GUARDIAN PROFILE - Last Updated: 06/07/2018
I. GOVERNANCE, MANAGEMENT & CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Chief Staff Officer:  Kathleen Fallon
Employees: Full-Time: 0 Part-Time: 0 Volunteers: 30
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. The Bridle Paths organization is governed by a volunteer board of directors that oversees the operations and activities of the program. The board is comprised of up to seven members, and includes parents of participants, community leaders, and supporters with experience in business administration, equine care and management, fundraising and marketing, and nonprofit administration. These individuals operate with the pro bono guidance of attorneys from the law firm of Covington and Burling with respect to corporate and tax matters, and receive advice from local accounting professionals as well.
Bridle Paths founder and president Kathleen Fallon is a PATH Certified Advanced Level Therapeutic Riding Instructor with over fourteen years of experience teaching children and adults with a wide range of physical, cognitive, behavioral, and other disabilities. She also is certified as an Equine Specialist through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association. Her certification as a PATH, Intl. Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning is pending. Ms. Fallon oversees all aspects of program operations and personally conducts all program activities. As a lifelong horse aficionado, she has owned, ridden, and trained horses for many years. She is a past member and chairperson of the Advisory Committee of the Fairfax-Falls Church Interagency Coordinating Council (overseeing the provision of early intervention services in Fairfax County, Virginia), served on the board of directors of the Speech and Language Center of Northern Virginia, and is the past president of the Longfellow Middle School PTA. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Georgetown University and Columbia University, respectively, both conferred with highest honors.
Bridle Paths has a recognized legal structure as a not-for profit corporation, and holds a 501c3 designation from the IRS, along with associated written articles of incorporation, mission statement, and bylaws that govern the program's operation. The program submits all required annual reports to the appropriate governmental agencies and entities. The program has written contracts with an independent contractor who cares for the horses during the week, and with well-qualified local mental health professionals who partner with program staff to provide equine-assisted psychotherapy services. Each mental health professional provides evidence of current professional liability insurance, and program activities are covered by general liability insurance, an umbrella liability insurance policy, and accident medical coverage. Among the written documents required and maintained by Bridle Paths are written contracts for donated, leased, and borrowed equines, written policies regarding the eligibility and discharge of participants, and policies for dismissal of guests and volunteers. The program obtains written registration information on each participant and volunteer, along with written attendance records for participants and volunteers, liability releases and photo consent forms, health history and medical clearance forms for each participant, and a process for addressing precautions and contraindications and confidentiality considerations. Bridle Paths provides written documentation of any occurrence that happens during program activities (including participant falls or other injuries, equine bites or kicks, etc.) as a means of tracking the safety and efficacy of program activities and the suitability of equines for program activities.
The therapeutic riding component of the Bridle Paths program is heavily reliant on volunteers, who provide extensive support with both the unmounted and mounted aspects of each lesson. Volunteers act as horse leaders and side walkers during mounted instruction and assist with grooming and tacking horses for lessons, in order to conduct these lessons safely. Additionally, volunteers help to implement instructor plans for unmounted horsemanship work, as they assist clients with grooming, tacking, and otherwise contributing to the care of program horses. Volunteers also assist with horse and barn care on the weekends, when our regular barn staff is off. Volunteers include current and former horse owners, some of whom have been members of the Pony Club and 4H.
As a general matter, the volunteers who work in therapeutic riding lessons and handle the horses are at least 14 years old. We do on occasion have younger volunteers working with us, however; these younger volunteers tend to work primarily on barn chores and grooming horses, under the close and ongoing supervision of older volunteers and program staff. Each program volunteer receives training in safety and emergency procedures, including the emergency dismount, as well as orientation regarding the program facility and equine-assisted activities and therapies in general, volunteer responsibilities and emergency procedures, signs of equine illness or lameness, confidentiality, safety rules, and an introduction to the types of disabilities served by the program. The veterinarian also has provided training on parts of the horse, evaluation of heartbeat, and respiration as components of equine health. In addition, some therapeutic riding professionals join program staff for additional training at the program site. Program staff maintains current certification in CPR and First Aid.
Each volunteer receives regular training in the specifics of working with horses and clients in a therapeutic context - including training in the emergency dismount - though horse experience is a welcome asset as well. Although the program does not conduct formal performance evaluations per se, each volunteer receives regular verbal feedback, both during and after client sessions, regarding the most appropriate ways to work with both horses and riders in order to best facilitate connection between horses and clients, maximize client progress, and minimize equine stress. Program staff also maintains regular communication with the independent contractor horse care professional to ensure that horses are cared for in a consistent, attentive, and effective manner.
Board meetings per year: 6
Number of Board Members: 8 Number of Voting Board Members: 8
Is Board Chair compensated? No Is Treasurer compensated? No
Are there any other Voting Board Members that are compensated? No
Are any members of the Board or Staff related to each other through family or business relationships? No
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? Yes
Bridle Paths contracts with local licensed mental health professionals to provide equine-assisted psychotherapy services, one of whom is a member of the board of directors. Bridle Paths is an independent contractor in these arrangements, and is compensated by the mental health professional for equine-assisted psychotherapy services rendered.
