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Compassionate Friends Therapeutic Riding Center

GUARDIAN PROFILE - Last Updated: 05/26/2018



Chief Staff Officer:  Sherri Briggs

Employees:   Full-Time:  1  Part-Time:  0  Volunteers:  50

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. We have an orientation to look at our facility as well as a training video that they must watch the first day. The first few lessons the new volunteer shadows seasoned volunteer to make sure that the new volunteers is comfortable with the rider and our horses. There is additional training which takes place for our volunteers whether they have horse experience or not with our horses. We will train them in grooming and caring for the horse as well as leading and understanding therapy horses.

Governing Body:

Board meetings per year:  4

Number of Board Members:  5  Number of Voting Board Members:  5

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? Yes

If yes, provide the name, title, responsibility and family/business relationship of each Board and/or Staff member. Jack Allison Treasurer and Chief operating officer and Sherri L Briggs president are married.

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. The President owns the property at which the organization conducts its programs.

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:
     Located in Medford and serving the South Jersey community, Compassionate Friends Therapeutic Riding Center (CFTRC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to providing structured horsemanship programs specifically designed to achieve maximum therapeutic benefit for individuals with special needs. In an equine-assisted activity (EAA) program, a certified or specially-trained riding instructor teaches a person with a disability how to ride a horse. The benefits of horseback riding are as numerous as the types of disabilities and conditions served. Research shows that students who participate in therapeutic riding can experience physical, emotional and mental rewards. Because horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider's body in a manner similar to a human gait, riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, balance and muscle strength. For individuals with mental or emotional disabilities, the unique relationship formed with the horse can lead to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem. The sense of independence found on horseback benefits all who ride. The therapeutic qualities of horseback riding are recognized by many medical professionals, including the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Occupational Therapy Association.

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. We have no non-horse related programs.

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. 
     At Compassionate Friends Therapeutic Riding Center (CFTRC) we develop schooling protocol based on each horse’s needs. We don’t believe in a “one size fits all” use or training program. Great care goes into assessing each horse’s strengths and weaknesses, age, condition, and preferences. We believe that schooling and exercising are just as important for our equines’ minds as their bodies so we also try to incorporate excercises based on what each of our horses enjoys. Generally we school each horse for 45-60 minutes 2-3 times a week but that is adjusted as needed. Our horses are used for a maximum of 3 hours per day which is half of the maximum outlined by PATH. Again, that number is adjusted lower as needed for our more senior or special needs horses. After a thorough assesment of each equine’s health and fitness, we assign a maximum rider weight individual to each horse. Wehave a set an overall max weight of 250lbs for our therapeutic riders. At present, CFTRC has 7 horses and we are interested in acquiring an 8th horse. We don’t have a set-in-stone policy for the number of horses in our program because that number will increase as we grow and, at present, we have space for 10 horses. In general we look for horses with few health concerns, but we are more focused on temperment since they have to be quiet, sound horses who can function happily in a therapeutic environment.

2. Describe how your horses are acquired (adoption, seizure, surrender, donation, purchase, auction sale, retirement). 
     We acquire horses through adoption, donation, purchase, or retirement.

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. 
     While we have been lucky that we haven’t had to tackle this issue yet, our plan for the future is to have the horses retired either on the CFTRC property as pasture ponies who, when appropriate, are used for grooming lessons, or to retire them to neighboring farms located within a half an hour drive of our facility so we and our students can still visit with them.

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.). 
     When considering welcoming a new horse into our program we first physically examine the horse for soundness, review their veterinary records, and do a preliminary personality assessment. We will then have one of our instructors do a test ride, and if we feel as though the horse might be a good fit, we then have our veterinarian examine the horse. Upon a clean examination, we will welcome the horse to our property in a quarantine area for a minimum of 2 weeks, potentially more if we feel it is neccesary. We slowly begin working with the new horse using various desensitization and training techniques. Once we feel confident they are appropriate for our students we enter them into our program.

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. 
     At Compassionate Friends the horses have a minimum of 2 veterinary checks per year, with our senior and special needs quines seen and treated more often as is needed. The CFTRC horses are vaccinated in the Spring and Fall with Vetera EWT+WNV and Vetera EHV1-4/FLU. Additionally, in the spring they are tested for Coggins and given Pinnacle I.N. for strangles. Our horses are given Equi Aid CW continuous wormer daily and Ivermectin 4 times a year.

