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Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc.

GUARDIAN PROFILE - Last Updated: 06/07/2018



Chief Staff Officer:  Susan Schoellkopf

Employees:   Full-Time:  2  Part-Time:  7  Volunteers:  150

Does your organization utilize a management company for management and administration? No

Describe your training process for employees and volunteers and the types of human resource documents used in your organization including job descriptions, evaluations, etc. All instructors are certified by PATH international and also have CPR certification. All volunteers must attend yearly volunteer training day and have all their paperwork completed and notarized. Stall cleaners and groundskeepers are trained on the job. We have full job descriptions for each job. And use P.A.T.H resources as we are a accredited facility and have been for twelve years. We evaluate our employees each year.

Governing Body:

Board meetings per year:  10

Number of Board Members:  8  Number of Voting Board Members:  8

Board Compensation:

Is Board Chair compensated?  No  Is Treasurer compensated?  No

Are there any other Voting Board Members that are compensated?  No

Board Relationships:

Are any members of the Board or Staff related to each other through family or business relationships? No

Board Affiliations:

Are any Board members or Staff associated with and/or compensated by another organization with a relationship or business affiliation to your organization? Yes

If yes, provide the name, title, responsibility and family/business relationship of each Board and/or Staff member, and the name of the related organization. Art Bronson is our board treasurer and our one account is at the M&T Bank he is the legal council for.

Conflict of Interest:

Does your organization have a written conflict of interest policy and regularly and consistently monitor and enforce compliance with the policy, including requiring officers, directors or trustees, and key employees to disclose annually interests that could give rise to conflicts?  Yes


1. What percent of your total programs and services are horse-related? 100

2. Describe your specific horse-related programs services or activities:
     The Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center is a non-profit organization which provides a PATH Premier Accredited therapeutic riding program to Western New York children with special needs to help them develop social, emotional, physical and educational skills. We provide a stimulating environment for underprivileged, mentally and emotionally impaired, learning disabled, developmentally and physically challenged children aged 6-18. Each student has a program individualized to their specific needs. Riding is divided into (6) four-week riding sessions. Each child is encouraged to attend as many sessions as possible to receive maximum benefit. The lessons may be 1/2 hour for private or 45 minutes for group lessons (maximum 4 riders per session). The program runs April through November. We are located in the City of Buffalo and are accessible by public transportation, therefore are able to serve a larger community than the rural centers where most equine facilities are located.

3. Enter the total number of facilities/locations where the horses used in the conduct of your horse-related programs are housed and cared for: 1

4. Describe your non-horse-related programs, services or activities you provide, including those involving other animals. N/A

5. Does your organization operate programs involved with animals other than horses?  No


1. Describe your equine management philosophies, practices, policies and operations with respect to the use of the horses in your program, including the rehabilitation and retraining (if applicable), ongoing training, schooling and exercising plan for each horse and your policy as to the number and condition of the horses accepted by your organization. 
     Our horses are on a seven day a week turn out policy. They are ridden by equestrian students at least four days a week. Any potentially donated horses are taken on a two week trial basis and ridden by our instructors. They are tested for physical health and mental attitude. They must tolerate irregular touching, irregular rider behaviors and noises. We do not retrain our horses, they must fall into a therapeutic mind set or we do not accept them in our program. They are gradually put into the program each week and carefully monitored.

2. Describe how your horses are acquired (adoption, seizure, surrender, donation, purchase, auction sale, retirement). 
     Our horse are donated by top professionals in the hunter/jumper world. They are-ex show horses that serve in a new life in the therapeutic riding world. Most are semi-retired but have a lot of good years to provide enjoyment. Our Executive Director knows the owners and facilities from which we receive all of our horses.

3. Describe under what circumstances horses leave your organization. Please describe in detail your horse adoption/fostering practices and procedures including any recruitment initiatives you have to attract potential adopters. Please include your policies and practices with respect to horses that are no longer useful or manageable and horses that need to be retired. 
     Horses that have been in the program for many years and are ready for retirement are placed before health issues arise. This assessment is done throughout the year by Susan Schoellkopf according to how long the horse has been in the program and their age. Through her connections around the country, our Executive Director places the horses at farms where she knows the owners and the facility. We keep in touch regularly with the farm to see how the horse(s) are doing. The horses are discussed at all the board meetings. We have several horses at Melanie Smith-Taylor's farm.

4. For new horses, describe your initial assessment process for each horse (i.e. physical examination, test ride, health record, Coggins test, quarantine, veterinary consult, etc.). 
     We have a donation policy that all horses are required to arrive at our barn with full updated vaccination records and Coggins test. Our instructors ride them for the first two weeks of evaluation to assess their suitability in the therapeutic program. From the instructors riding them we evaluate them with our top professionals at the barn and our vet.