1. What percent of your total programs and services are horse-related? 100
2. Describe your specific horse-related programs services or activities:
The mission of Bridle Paths is to offer strength, support, and healing to our clients through safe, effective, and high-quality equine-assisted activities and therapies. We provide therapeutic horseback riding instruction and equine-assisted psychotherapy services to individuals and families faced with physical, cognitive, psychological, and emotional needs. The program serves those with a wide variety of needs and diagnoses, including ADHD, cognitive impairments, autism spectrum disorders, anxiety and depression, genetic problems, seizure disorders, brain injuries, and trauma. Our facility includes a 14-stall barn, indoor and outdoor arenas, a round pen, and a climate-controlled viewing area, along with ample parking, a wheelchair-accessible barn, a mounting ramp, highly experienced and certified staff, and a group of committed and well-trained volunteers. We offer sessions year-round, and last summer we offered a therapeutic horsemanship day camp as well.
The Bridle Paths program offers programs to support the entire family. We have particular expertise in working with those struggling with anxiety and depression. We are proud to partner with the Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education to offer the HEARTS (Hope Through Equine Assisted Recovery and Therapy Services) program, and with other well-qualified local therapists such as Beth Ratchford, LCSW, as well. Over the past year, we have offered mounted and unmounted programs for veterans and their families, enhanced offerings for trauma survivors, and social and communications skills programs in partnership with local schools.
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. NA
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.
It takes a special horse to work effectively in equine-assisted activities and therapies, since the work can be both physically and mentally challenging for a horse. The Bridle Paths program prioritizes the cultivation of relationships between clients and horses, and to that extent, it's critical that each horse is recognized and managed as an individual and is able to respond honestly to clients and staff. In fact, equine feedback is a critical component of the program's work; we monitor each horse's affect and behavior carefully, because these offer valuable insights into the circumstances of both therapeutic riding and equine-assisted psychotherapy clients.
Each member of the Bridle Paths herd has retired from another career, in some cases due to physical limitations and in other cases due to equine stress. Bridle Paths staff works diligently to ensure that each horse can perform its job safely and comfortably, and to build robust and mutually-beneficial relationships between horses and clients. Many of our horses are geriatric, and this is often their best home in relation to the level of work performed. Older horses may receive bloodwork to evaluate their ability to perform on continuous anti-inflammatory medication, and some of the horses no longer carry riders, but rather are assigned to interact on the ground with emotionally challenged children and adults.
In considering whether to take on a new horse for the program, we consider the horse's training, health and soundness (and any associated medications or supplements that he requires), and current shoeing needs. Temperament is critical in evaluating prospective horses, as are health, soundness, training, and size. We occasionally accept and rehabilitate thin retired horses. Therapeutic riding in particular can be a challenging activity for a horse, insofar as he deals routinely with riders who can be very unbalanced and unpredictable, and interacts with a variety of volunteers who lead and sidewalk next to him while he works under saddle. The soundness and quality of movement of the horses are critical to the effectiveness of our sessions, particularly for riders with physical challenges. While some horses thrive in our environment, others become unnerved by the variability in handling and the in-hand work that are necessary aspects of our program. Most of our work is in the arena, although we do go out on the trails occasionally.
The horses in our program receive excellent care, because we are only as effective as our horses are sound, happy, and healthy. We maintain a schooling and conditioning program that includes low-impact work on the trails and in the ring to keep the horses fit and content, and to ensure that our horses are physically, psychologically, and behaviorally suited to therapeutic riding. At the present time, our program horses participate in weekly lessons with an advanced level local event rider that are geared specifically to the physical and mental needs of each individual horse. Our horses also participate in periodic dressage clinics that also include activities targeted to the abilities and needs of each horse. Our horses are on a regular schedule of vaccinations, dental, and farrier care.
The number of horses accepted by the program is dictated by the program's budget and client schedule. We presently have eight horses, and no program horse works with clients more than five hours per week.
2. Describe how your horses are acquired (adoption, seizure, surrender, donation, purchase,
auction sale, retirement).
Bridle Paths horses are typically acquired through donation or free lease arrangements with their owners. On very rare occasions, the program may purchase a horse as well. All acquisitions are substantiated by contracts covering the terms of donation, free lease, or sale.
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.
Because the Bridle Paths program conducts both mounted and unmounted activities, even horses that can no longer be used safely and comfortably in the therapeutic riding program can work effectively in our unmounted equine-assisted psychotherapy activities. Some of our horses may be considered "at risk" in that if they cannot do this job, there is no other job or function available to them. On rare occasions, the program has had to identify an alternative placement for a horse that has become physically or mentally unsuited for program activities. In the event that a horse becomes unsuitable for use in the program (as determined in the sole discretion of Bridle Paths), the donor or lessor of the horse is notified of that determination in writing. Within thirty days of such written notification, the donor may designate another charitable organization to take the horse and assume full responsibility for its care. Otherwise, Bridle Paths will attempt to find a suitable retirement arrangement for the animal, relieving Bridle Paths from any further responsibility for the care of the animal, or have the animal humanely euthanized at its expense. This situation has arisen four times in the program's seven-year history. In one case the horse was donated to an embryo transfer recipient herd operated by an AAEP veterinarian, and in another case the horse was taken over by a local veterinary technician and boarding stable operator for use as a trail horse. In two more recent cases during 2016, two program horses with significant histories of osteoarthritis and other medical conditions developed behavioral changes that were inconsistent with their continued safe and comfortable use in the program; these horses were humanely euthanized following extensive consultations with our program veterinarian and the horses' donors.
