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Heavenly Gaits Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc.

GUARDIAN PROFILE - Last Updated: 05/26/2018



Chief Staff Officer:  Monique Nellis

Employees:   Full-Time:  0  Part-Time:  0  Volunteers:  15

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. Our volunteers attend at least one mandatory training to start and various other optional seminars and workshops that might occur throughout the year. Volunteers are required to submit Criminal Background checks and a Child Abuse History Clearance. Employees and directors are also required to submit a FBI background check.

Governing Body:

Board meetings per year:  12

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? 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? No

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?  No


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

2. Describe your specific horse-related programs services or activities:
     We provide therapeutic riding for people with disabilities. Some summer camps are open to the general public to educate children and adults on equine care, barn management, and various horsemanship skills. We have a Special Olympics training program that teaches the skills necessary to compete in equestrian at the state level.

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 only offer horse related services. Various projects come up for future development of the facility but no revenue is received from the services.

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. 
     We currently do not accept horses that need any training. We expect them to already have training in the areas that we need to benefit our program when they arrive. Their grooming and exercise activities are logged each day. No horse will exceed the six hour work day. Our horses are used for no more than two consecutive hours twice a day. We currently are not able to accept any more horses at this time. We have room to accommodate ten equines until an addition on the stable is complete. At that time we will accommodate a maximum of sixteen horses.

2. Describe how your horses are acquired (adoption, seizure, surrender, donation, purchase, auction sale, retirement). 
     Our horses have all been donated. We have a series of evaluations that we use to determine if the horse is appropriate for our program. Once deemed acceptable, the horses are placed on a 90 day probationary period. After the end of the probationary period they are either returned to their previous owner or donated to our organization.

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 are no longer a benefit to our program are re-homed to a suitable horse owner. This is voted on by our board of directors to be in the best interest of the horse as well as the organization and the people that volunteer there. Horses leave our organization mostly because they are not suitable for the program. This could be the result of behavioral issues, reactions to objects or riders in lessons, or an injury that negatively affects the movements of the horse to the rider. There could be other instances where the cost of care is more than the cost of services rendered. We have yet to form any practices or procedures to recruit potential adopters.

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.). 
     Prior to bringing a new horse to our facility, we administer a battery of tests which include desensitization to objects, noises, and movements, ground work behavior, and a mounted riding skills assessment. We also complete a series of forms concerning health and behavioral history. The vet will then give a physical as well as a Coggins test. Each horse is required to have a negative test prior to coming to our facility. Once at our facility, the horse will have a two week period of acclimation prior to any ground or mounted work. After a ninety day probationary period, a horse that is donated to the program will receive vaccinations, have teeth floated, and hooves trimmed.

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 horses are vaccinated at the beginning of each season and wormed on an eight week rotation. Vitals such as respiration, pulse, and temperature are all taken when they arrive at the facility. Height and weight are taken on a quarterly basis unless there is a dietary need to document more frequently. Due to financial reasons and the nature of our business, we can not accept horses with serious issues. At-risk horses are placed on specific diets and conditioning schedules outlined by our veterinarian.

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: 
     Our organization will not euthanize a healthy but difficult horse unless it is a threat to itself or the people that care for it. Our organization will euthanize a horse when the vet has deemed its' quality of life to be diminishing, or after our best attempt to treat an ailment, the horse is still in pain and the diagnosis projects continued suffering.

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: 
     We do not breed horses and currently only accept geldings at our facility. In the event that a mare has been unknowingly bred prior to her donation, the board of directors will determine whether to keep or rehome the foal based upon the best interest of the equine and the organization.

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.
Heavenly Gaits Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc.

2059 Ninevah Road Knox PA 16232

1. Facility General Questions

1. Name of Contact: Monique Nellis

2. Contact's Phone: 814-221-1690

3. Contact's Email: heavenlygaitstrc@gmail.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: 1.

2. Facility Horse-Related Questions

1. Enter the total acreage dedicated specifically to the horses: 30

2. Describe the number and type of pastures and paddocks, fencing, enclosures, stabling including barns and run-in sheds. We currently have sixteen paddocks. Our exterior fence consists of two strands of high tensile electrified wire and two strands of hot coat; one in the middle and one on the bottom. The interior fence has two strands of electrified high tensile and one middle strand of hot coat. There is currently one stable and one run-in shed.

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.
     Our horses are collected and turned out everyday, weather permitting. They do not have free choice to the barn. We practice rotational crop grazing. Horses are rotated among the pastures. Four "easy keepers" graze a pasture within a height of four inches, then are moved onto a new, fresh paddock. Another four horses that need limited grass then finish the grazing in that pasture and will follow the rotation of the easy keepers. Two horses that are not to eat any grass and remain in an established dry lot and receive hay as needed.