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: 
     CFTRC would only ever euthanize a horse if the veterinarian reccomended it as the only option for a sick and/or injured horse. We would never euthanize an animal because of 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: 
     CFTRC does not breed horses. We only have geldings on our property and it is the preference of the program to only have geldings in the program going forward. If we were ever offered a stallion who had an appropriate temperment he would be quickly gelded before entering the program. If we ever did decide bring a mare to the property there would be no risk of her becoming pregnant while in our care because of the aforementioned ”gelding-only” policy.

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?  NA

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: NA

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 has never considered 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
*Vet Checklist Not Current/Upload current Vet Checklist.
40 Cooper Tomlinson Rd

40 Copper Tomlinson Rd Medford NJ 08055

1. Facility General Questions

1. Name of Contact: Sherri Briggs

2. Contact's Phone: 609-320-5363

3. Contact's Email: sbriggs@cftrc.org

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

5. If not owned, provide the name, address, phone, email and contact person of the organization(s) and/or individual(s) who owns the facility: Sherri Briggs and Jack Allison
40 Cooper Tomlinson Rd
Medford, NJ 08055

6. If your organization does not own this facility, does your organization have a written agreement with the owner? Enter Yes or No.   Yes

7. If your organization does not own this facility, please provide the following information below: Start date and end date of current written agreement (term) and what is the organization's plan for the end of the written agreement? 
     The written agreement is less than a page long. It dictates that Compassionate Friends Therapeutic Riding Center may use the facility on the property of Jack Allison and Sherri Briggs indefinitely.

8. If your organization leases or uses a part of this facility, please provide the details as to what services are provided by the owner and if and how the owner is compensated.. 
     The owner of the facility (Sherri) is the Presisent and Program director of CFTRC. She provides total care of the horses and maintenance of the facility. CFTRC pays the board of the horses to the owner.

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: 1.

2. Facility Horse-Related Questions

1. Enter the total acreage dedicated specifically to the horses: 6

2. Describe the number and type of pastures and paddocks, fencing, enclosures, stabling including barns and run-in sheds. There are 7 pastures, 1 run in shed, 2 barns, and an indoor arena. The paddocks are enclosed with 4 rail painted wood fencing.

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.
     The paddocks are picked daily, weather permitting. During the winter there are 4 paddocks in use that are rotated every few days using 2 at a time. During the summer we have 4 pasture paddocks in use that are rotated weekly using 2 at a time, and because some of our horses cannot be grazed, we also have 3 dry paddocks in use that are rotated every few days.

4. How many hours of daily turnout do the horses get? (Estimate or Average) 15

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.
     CFTRC has an indoor arena with rubber and sand footing that is treated with MAG Flakes to control dust. The outdoor arena footing is sand and stone dust, and it is watered for dust control in the morning and late afternoon using sprinklers.

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.
     CFTRC is a PATH center and we are working towards becoming a Premier Accredited center. We are also an HRH of NJ facility.

9. Describe the availability/accessibility of emergency horse transportation at this facility.
     There is a 2 horse trailer on the property.

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.
     When a new horse comes to CFTRC, we have a saddle fitter come out to ensure proper initial saddle fit. Our instructors are all PATH certified and have many years of training to provide ongoing fitting assessments for all pieces of tack. The same individuals are responsible for blanket assignments.

12. Describe the system used by your organization to help staff and volunteers readily identify each horse on the property.
     There is a photo of each horse labeled with their name in the tack room above each of their assigned tack and grooming supplies.

13. Describe your housing plan and the turnout process/plan for horses normally stall bound.
     During the winter, the horses are in stalls from approximately 9:30pm – 7:00am (the coldest part of the day) and during the summer they are in from approximately 12:00pm – 5:00pm (the hottest part of the day). Outside of those times they are turned- out in their paddocks.

14. Describe your feed, feed management plan and your guidelines for the use of supplements.
     CFTRC horses are assessed for weight, health issues, fitness, etc. and then a feed and supplement program is developed for each horse. We use Tribute brand feed, whatever supplements they need, and Timothy/Orchard grass mix for hay.