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 begin the new horse assessment process by obtaining as much information as possible over the phone and via email concerning a new horse's temperament, training, health and soundness, and farrier needs. Assuming we are able to garner a satisfactory level of information through those channels, we schedule a time to visit the horse on-site. During these on-site visits, the program president and skilled volunteers evaluate the horse both on the ground and under saddle - including evaluating the horse's responses to toys and other equipment used during lessons, as well as to horse leaders and side walkers who support riders during mounted instruction.
Horses that prove both physically and temperamentally able to handle these simulated challenges typically are invited to come to the program's facility for a trial period that lasts at least 30 days. (We make clear to the owners of any such equine that only horses that have a strong possibility of being successful in the program are invited to come to the facility for a trial, and we reserve the right to extend the trial period as necessary in order to gain a full and fair picture of the horse and its suitability for program purposes.) Prior to beginning any such trial, Bridle Paths obtains information regarding the following matters: background, training, and conditioning (including experience with trailering and special events such as parades); medical history (including vaccine records, current medications, respiratory and lameness history, any visual impairments, colics, or surgeries, and shoeing needs); manners and behaviors during handling and grooming as well as in the herd environment; and current feed schedule and management. In addition to a record of the equine's recent vaccines, we also require a current negative Coggins test report.
Prospective horses that are on trial with the program typically are maintained separate from the other members of the herd in order to observe prudent quarantine and biosecurity practices. Sick or lame horses are noted during quarantine and the program veterinarian is notified. The deworming, dental history, and vaccination history of each new horse is documented and noted prior to the horse's arrival at the facility. We take the temperature of quarantined horses if circumstances warrant. Quarantined horses have separate stalls, separate paddocks, separate water access, separate grooming tools, and separate bridles.
While prospective horses are at the facility, program staff and approved volunteers work with the horses both on the ground and under saddle to assess their health, soundness, and ability to handle program activities. This work includes introducing the horse to our wheelchair-accessible mounting ramp, indoor and outdoor arenas, and round pen, as well as continuing to assess the horse's responses to the variability in volunteer handling, leading, and side walking that are necessary aspects of the program. Assuming that the horse responds positively to these evaluations, we invite our program veterinarian to evaluate the horse; these evaluations typically review the horse's vital signs (particularly his heart and respiratory functions and vision) and evaluate the horse's ability to walk and trot quietly and comfortably under saddle. (Horses that are more physically capable also might be evaluated at the canter.) The veterinary evaluation assesses the horse's ability to work safely and comfortably in program activities, and includes an evaluation of the horse's medical needs and the program's ability to meet those needs in an appropriate and cost-effective manner.
Only horses that have satisfactorily completed the trial period and the veterinary evaluation are offered a place in the program herd. Horses with serious issues that preclude their suitability for the program in terms of safety or ability to meet our standards are either not accepted into the program or returned during their trial period.
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.
All Bridle Paths horses receive excellent care from qualified professionals, including our veterinarian first and foremost. Each horse is monitored individually by trained and experienced staff, who conduct both visual and hands-on evaluations of each horse on a daily basis.
Program horses receive all required vaccines on a semiannual basis, with careful attention to individual equine sensitivities and reactions. In the event of injury or illness, program staff checks equine vital signs, elimination, and appetite, evaluates the extent of equine injury or illness, and consults with the program veterinarian by phone. A veterinarian visit is scheduled if the veterinarian deems that to be warranted. Veterinarian visits for non-acute reasons also are scheduled on occasion for program horses to undergo lameness exams, acupuncture, and other treatments. The program maintains on-site records of vaccines and other treatments administered to each equine. An equine first aid kit in the barn includes dressings, wraps, gloves, a thermometer, surgical scrub, flashlights and batteries, and farrier tools to remove loose shoes.
High-quality orchard grass hay and pasture comprises the vast majority of each horse's diet. Weather permitting, horses receive daily turnout in ample pastures that are mowed and dragged regularly. Each horse receives Purina Enrich (and in some cases Strategy Healthy Edge) grain fed twice daily by weight, according to each horse's individual body condition and nutritional needs. Each equine receives a daily selenium and Vitamin E supplement, with other supplements and medications as needed or recommended by the program veterinarian. Horses that require medications or supplements receive these with their grain meals. Hay is fed while horses are in stalls, and in paddocks as well during inclement weather. Hay is stacked on pallets and stored adjacent to the barn aisle, and grain and supplements are stored in rodent-proof containers in the feed room. Water is continuously available both in stalls and outdoors, and water supplies are cleaned, checked, and replenished as needed.
