggle to receive funding from these partners in the past?
No, we have not had any clients who had difficulty obtaining funding. If you are experiencing difficulty obtaining funding, please contact us; we will always try to assist you.
Do any of these partners offer transportation to your facility?
You can contact the agency to determine whether they offer transportation services. It is determined by the agency.