5. Describe your overall horse health care plan and how you assess and monitor the health of your horses on an ongoing basis. Include a description of your vaccination and worming schedule. Include a description of your health/veterinary care plan for at-risk animals, geriatric horses and horses with serious issues. 
     Our health records are the same as our top show horses located at the barn. We vaccinate twice a year. We worm four times a year. We do fecal samples six times a year. Our dentist sees the horses twice a year. We try not to accept horses with serious issues.

6. What is the euthanasia policy? Please include specifically under what circumstances your organization will euthanize a horse and whether your organization will euthanize a healthy but difficult horse for space: 
     A horse is euthanized if it has been determined after through veterinary evaluation that a health problem cannot be treated and the animal is suffering. No horse will be euthanized for space.

7. What is the breeding policy? Please include specifically if horses become pregnant while in your care, and if there is a no-breeding clause in the documentation your organization uses to adopt, donate, sell, etc. a horse: 
     No breeding on the property. No stallions on the property. Mares are turned out separate from geldings. We do not have any no-breeding clause in our adoption agreements.

8. Does your organization provide horses to any facility to use in research or medical training? 

9. If your answer to Question 8 is 'Yes', please explain where and for what purpose horses are provided to use in research or medical training? 
     Several years ago we sent a horse to Cornell University Veterinary School for a cribbing study and the horse was returned to us after the study.

10. Does your organization sell, donate or give a horse to an auction? 

11. If your answer to Question 10 is 'Yes', describe under the circumstances where you have sold, donated, or given a horse to an auction, or where you would sell, donate, or give a horse to an auction. NA

12. Does your organization place horses in foster care? 

13. If your answer to Question 12 is 'Yes', describe how foster homes are selected, screened, and monitored and address all the questions below for each foster home in the space provided: 
     A horse may be placed in foster care if the horse has an injury that requires prolonged rest and rehab. Our Executive Director knows the facilities we use for foster care and the owner/trainers of the facilities. We keep in weekly contact as long as the horse is there. We have been fortunate that all our fostered horses have been returned to us. Last year we did have to foster 1 horse.

14. What is the average equine adoption fee/donation received by your organization: Not applicable; None received

15. Adoption Fee Policies
  Not applicable.

16. What is your position regarding varying adoption fees vs. one set fee:
  Our organization approves of this concept.

17. Provide any additional explanation to your answers if needed:


This section must be completed for each facility/location where the horses used in the conduct of your horse-related programs are housed and cared for. For example, if the applicant is involved with horse rescue and utilizes foster care facilities, the applicant must complete this section for each foster care facility. If the applicant provides equine assisted activities/services to the public at more than one location, the applicant must complete this section for each location that horse-related services are provided. If your organization uses the facility of another organization, please enlist the aid of that organization in answering the questions.

Total facilities at which our organization operates horse-related programs: 1


Location 1 of 1
Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center

950 Amherst Street Buffalo NY 14216

1. Facility General Questions

1. Name of Contact: Susan Schoellkopf

2. Contact's Phone: 7168779295

3. Contact's Email: becandbtrc@aol.com

4. Does your organization own, lease or use a part of this facility? Own

5-8. Not Applicable.

9. Does your organization operate programs involving horses AT THIS FACILITY that serve individuals with special needs, including but not limited to equine assisted activities and therapies? Yes

10. Enter the total number of instructors/trainers (full-time and part-time) involved with your organization's horse-related programs at this facility: 6.

2. Facility Horse-Related Questions

1. Enter the total acreage dedicated specifically to the horses: 7

2. Describe the number and type of pastures and paddocks, fencing, enclosures, stabling including barns and run-in sheds. The BTRC sits on approximately 7 acres and consists of a large main building that includes a club house with heated observation room, three bathrooms, offices, an enclosed 100 x 300ft indoor riding ring with box seating, and 2 attached barns with 37 box stalls each. There are 3 grass paddocks, an outdoor sand round pen, and a 80 x 120ft outdoor riding ring all enclosed with 5' PVC fencing. In back is a separate pole barn with 55 box stalls for horse show stabling and storage space. There is on site parking for cars and trailers. There is a large cinder block manure storage bin in the back of the property. The entire property is fenced.

3. Describe how you manage the use of your pastures/paddocks given the size and number of your pastures/paddocks and the number of horses you have at this facility.
     Each horse is turned out either outside or indoors. Some horses are turned out alone and some can go in groups depending on their turn-out behavior.