The weight of program horses and ponies that are susceptible to metabolic disorders and laminitis is monitored carefully, and these equines are fitted with grazing muzzles in both spring and fall to control their exposure to the high sugars present in spring and fall pasture. Older equines' weight also is monitored carefully, to avoid putting undue stress on arthritic joints, on the one hand, and for sudden or excessive weight loss, on the other hand.
The program works with our veterinarian to conduct fecal egg counts on horses known to be heavily parasitized or high shedders of parasite eggs, and performs targeted rotational deworming as needed. An equine dentist evaluates horses' teeth and performs floats at least annually (semiannually for older equines).
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
Bridle Paths staff works closely with our program veterinarian to determine the appropriate medical management of program equines, including euthanasia when warranted. The program does not take the decision to euthanize lightly, but we do take that step in situations where the horse's health, safety, and comfort mandate it. In determining whether euthanasia might be necessary, we consider the following factors: the nature and extent of any catastrophic injuries or illnesses (such as fractures or neurological conditions); the program's ability to reasonably and effectively treat any pain or discomfort experienced by the equine; the equine's ability to continue to work safely and comfortably in program activities; and the equine's ability to live comfortably with regular program management practices (including turnout, feeding, and veterinary/farrier/dental care). When warranted, euthanasia is performed by our program veterinarian using intravenous administration of an overdose of barbiturates. One horse has been euthanized on site because of a severe fracture.
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:
Bridle Paths does not conduct any breeding activities. We do not have any stallions on the property.
8. Does your organization provide horses to any facility to use in research or medical
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
16. What is your position regarding varying adoption fees vs. one set fee:
Other considerations are provided below.
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
43247 Spinks Ferry Road Leesburg VA 20176
1. Facility General Questions
1. Name of Contact: Kathleen Fallon
2. Contact's Phone: 571-216-9089
3. Contact's Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Does your organization own, lease or use a part of this facility? Lease
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: Robert and Patricia Meurer
Stone-Horse Farm, LLC
43247 Spinks Ferry Road
Leesburg, VA 20176
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?
Bridle Paths' lease at Stone-Horse Farm commenced on March 13, 2014, and renews automatically for an additional fixed term of one year unless terminated by one of the parties to the lease, or upon Bridle Paths' abandonment of the facility. If either party to the lease agreement does not intend to renew the lease agreement, that party is required to provide written notice of that intent at least 60 days in advance of the date on which the program would expect or be expected to leave the premises. Bridle Paths has adhered to all terms and conditions of its current written lease agreement for the past four years, and the program's board of directors intends to continue to comply fully with these requirements to ensure our longevity at Stone-Horse Farm.
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..
Our lease agreement permits Bridle Paths to stable up to 14 horses in our care, custody, and control at this facility, and to have use of 14 stalls and 12 paddocks for that purpose. Program clients, volunteers, and invitees have access to the facility's exercise areas, tack rooms, and wash stalls in a manner consistent with applicable barn rules set forth by Stone-Horse Farm and by Bridle Paths. Bridle Paths remits a monthly fee in the amount of $3,900 to Stone-Horse Farm for use of these facilities. Included in this monthly lease rate are the use of a portable toilet (cleaned weekly), dumpster access, and an allowance of up to $100 per month for electricity. The lease agreement stipulates that Stone-Horse Farm is responsible for maintaining the facilities rented to Bridle Paths, including periodically mowing paddocks, dragging riding areas, snow removal from access roads, and manure and trash removal. The owners may, from time to time and at Bridle Paths' request, provide basic livery services to the horses in the program's care, custody, and control, at a rate to be set by Stone-Horse Farm. Bridle Paths is responsible for promptly repairing any damage caused to the premises by the program's clients, volunteers, invitees, or horses. Consistent with the requirements of this lease agreement, Bridle Paths maintains commercial general liability insurance with per occurrence and aggregate limits of $1 million and $2 million, respectively, as well as a $2 million umbrella liability policy and accident medical coverage for program participants and volunteers.
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: 20
2. Describe the number and type of pastures and paddocks, fencing, enclosures, stabling including barns and run-in sheds. Bridle Paths horses have access to a total of 12 paddocks, all of which are surrounded by three- and four-board oak fencing. Some of the fencing is new, and other fencing is older but in good condition. Fences are checked daily for loose or missing boards, and boards are replaced or repaired immediately. The facility includes one center aisle barn with an attached indoor arena. All wiring in the barn is updated and code compliant. Stalls are at least 12x12, and are cleaned and rebedded daily with clean sawdust. Each stall is equipped with a fan and a heated water bucket, as needed depending on weather conditions.
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.
Approximately 20 acres of pasture is available, cross-fenced for small group turnout. Horses typically are separated into small groups of two or three per paddock, separated by gender if needed. Paddocks are mowed and dragged on a regular basis to control weed growth and manure. Paddocks are maintained to ensure continual access to forage, and turnout paddocks are rotated frequently for that purpose. Heated automatic waterers serve each paddock. Sacrifice areas are available when weather prevents ready access to other paddocks.