4. How many hours of daily turnout do the horses get? (Estimate or Average) 12

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.
     We utilize grass trails along the perimeter of the property. There are various areas that include wooden bridges, brick sections, and limestone sand along the trails. A round pen is utilized for ground work and conditioning which currently has dirt footing. Our outdoor arena has been excavated and awaiting funds to complete. The footing will consisted of geotextile, a four inch base layer of 2 A limestone, and a 4-6 inch top layer of limestone sand. We currently do not have an indoor arena.

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.
     This facility is in compliance with the Care Guidelines for Rescue and Retirement Facilities but has no formal recognition.

9. Describe the availability/accessibility of emergency horse transportation at this facility.
     This facility has a trailer accessible to transport equines in the event of an emergency.

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.
     After horses have been donated to the facility they are fitted for Western and English tack.

12. Describe the system used by your organization to help staff and volunteers readily identify each horse on the property.
     Stall identification cards are place on each horse stall. The card identifies various features of each horse to make them highly recognizable to all volunteers and visitors.

13. Describe your housing plan and the turnout process/plan for horses normally stall bound.
     We do not currently have horses stall bound. We do have a "sick" bay with a small individual turn out. Otherwise horses are collected and brought into the barn at night in the winter and turned out in the morning. During the summer, the schedule is reversed. Horses are turned out in the evenings and collected in the morning.

14. Describe your feed, feed management plan and your guidelines for the use of supplements.
     Our horses are fed three times a day. Each horses is placed on a feeding schedule as suggested by our vet. We would like to provide supplements to all of our horses but currently only supplement those that struggle with maintaining weight.

15. How do you use the Henneke Body Conditioning Score to guide you in your hennekeing/exercising/use practices for each horse?
     The Henneke Body Conditioning Score guide assists with our initial evaluation of each donated horses and is referred to with each quarterly measurement.

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.
     Manure is removed from stalls on a daily basis and grated from fields after grazing. We have a current manure management plan. It is spread monthly, with the exception of the winter months. The state requires that we compost any carcass. We have a section on the property for such a situation, but have yet to utilize it. Our horses are treated for parasites every eight weeks with alternating medications.

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.
     Our emergency plans are posted in the barn.

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?
     We do not currently have a security system. Signs have been made and posted to keep unauthorized people out, warn of electric, and various other liabilities. We do have an on-premises caretaker.

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.
     Tri-County Animal Rescue Center 9562 Route 322 Shippenville, PA 16254 (814)-918-2032 http://tricounty-arc.org/?page_id=22

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.
     Clarion PAWS 11348 Route 322 Shippenville, PA 16254 www.clarionpaws.org 814-229-1231

Veterinarian Information

View The Vet Checklist conducted on 03/14/2018

Veterinarian: Dr. Marin Boghean

Clinic Name: Jefferson Animal Clinic    Street: 477 Suite B Route 28    City: Brookville  State: OR    Zip: 15925

Phone: 814-715-7467    Email: n/a

Instructors assigned to this Facility
(see Instructor Section)

     1. Instructor: Monique Nellis

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: 10.

1-b. Enter the total number of horses housed at this facility: 10

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.

           + 1 2-c. Total number of horses returned.

11 = Total of 2a-2c

           - 1 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.

2 = Total of 2d-2f

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

            9 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

$3555     Feed (Grain/Hay).

$370     Bedding.

$2539     Veterinarian.

$3057     Farrier.

$240     Dentist.

$0     Manure Removal.

$216     Medications & Supplements.

$5100     Horse/Barn Supplies.

$0     Horse Care Staff.

$0     Horse Training.

$835     Other direct horse-related costs not including overhead or other program costs.

$15912     2016 Total Horse Care Costs

$     2016 Total Donated Horse Care Costs

3385     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: $5
Question 3 ($15,912 ) divided by Question 4 (3385).

Average length of stay for an equine: 308 days
Question 4 (3385) divided by total of Questions 2a-c (11).

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? Most 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? Most of the time

      4. Electrical wiring condition: Is wiring inaccessible to horses and maintained for safety? Most 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? Yes

      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? Most

      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? Some of the time

      7. Cleanliness: How often are these spaces cleaned? Less often than weekly

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? Every two years

      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? 51

2. How many hours per week do you operate the horse-related programs at this facility? 9

3. How many weeks per year do you operate the horse-related programs at this facility? 46

4. What is the average wait list time? 1 Weeks(Weeks/Months/Years)

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

    Mounted: 2.00  Un-Mounted: 1.00  Total: 3

6. How many days per week does each horse work? (Estimate or Average) 3

7. What percent of your programs and services at this facility are mounted (vs. ground-based)? 100%

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

V. Instructors/Trainers

     1. *Instructor: Monique Nellis

         *Facility Participation:

         Heavenly Gaits Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc.

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 INTL

Enter the year that the certification was awarded. (yyyy)2018

Is the instructor's certification considered 'active' by the certifying organization? No

Briefly describe the nature/level of the certification.This certification is for therapeutic riding instruction.

Please use the space below to share any additional information about this instructor. The instructor is pursuing certification to be completed this year.