4. How many hours of daily turnout do the horses get? (Estimate or Average) 1

5. Describe the area where your training, riding and equine related activities are conducted, including what type of footing/surface is utilized and what factors were considered to determine the suitability and condition of the area for the activities conducted.
     The indoor and outdoor riding rings have sand and dirt footing. George Morris has commented on the excellent footing at out facility during his clinics here. The rings are dragged several times a week, and watered as needed depending on conditions. Sand is added yearly. Manure is dumped and graded in several times a year.

6. Is the facility in compliance with the Care Guidelines for Rescue and Retirement Facilities prepared by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (whether or not your organization is directly involved with rescue and retirement)? Yes

7. If no, please explain and specifically describe the areas in which the facility is not compliant. Not Applicable

8. If this facility is recognized as compliant with the published standards of another applicable organization, and/or accredited by another applicable organization, including any state licensure or registration process, please provide the details.
     We have Premier Accreditation through PATH International.

9. Describe the availability/accessibility of emergency horse transportation at this facility.
     We have our own horse van, and have a list of several local transportation companies and a local trainer has an emergency van which we can access if necessary.

10. Do the horses have specific tack assignments? Yes

11. Describe the plan, process and/or procedures to insure appropriate assessment of tack and the use for saddle fittings, tack, blankets, etc.
     Saddles and bridles are individual fit to each horse. There is a list with all the horses names and the saddles which fit them properly. Their bridles are labeled with there names. After being ridden, each horse is groomed and assessed for any rubs. Each horse has their own sheet, Baker and heavy for use in cooler weather.

12. Describe the system used by your organization to help staff and volunteers readily identify each horse on the property.
     Each horse has a name on the stall. Each horse is matched with a saddle with a number and his or her name, and the same with the bridle. We are very hands on with our staff/volunteers/riders and horses. Our staff and volunteers know each horse by sight.

13. Describe your housing plan and the turnout process/plan for horses normally stall bound.
     Each horse has a box stall and they are turned out in one of our three grass paddocks, sand rind, round pen or indoor ring. Each horse goes out seven days a week. One of our horses that is a larger horse and has the shivers has a double box stall. For our therapeutic horses we do whatever is necessary.

14. Describe your feed, feed management plan and your guidelines for the use of supplements.
     All horses are on "Senior Feed". Supplements are used on an individual basis. Hay is given three times a day. Hay is given according to weight. All horses have salt licks, 2 water buckets (which are cleaned daily)

15. How do you use the Henneke Body Conditioning Score to guide you in your hennekeing/exercising/use practices for each horse?
     We do not use it. We use Jennifer Alfano and Susan Schoellkopf to assess each horse.

16. Please describe your activities to limit or control the advent and spread of disease within your facility (Biosecurity plan). This should include but is not limited to your manure management and disposal procedures, your carcass disposal plan and your parasite control plan. Please indicate the role of your veterinarian in the development and implementation of your overall plan.
     Dr. Melissa Welker has implemented bio security plans. All horses brought to the property must have up to date immunizations and Coggins test. Each horse is quarantined for five days when he or she is brought into the barn for the first time. Our manure is kept in a cement bin and is removed weekly. We have a service for carcass removal and it is done that day. We have a pest control weekly. And we use Fly predators for fly control in the warmer months. We disinfect stalls with any change of occupant.

17. Please describe your emergency preparedness plans that address weather related issues, fire safety procedures and/or any additional hazardous scenarios your facility could potentially experience.
     We are required to meet all these questions by P.A.T.H International. Our fire extinguishers are updated yearly. We are up to date with all of these procedures as we are required to have theses in place to be a certified accredited facility. We also have a full working sprinkler system throughout the building. We don't have any weather related issues. If there is heavy snow all activities can occur indoors. Staff is housed within walking distance to the barn, so they are available 24 hrs a day if needed in an emergency.

18. Please describe the security in place at the facility or facilities to restrict public access and to keep horses safe. Do you have a security system and/or on-premises caretaker?
     The property is fully fenced with electric, coded front gate. During the day the employees monitor the grounds. At night we have a security guard on the grounds. The office has security alarm system.