4. How many hours of daily turnout do the horses get? (Estimate or Average) 10
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 Bridle Paths facility includes a 14-stall barn, indoor and outdoor arenas, a round pen, and a climate-controlled viewing area. These amenities were constructed by the original owners of the property where Bridle Paths is located, and have been well maintained and updated over time by the current property owners (Robert and Patricia Meurer). Footing in the indoor arena is fine sand that is watered regularly and dragged on a daily basis. The footing in the outdoor arena and the round pen is a bluestone and sand mixture; both of these surfaces are dragged regularly (sometimes daily, depending on usage). All areas used for training, riding, and equine related activities are level, free of rocks and debris, and forgiving for program horses' hooves and joints. Unmounted program activities in horsemanship and equine communication often are conducted in the wide, concrete-floored barn that is attached to the indoor arena. The aisles and cross ties have been set up to permit three horses to be cross tied simultaneously in the aisle, with ample room for clients, volunteers, and staff to move safely around and between the horses.
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.
Bridle Paths is a member of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International, and adheres to PATH standards for facility, administration, and programming. Bridle Paths also is a member of the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association, and follows the precepts of EAGALA as well.
9. Describe the availability/accessibility of emergency horse transportation at this facility.
Program President Katie Fallon keeps her trailer at the facility, and her towing vehicle is available at all times for emergency horse transportation. The Bridle Paths facility is located less than ten miles from the Marion Scott Dupont Equine Medical Center at Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia.
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.
Each program horse has its own locker containing grooming tools and tack designated specifically for that horse. Each equine's tack is cleaned and inspected regularly, and defective equipment is repaired or replaced as needed. Bridle Paths staff enlists the services of qualified local saddle fitters to evaluate saddle fit for each new horse that joins the program, and annually for other program horses. We use Mattes and other natural sheepskin pads under saddles as recommended by saddle fit professionals. Saddle, bit, and bridle fit is evaluated each time the horse is worked under tack, and adjusted as necessary. Additionally, saddle fit is reevaluated as a horse's body condition changes (due to illness, changes in activity levels and associated fitness, etc.) Finally, program staff monitors each horse's disposition carefully, particularly during girth tightening and mounting, to ascertain any signs of discomfort with tack and equipment. Each program horse has at least one rain sheet and one turnout blanket, measured and fitted specifically to the horse and monitored for signs of rubs, shifting, etc.
12. Describe the system used by your organization to help staff and volunteers readily identify each horse on the property.
Horses are identified by Coggins test descriptions, as well as by photos and descriptions placed on each horse's stall door. Each horse has an assigned stall, and horses are turned out in small, consistent turnout groups. These turnout groups - and associated pasture assignments - are noted in diagrams on white boards, as well as on posters containing each horse's name and photo.
13. Describe your housing plan and the turnout process/plan for horses normally stall bound.
Horses are turned out for at least 10 hours each day (during the day in the colder months, and overnight in the warmer months), and are kept in roomy box stalls when not in turnout areas. Each stall is at least 12 x 12 and is cleaned daily and rebedded with clean sawdust. Each stall is equipped with a fan in the summer and a heated water bucket in the winter. Horses are turned out into small groups of two or three per paddock, separately by gender if necessary. Pastures are maintained to ensure continual access to forage through regular mowing and dragging to control weed growth and manure proliferation. Smaller sacrifice areas are available adjacent to the barn and the indoor arena for situations when weather prevents ready access to other pastures. Among these sacrifice areas are two smaller paddocks that can be used for horses that have been on stall rest and require gradual reintroduction to quiet turnout.
14. Describe your feed, feed management plan and your guidelines for the use of supplements.
The diet of each horse in the program consists first and foremost of high-quality pasture and square bales of first- or second-cutting orchard grass hay. Attention is paid to the laminitis and weight control risks presented by spring and fall pasture, and equine access to these pastures is limited through use of dry lots and grazing muzzles when necessary. Hay is fed by weight for each horse at a rate of up to 2 percent of the horse's body weight per day. Per veterinary recommendations, each horse receives twice daily feedings of Purina Enrich balancer pellets (supplemented by Purina Strategy Healthy Edge in some cases), fed according to the horse's body weight and condition, with due regard for relevant levels of protein and sugars. An equine nutritionist is available for regular consultations. Equine weight is estimated with the use of a weight tape. Horses generally are fed only a small amount of grain to minimize the risks of overfeeding (and associated behavioral issues), laminitis, and obesity. Horses are fed in individual stalls to ensure that they are able to finish their meals without interruption, and staff monitors horses' grain consumption to ensure health and well-being. Grain is stored in rodent-proof containers. Grain is fed by weight, determined through the use of a scale in the feed room, and any changes in grain diets (for horses new to the program) are implemented slowly and gradually, using the grain to which the horse is accustomed to effect the change. Horses have free access to trace mineral bricks in their stalls. At the recommendation of our program veterinarian (who has indicated that our soil is deficient in selenium), each horse receives a selenium and Vitamin E supplement, added to grain per supplement label instructions, each day. On occasion other supplements are fed as well, again upon veterinary advice. For example, bloodwork indicated that one of our program horses was somewhat anemic, so that particular horse receives daily supplementation with Elevate as well. One elderly horse currently receives a daily electrolyte supplement and soaked alfalfa cubes twice daily to increase his water intake. We do not feed any joint or other supplements; instead, we address each horse's physical limitations through targeted schooling and conditioning work and medications (such as bute, Adequan, and Previcox) as prescribed by our veterinarian.