15. How do you use the Henneke Body Conditioning Score to guide you in your hennekeing/exercising/use practices for each horse?
     Our aim is to keep our horses fit so they are in the best health possible. We aim to keep our horses around a 5 or 6 on the scale.

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.
     We store manure in a dumpster that is emptied by American Disposal Systems as needed. There are automatic fly sprayers in each stall to keep the flies under control while the horses are stabled, and fly predators are in use all over the property between March and October. Should a horse be euthanized on the property, a horse disposal company comes to remove the deceased animal once the veterinarian has declared them.

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.
     Fire 1. Cease all riding and other activities. 2. Evacuate all non-essential staff and volunteers. 3. Dial 911 and report the fire. 4. Halter the horses and put them in the back left and back right fields. Take care in noting that the horses are released wearing the halters with their names and the phone number of CFTRC engraved on the metal plate. Flood 1. Cease all riding and other activities. 2. Evacuate all non-essential staff and volunteers. 3. Halter the horses and put them in the back left and back right fields. Take care in noting that the horses are released wearing the halters with their names and the phone number of CFTRC engraved on the metal plate. 4. In the case that water tops the back fields, the horses will be trailered to Woodhaven Farm at 41 Ark Road in Medford, NJ. Falling/Fallen Tree 1. Get out of the way, if possible. 2. Cease all riding and other activities in the area of the fallen tree. Riding may continue in a secure location away from the incident site. 3. If anyone is injured dial 911 for an ambulance. The person certified as a first responder who is on the property will administer first aid as needed. 4. Check all fencelines near fallen tree for damage and relocate horses to secure paddocks if necessary. 5. Repair any damaged fencelines or other property as needed. Tornado/Hurricane 1. Cease all riding and other activities. 2. Halter the horses and put them in their stalls. Take care in noting that the horses are stabled wearing the halters with their names and the phone number of CFTRC engraved on the metal plate. 3. Check all gates on the property and ensure they are securely closed. 4. Fill all troughs with water and place in the center of each field. 5. Secure all structures and equipment on the property as much as possible. 6. Evacuate all non-essential staff and volunteers. Anyone staying on premises must relocate to the basement of the main house and secure all exits.

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 owner of the facility lives on premises. There is also an electronic gate at the entrance to the property and an extensive gating system throughout the areas of the property where the horses are kept.

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.
     Burlington County SPCA Humane Police 3135 Rt. 206 South, Suite 5 Columbus, NJ 08022

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 I international PO Box 33150 Colorado 80233 800--369-7433

Veterinarian Information

View The Vet Checklist conducted on 03/26/2018

Veterinarian: Matthew Edson DVM

Clinic Name: Rancocas Veterinary Associates    Street: 84 Mill Street    City: Mount Holly  State: NJ    Zip: 08060

Phone: 609-261-7280    Email: mail@rancocasvet.com

Instructors assigned to this Facility
(see Instructor Section)

     1. Instructor: Sherri Briggs

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: 5.

1-b. Enter the total number of horses housed at this facility: 9

1-c. Enter the maximum capacity of horses at this facility: 10

2016 Horse Inventory

1-d. Did your organization operate programs involving horses HOUSED AT THIS FACILITY during January 1-December 31, 2016? Please select Yes or No. Yes

2-a. Total number of horses housed at this facility involved with your programs on January 1, 2016.

           + 1 2-b. Total number of intakes other than returns including donated, purchased, surrendered or rescued.

           + 0 2-c. Total number of horses returned.

9 = Total of 2a-2c

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

           - 1 2-e. Total number of horses transferred to another facility during the year.

           - 0 2-f. Total number of horses deceased during the year.

1 = Total of 2d-2f

2-g. Total number of horses housed at this facility involved with your programs on December 31, 2016.

            8 2-h. Total number of horses not retired including horses undergoing rehabilitation and/or retraining.

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

2016 Horse Care Costs

$8190     Feed (Grain/Hay).

$5720     Bedding.

$1060     Veterinarian.

$1560     Farrier.

$166     Dentist.

$0     Manure Removal.

$2200     Medications & Supplements.

$250     Horse/Barn Supplies.

$0     Horse Care Staff.

$0     Horse Training.