19. Provide the contact information for the individual or organization responsible for investigating abuse in the county where the facility is located, including mailing address, email address, and phone information.
     SPCA of Erie County 300 Harlem Rd West Seneca, New York 14224 716-875-7360 No e-mail available

20. Other than the animal control authority noted above, provide the contact information for all local, state and/or national authorities with whom your organization engages to address issues impacting horse welfare, including mailing address, email address, and phone information.
     PATH International PO Box 33150 Denver, CO 80233 1-800-369-7433

Veterinarian Information

View The Vet Checklist conducted on 04/14/2018

Veterinarian: Jeanne Best

Clinic Name: Royalton Equine Veterinary Services P.C.    Street: 7735 Chestnut Ridge Road    City: Lockport  State: NY    Zip: 14094

Phone: 716-629-8384    Email: ReQUET@Rochester.RR.com

Instructors assigned to this Facility
(see Instructor Section)

     1. Instructor: Amanda Calistro

     2. Instructor: Christine Ruh

     3. Instructor: Courtney Pfeiffer

     4. Instructor: Jenn Hemingway

     5. Instructor: Jessica Eves

     6. Instructor: Nina Baldy

3. Facility Horse-Related Inventory Questions

1-a. Enter the total number of horses involved with your organization's programs that are currently housed at this facility: 23.

1-b. Enter the total number of horses housed at this facility: 44

1-c. Enter the maximum capacity of horses at this facility: 110

2017 Horse Inventory

1-d. Did your organization operate programs involving horses HOUSED AT THIS FACILITY during January 1-December 31, 2017? Please select Yes or No. Yes

20 2-a. Total number of horses housed at this facility involved with your programs on January 1, 2017.

           + 3 2-b. Total number of intakes other than returns including donated, purchased, surrendered or rescued.

           +  2-c. Total number of horses returned.

23 = Total of 2a-2c

           - 0 2-d. Total number of horses adopted during the year.

           - 0 2-e. Total number of horses transferred to another facility during the year.

           - 1 2-f. Total number of horses deceased during the year.

1 = Total of 2d-2f

22 2-g. Total number of horses housed at this facility involved with your programs on December 31, 2017.

            22 2-h. Total number of horses not retired including horses undergoing rehabilitation and/or retraining.

            0 2-i. Total number of horses permanently retired.

2017 Horse Care Costs

$     Feed (Grain/Hay).

$     Bedding.

$     Veterinarian.

$     Farrier.

$     Dentist.

$     Manure Removal.

$     Medications & Supplements.

$     Horse/Barn Supplies.

$     Horse Care Staff.

$     Horse Training.

$     Other direct horse-related costs not including overhead or other program costs.

$194354     2017 Total Horse Care Costs

$0     2017 Total Donated Horse Care Costs

8030     Grand total of the total number of days each equine was in the care of this facility during 2017.

Average cost per day per horse: $24
Question 3 ($194,354 ) divided by Question 4 (8030).

Average length of stay for an equine: 349 days
Question 4 (8030) divided by total of Questions 2a-c (23).

4. Self Assessment

I. Facility & Grounds


6. Public-Related Questions
(required if programs serve individuals with special needs)

1. How many clients participate in the programs at this facility? 175

2. How many hours per week do you operate the horse-related programs at this facility? 40

3. How many weeks per year do you operate the horse-related programs at this facility? 52

4. What is the average wait list time? 0 Weeks(Weeks/Months/Years)

5. How many hours per day does each horse work? (Estimate or Average)

    Mounted: 1.00  Un-Mounted: 0.00  Total: 1

6. How many days per week does each horse work? (Estimate or Average) 5

7. What percent of your programs and services at this facility are mounted (vs. ground-based)? 99%

8. Provide any additional explanation to your answers if needed.

V. Instructors/Trainers

     1. *Instructor: Amanda Calistro

         *Facility Participation:

         Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center

Is the instructor certified by an organization that provides training in the programs, activities and/or services conducted by the organization? No

     2. *Instructor: Christine Ruh

         *Facility Participation:

         Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center

Is the instructor certified by an organization that provides training in the programs, activities and/or services conducted by the organization? No

     3. *Instructor: Courtney Pfeiffer

         *Facility Participation:

         Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center

Is the instructor certified by an organization that provides training in the programs, activities and/or services conducted by the organization? Yes

Certification 1:

Provide the name of the certifying organization.Path International

Enter the year that the certification was awarded. (yyyy)2015

Is the instructor's certification considered 'active' by the certifying organization? Yes

Briefly describe the nature/level of the certification.Certification for Therapeutic Riding Instructor

     4. *Instructor: Jenn Hemingway

         *Facility Participation:

         Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center

Is the instructor certified by an organization that provides training in the programs, activities and/or services conducted by the organization? No

     5. *Instructor: Jessica Eves

         *Facility Participation:

         Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center

Is the instructor certified by an organization that provides training in the programs, activities and/or services conducted by the organization? No

     6. *Instructor: Nina Baldy

         *Facility Participation:

         Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center

Is the instructor certified by an organization that provides training in the programs, activities and/or services conducted by the organization? No