15. How do you use the Henneke Body Conditioning Score to guide you in your hennekeing/exercising/use practices for each horse?
As a general matter, we utilize the Henneke Body Conditioning Score rule of thumb that horses' ribs should be felt but not seen in estimating equine weight and in making associated decisions regarding feeding and use for each horse. For the older horses that may have difficulty keeping weight on, particularly in the winter months, we check the horses' condition under their blankets several times per week, and increase the amount of hay fed (and monitor dental conditions) as needed. Also for the older horses (those that are age 20 or above), we use gentle, low-impact exercise (primarily at the walk but occasionally at the trot down the long sides of the arena) to afford the horses the benefit of exercise without placing undue strain on joints and soft tissues. For the younger horses (those under age 20), and especially for the ponies and easy keeper horses, we use the Henneke Scale to evaluate the distribution of fat on the horse's body, particularly along the crest, shoulder, ribs, flank, back, and tail head. When this evaluation suggests that these fat deposits are occurring, we take steps to restrict the horse's caloric intake (through use of a grazing muzzle to preserve the benefits of pasture access, reducing hay intake, and/or use of a sacrifice area or dry lot) and increase his exercise level with longeing and riding.
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.
Each horse in the Bridle Paths program is on a regular semiannual schedule of vaccinations, scheduled and implemented by our veterinarian with due regard to each horse's vaccine and reaction history and for national and regional vaccine recommendations. Each horse also has an annual Coggins test. Generally speaking, this is a closed herd, with program horses only rarely leaving the property. On those occasions when a new horse enters the property (for example, a horse that is coming on-site for a trial), that horse must have a current negative Coggins test and current vaccine history. Horses generally are not turned out with the Bridle Paths herd until they have successfully completed a trial period. We monitor the horses' eating, drinking, elimination, and behavior carefully to detect signs of illness, and we consult closely with our program veterinarian when any abnormalities are identified. Horses that present with fever, diarrhea, skin problems, or respiratory issues can be isolated from the herd in individual paddocks to restrict the spread of disease to other horses. We label each horse's water and feed containers and grooming tools for individual use, to ensure that infected tools and equipment are not passed among healthy horses. Additionally, program staff is prepared to implement biosecurity measures such as foot baths, cleaning and sterilization of stalls/walls/grooming tools and other equipment if warranted. Each stall in the barn (and certain of the smaller turnout paddocks) are cleaned daily to minimize the accumulation of manure and concomitant risk of parasite infestation. (Larger paddocks are dragged regularly to break up and spread manure.) Manure is composted in a large enclosure with a cement floor, separate from the barn; the property owners turn and push back this pile on a regular basis, and in the spring they spread the manure on the fields around the property. Typically manure is not spread in paddocks used by the horses, but in the event that this is necessary we keep the horses off those fields in which manure has been spread until the manure is dried and dissipated. Program horses' condition is monitored regularly for signs of parasite infestation. Our veterinarian conducts regular fecal exams that indicate which horses tend to be high parasite shedders, and these horses are treated with specific anthelmintic products as recommended by the veterinarian. As a general matter, we use a targeted rotational deworming regimen with products recommended by our veterinarian to minimize the problem of anthelmintic resistance. The program veterinarian is present at the site in the event of an unexpected equine death or a scheduled euthanasia. Following the death of an equine, prompt and safe disposal of the carcass is paramount. The program engages a local crop farmer to retrieve, remove, and bury the carcass of any deceased equine. Barring unexpected delays, this farmer typically removes the carcass from the facility within two hours of the animal's demise.
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.