$0     Other direct horse-related costs not including overhead or other program costs.

$19146     2016 Total Horse Care Costs

$     2016 Total Donated Horse Care Costs

2645     Grand total of the total number of days each equine was in the care of this facility during 2016.

Average cost per day per horse: $7
Question 3 ($19,146 ) divided by Question 4 (2645).

Average length of stay for an equine: 294 days
Question 4 (2645) divided by total of Questions 2a-c (9).

4. Self Assessment

I. Facility & Grounds

     1. Signage: Are rules, restrictions and warnings posted in or near appropriate areas? All of the time

     2. Lighting: Are rules, restrictions and warnings posted in or near appropriate areas? All of the time

     3. Emergency Contacts: Are emergency contacts posted in easily accessible locations for staff members if only cell phones are available or by each phone if landlines are available? All of the time

      4. First Aid Kits: Are human and equine first aid kits up-to-date and easily accessible? All of the time

B. Structural

      1. Condition of surface: Are horses provided a clean, dry area on which to stand & lay? All of the time

      2. Flooring - drainage & traction: Are floors constructed and maintained for both good drainage and traction? All of the time

      3. Ventilation for enclosed shelters: Is there adequate ventilation and circulation to control temperature and prevent buildup of toxic gases? All of the time

      4. Electrical wiring condition: Is wiring inaccessible to horses and maintained for safety? All of the time

      5. Fire Prevention & protective measures: Are fire prevention and protection measures including fire alarms, extinguishers and sprinkler systems, maintained and in good working order? All of the time

      6. Quarantine/Isolation: Is there a designated and separate area for isolation and quarantine? Yes

      7. Ill/injured containment: If horses live outside, is there a designated and separate area (stall or enclosure) to house ill/injured horses?

      8. Are the horses housed in stalls/enclosures? Yes-Half of the time

      8-a. If yes, Stall/enclosure size: Do structures allow horses to lie down, stand up and turn around? All

      8-b. If yes, Stall/enclosure cleanliness: How often are stalls/enclosures cleaned? 6-7 days a week

      8-c. If yes, Adequate ceiling & beam height: Is there a minimum of 12 inches above the tip of the horse's ear when standing? All of the time

C. Paddocks/Yard/Pastures/Turnout

      1. Turnout/Exercise Space & opportunity: Is there space and opportunity for horses to exercise or be turned out? All of the time

      2. Fencing - type, height, safety: Are these spaces appropriately fenced? All

      3. Use of electric wire or tape fence: Are electric wires or tape fence visibly marked? Please select 'All or NA' if electric wire or tape fence is not used. All or NA

      4. Condition of fences & gates: Are fences and gates functioning properly by being maintained and repaired when needed? All

      5. Condition of paddock/yard: Are these spaces free from equipment and debris? All

      6. Availability of shelter: Are natural or man-made shelters available to horses for protections from elements? All of the time

      7. Cleanliness: How often are these spaces cleaned? Daily or 6 Days a Week

II. Horse Care

      1. Hoof Care: How often is hoof care provided for each horse? Every 1-2 months

      2. Dental Care: How often is dental care provided for each horse? Annually

      3. Physical Examinations: How often is each horse given a physical exam by a veterinarian? Annually

      4. Horse checks: How often are horses visually and physically checked by personnel at the facility? 6-7 days a week

      5. Food & Water Storage: Are all hay, feed, grain and water sources clean, free of debris and chemicals, and protected from weather and other animals? All of the time

      6. Drinking water: How often do horses have access to clean drinking water? All of the time

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

1. How many clients participate in the programs at this facility? 40

2. How many hours per week do you operate the horse-related programs at this facility? 29

3. How many weeks per year do you operate the horse-related programs at this facility? 39

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: 2.00  Un-Mounted: 0.00  Total: 2

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)? 80%

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

V. Instructors/Trainers

     1. *Instructor: Sherri Briggs

         *Facility Participation:

         40 Cooper Tomlinson Rd

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)2007

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

Briefly describe the nature/level of the certification.Provide therapeutic horsemanship activities to special needs riders

Please use the space below to share any additional information about this instructor. Sherri is presently working on her degree in speech pathology. This will allow us to provide hippo - therapy to student with language deficits.