The Bridle Paths program has taken steps to identify and plan for health and safety concerns unique to our center and this location. First, the program has posted signs regarding applicable equine liability laws, the requirement to wear safety headgear when mounted, and the prohibition on smoking anywhere near the facility. Second, the program requires each client and volunteer (or guardian if applicable) to sign a copy of the Bridle Paths barn rules, which include stipulations regarding liability releases, access to turnout areas and stalls, attire, parking, conduct around the facility, and prohibitions on smoking and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Volunteers are trained in techniques relating to the safe handling of program equines and support of program clients, including training in emergency dismount procedures. Bridle Paths staff has contact information available for local emergency medical personnel if needed. Among the natural hazards that may be encountered at our facility are: bee and wasp stings, and wild animals such as geese, foxes, and deer that may pose a risk to mounted and unmounted activities with horses. With respect to the former, Bridle Paths collects medical information from clients and volunteers that indicates life-threatening reactions to stings, and the availability of an epi-pen if needed. Wildlife in and around the facility may pose distractions to clients and horses; in such cases, volunteers are trained in emergency dismount procedures, and program staff monitors horses' attention and dispositions carefully in order to redirect activities and preclude the development of an emergency situation with the horses. Program staff works closely with the property owners to identify and fill groundhog or other holes that may pose a risk to horses in turnout areas and elsewhere. Program staff monitors conditions continuously during program activities, and may opt to conduct activities either in the indoor arena or on the ground in the event that manmade hazards (including live music at neighboring properties, fireworks, or other public events and activities) create an unsafe distraction to mounted activities. Program facilities are private enough that construction or public access generally do not create complications for program activities. Among the natural events that could create a hazardous scenario for program activities and equines are: hurricanes and high winds, flooding, fires, and snow. In the event of forecasted hurricanes, high winds, or severe thunderstorms, the program keeps horses out of turnout areas and in the barn. The barn facility and attached indoor arena are of comparatively recent and high quality construction, and these facilities have withstood various severe weather events without complication. However, if weather conditions were forecasted to become so severe as to potentially threaten the structural integrity of the facility, we would consider evacuating program equines to a safer location and marking the identity of program horses to ensure their prompt return to the program. In the event of a loss of power, the property has a backup generator that powers the pump to ensure the horses' access to water. We also have multiple flashlights available in the event of an electrical outage. Snow and ice pose direct risks to program staff's safe and immediate access to the facility, as well as to the horses' access to turnout areas and to the integrity of the facility's roof in the event of an extremely heavy snow event. When snow and ice are forecasted, program staff first brings in an ample supply of bedding, hay, and grain. Horses are sheltered in the barn during significant snow events, and are turned out in the indoor arena in small groups when heavy snow blocks access to turnout areas. The property owners take prompt action to clear the driveways and parking areas around the facility, and to care for program equines until staff can travel safely to the facility, in the event of a significant snowfall. The pitch of the facility roof is such that the risk of building or roof collapse is relatively small; even heavy snow can melt slowly and safely without posing a risk to the structural integrity of the roof. The topography of the land and the site of the barn are such that we do on occasion experience some flooding in lower-lying turnout areas and certain stalls in the barn. In these situations, we would relocate the horses to turnout areas that are situated on higher ground, and/or relocate horses to unused stalls in the barn until the ground dries out and high water recedes. Fire is a risk at any equine facility. For that reason, we have posted signs prohibiting smoking in and around the facility. The barn also has several fire extinguishers located at the doors of the facility. We do not store fuel or other flammable materials in or around the barn, and hay is stored on pallets in the barn aisle, rather than in a hay loft above the horses. In the event of a fire, horses would be moved from the barn to the outdoor arena or turnout areas distant from the barn and flammable materials.
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 Bridle Paths facility is located at a farm that is private property and is marked with No Trespassing signs. We do not have a security system in place at the farm; however, the property owners reside at the premises, and they monitor carefully the presence of visitors at the site. On those occasions when the property owners have had concerns regarding the presence of unexpected visitors at the site, they have notified local law enforcement authorities who come out to check on the situation. A horse caretaker is at the facility twice per day for feeding, stall cleaning, and turnout, and program staff is on-site for several hours each weekday (and every weekend). Program clients and volunteers who are well-known to program staff visit the facility on a regular schedule. Visitors are greeted at the door and accompanied by program staff during their time at the facility.
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.
Loudoun County Animal Sevices 39820 Charles Town Pike Mailstop #66 Waterford, VA 20197 703-777-0406 email@example.com
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.
Equine Rescue League P.O. Box 4366 Leesburg, VA 20177 540-822-4577 firstname.lastname@example.org Virginia Veterinary Medical Association 3801 Westerre Parkway Suite D Henrico, VA 23233 800-937-8862 email@example.com Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services P.O. Box 1163 Richmond, VA 23218 804-786-3501 www.vdacs.virginia.gov American Association of Equine Practitioners 4033 Iron Works Parkway Lexington, KY 40511 800-443-0177 firstname.lastname@example.org PATH International P.O. Box 33150 Denver, CO 80233 email@example.com 800-369-7433 EAGALA P.O. Box 993 Santaquin, UT 84655 877-858-4600 www.eagala.org
View The Vet Checklist conducted on 04/25/2018
Veterinarian: Dr. Elizabeth Gard
Street: 18910 Beallsville Road City: Beallsville State: MD Zip: 20839
Phone: 301-407-0417 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Instructors assigned to this Facility
(see Instructor Section)
1. Instructor: Kathleen Fallon
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: 8.
1-b. Enter the total number of horses housed at this facility: 9
1-c. Enter the maximum capacity of horses at this facility: 14
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
8 2-a. Total number of horses housed at this facility involved with your programs on January 1, 2017.
+ 0 2-b. Total number of intakes other than returns including donated, purchased, surrendered or rescued.
+ 2-c. Total number of horses returned.
8 = 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.
- 0 2-f. Total number of horses deceased during the year.
0 = Total of 2d-2f
8 2-g. Total number of horses housed at this facility involved with your programs on December 31, 2017.
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.
2017 Horse Care Costs
$ Feed (Grain/Hay).
$ Manure Removal.
$ Medications & Supplements.
$ Horse/Barn Supplies.
$ Horse Care Staff.
$ Horse Training.
$ Other direct horse-related costs not including overhead or other program costs.
$92645 2017 Total Horse Care Costs
$14780 2017 Total Donated Horse Care Costs
2555 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: $36
Question 3 ($92,645 ) divided by Question 4 (2555).
Average length of stay for an equine: 319 days
Question 4 (2555) divided by total of Questions 2a-c (8).
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? 50
2. How many hours per week do you operate the horse-related programs at this facility? 25
3. How many weeks per year do you operate the horse-related programs at this facility? 50
4. What is the average wait list time? 2 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) 2
7. What percent of your programs and services at this facility are mounted (vs. ground-based)? 50%
8. Provide any additional explanation to your answers if needed. Bridle Paths offers therapeutic horseback riding, equine-assisted learning, and equine-assisted psychotherapy services. The vast majority of the program's regular clients participate in therapeutic riding activities. In addition to riding, however, each regular client spends at least half an hour engaged in unmounted activities involving instruction in horsemanship and equine communication and opportunities for relationship building. Additionally, Bridle Paths occasionally hosts school groups who engage in unmounted activities such as herd observations, grooming, and leading to address social and communication challenges. More recently, Bridle Paths has begun offering both mounted and unmounted activities to veterans and military families, and to survivors of traumatic brain injury. Finally, the program offers equine-assisted psychotherapy services to a small number of clients each week.
1. *Instructor: Kathleen Fallon
Is the instructor certified by an organization that provides training in the programs, activities and/or services conducted by the organization? Yes
Provide the name of the certifying organization.Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International
Enter the year that the certification was awarded. (yyyy)2004
Is the instructor's certification considered 'active' by the certifying organization? Yes
Briefly describe the nature/level of the certification.Kathleen Fallon is certified as an Advanced level therapeutic riding instructor by PATH Intl. The PATH Intl. Advanced Level Therapeutic Riding Instructor demonstrates sophisticated levels of knowledge in the competencies of Equine Management, Horsemanship, Riding, Instruction, Teaching Methodologies and Disabilities. The Advanced Instructor is expected to apply this knowledge as demonstrated through effective analysis and problem solving in response to the given situation. Also, the Advanced Instructor is expected to provide accurate reflection, as well as safe and effective demonstration of all PATH Intl. Advanced level criteria. PATH certified instructors are required to maintain their certification through compliance with a Code of Ethics and completion of 20 hours of continuing education each year.
Provide the name of the certifying organization.Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA)
Enter the year that the certification was awarded. (yyyy)2010
Is the instructor's certification considered 'active' by the certifying organization? Yes
Briefly describe the nature/level of the certification.Kathleen Fallon is an EAGALA certified Equine Specialist. In order to achieve this level of certification, candidates must: (1) Complete the 3-day Fundamentals of EAGALA model Practice Part 1 Training. (2) Submit a Professional Development Portfolio (consisting of 6,000 hours - or approximately three years full-time work - experience of hands-on work with horses, completion of at least 100 hours of continuing education in the horse profession and equine science - including ground work experience, horse psychology knowledge, and ability to read horse body language/nonverbal communication - and 40 of the above continuing education hours must have been completed in the last two years. (3) Complete the 3-day Fundamentals of EAGALA model Practice Part 2 Training. Completion of these trainings will provide the necessary tools to effectively incorporate horses experientially in mental health treatment and other human development and learning areas.
Provide the name of the certifying organization.Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH), Intl.
Enter the year that the certification was awarded. (yyyy)2017
Is the instructor's certification considered 'active' by the certifying organization? Yes
Briefly describe the nature/level of the certification.A PATH Intl. Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL) ensures the safety and well-being of the equine participating in equine-facilitated mental health and learning sessions. She/he serves as the equine expert during equine/human interactions. The ESMHL works with mental health or education providers delivering services, incorporating equines in their practice, within the scope of their profession. An ESMHL must be knowledgeable in horsemanship and understands how to collaborate with a mental health therapist and/or educator to best meet the client’s needs and keep the lesson safe. ESMHLs also have a general knowledge of mental health and education processes. ESMHLs have a thorough understanding of the ways equine behavior affect human responses and evaluate the role of the equine during the mental health or education sessions they supervise. The ESMHL maintains responsibility for the equine, assesses the equine’s response to any interactions, and prohibits or stops any activity that compromises the well-being of the equine. She/he ensures that equine interactions within the session are safe.
Please use the space below to share any additional information about this instructor. Kathleen Fallon has more than 15 years of experience in all aspects of equine assisted activities and therapies, including service as volunteer coordinator, program director, executive director, and instructor for an established therapeutic horseback riding program before founding Bridle Paths. She received her PATH International Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor certification in September 2004 and and her Advanced Instructor certification in October 2008, and she has experience teaching children and adults with a wide range of physical, cognitive, behavioral, and other disabilities. As noted above, she received her EAGALA Equine Specialist certification in August 2010. She received her certification as a PATH, Intl. Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning in early 2017. Kathleen also has more than 20 years of horseback riding lessons and other riding experience, including experience with evaluating and selecting potential horses for equine assisted activities and managing the schooling and training of these horses. Finally, she holds current certification in CPR and First Aid for adults, children, and infants. Kathleen Fallon holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in International Relations from Georgetown University and Columbia University, respectively, both conferred with highest honors.