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Hidden Acres Therapeutic Riding Center




Chief Staff Officer:  Theron Simons

Employees:   Full-Time:  0  Part-Time:  6  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. A new hire packet is provided with all relevant employee paperwork including federal and state tax forms and job description. All employees are required to take the volunteer training as well as training for their relevant position. All volunteers are required to take a training course as mandated by PATH Intl as we are a Premier PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Center and follow their guidelines.

Governing Body:

Board meetings per year:  4

Number of Board Members:  7  Number of Voting Board Members:  7

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. Mary and Theron Simons are married owners of Hidden Acres Therapeutic Riding Center and also serve on the board. Peter and Kathy LaTronica are married, both servce as board members. Mary and Theron Simons and Peter and Kathy LaTronica are business partners in Lock, Stock and Barrel, Bethany CT.

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. Executive Director and wife own the facility where programs are conducted.

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? 95%

2. Describe your specific horse-related programs services or activities:
     We provide individual and group sessions that range from weekly 30-minute private to weekly 1.5 hour group sessions. These sessions with the horse take place on the ground and in the saddle, which teaches communication, awareness, empathy and social skills using the horse as a model and motivator. These "life" lessons empower individuals, building confidence and life skills. An initial assessment is conducted where participants are evaluated to determine their individual needs and goals, what resources are needed to safely and effectively service them, and which activities would be best. We offer year-round specific equine activities including, but not limited to, therapeutic horseback riding, un-mounted equine assisted learning, an integrated Horse Spirit Program and customized programs for groups. Weekly sessions vary between riding and un-mounted activities that focus on their specific needs and goals. when riding, we receive the same three-dimensional hip rotation on the horse as if we were walking, which provides significant opportunities for building strength and endurance. Other activities are provided to incorporate goals such as improving coordination, motor planning and spatial awareness. Bonding with the horse, fostering positive relationships, and the confidence gained with developing new skills, often lead to reduced anxiety and increased self-esteem. Interacting with volunteers and staff is a great way to practice appropriate social skills. We understand that our participants may be working on developing these skills are given an opportunity to do so in a supportive environment. The Equine Assisted Activities is rich with sensory experiences rom the movement of the horse, tactile experiences such as grooming, and the many sights and sounds the stable and trails provide. An individual's learning goals may include developing riding skills or reinforcing skills such as focus and following directions. There are many opportunities to address communication and valuable life skills in the therapeutic setting. Proving verbal cues to the horse and interacting with staff and volunteers reinforce express communication skills. Most importantly, learning how horses communicate with each other in the herd and with humans, provide valuable lessons in understanding body language, personal boundaries and developing observation skills.

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 introduced a community garden in collaboration with Massaro Gardens to integrate the cycles of nature into our therapy programs. Participants will help prepare beds, sow seeds, weed, and harvest the produce.

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 have a very strong belief that our horses are our equal partners no only when in use of working in our program but in their entire life with us be it in competition or a walk on the trail or emergency care. We do not view them as a tool or a money maker. In fact, we as individuals and as a collective organization felt so strongly on this subject we collaborated with a clinician on a DVD project and have provided a link to the trailer. Our horses have a turnout schedule and exercise/schooling schedule catered to each horse's needs and levels of ability. Evaluations on not only the horse's physical performance but also where we think they are emotionally. We put our horses on the same level as our staff and participants in that we can never stop learning. Each horse has an inside stall and 24/7 access to hay and supplemented with a holistic non-gmo diet. Monthly Equine massages, quarterly chiropractic care, annual dentistry, and yearly checkups and shot/vaccinations.

2. Describe how your horses are acquired (adoption, seizure, surrender, donation, purchase, auction sale, retirement). 
     Horses are acquired by free-lease (with signed agreements), donation or purchase.

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. 
     We have been fortunate to keep our older horses on the farm and have given back only horses who do not successfully pass our trial assessment.

4. For new horses, describe your initial assessment process for each horse (i.e. physical examination, test ride, health record, Coggins test, quarantine, veterinary consult, etc.). 
     We have an onsite visit and make our initial assessment, physical assessment, test ride, Veterinary consult on the current owner's premise including any follow ups necessary to help make our decision on entering a trial period. Once the horse is cleared by our Veterinarian we will schedule delivery to our farm to start a trial.

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. 
     Horses are checked several times a day for their overall well-being. Any issues that arise the barn manager contacts the executive director and arrangements are made for the proper professionals to come and assess the situation at hand. Vaccinations are on a rotating schedule with our Veterinarian. We do fecal egg counts on each horse's manure and control worming both holistically and thru conventional methods.

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: 
     Euthanasia is only an option after all other treatments have been thoroughly exhausted or not in the horse's best interest due to age or complications from situation. Euthanasia is not an option for a healthy animal period.

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.

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:
  Other considerations are provided below.

17. Provide any additional explanation to your answers if needed: not applicable


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
Hidden Acres Therapeutic Riding Center

45 Gabriel Drive Naugatuck CT 06770

1. Facility General Questions

1. Name of Contact: Theron Simons

2. Contact's Phone: 203-723-0633

3. Contact's Email: hiddenacres2@gmail.com

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: Theron and Mary Simons
45 Gabriel Drive
Naugatuck, CT 06770

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 a 5-year renewable lease.

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 provides general maintenance to existing structures and grounds of the property. Under mutual agreement, new or future improvements are individually or mutually funded by owner or lessee. There is no compensation.

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: 4.

2. Facility Horse-Related Questions

1. Enter the total acreage dedicated specifically to the horses: 24

2. Describe the number and type of pastures and paddocks, fencing, enclosures, stabling including barns and run-in sheds. Three pastures all with three- rail fence; trails and outdoor rings; 60' indoor ring

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.
     We are on a rotational schedule with paddocks and horses (2 paddocks, 3 grass pastures, 2 rings and footing)

4. How many hours of daily turnout do the horses get? (Estimate or Average) 5

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.
     Activities are held in our 60' indoor ring and outdoor rings. Footing is a stone dust sand mixture. We ride, drive and conduct therapeutic riding lessons. Footing is groom on a regular basis.

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

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

8. If this facility is recognized as compliant with the published standards of another applicable organization, and/or accredited by another applicable organization, including any state licensure or registration process, please provide the details.
     We are a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship premier accredited facility.

9. Describe the availability/accessibility of emergency horse transportation at this facility.
     There are two trailers on site with access to the barn, paddock and pastures.

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.
     We use a saddle fitter for all saddles. Tack and harness are assessed weekly.

12. Describe the system used by your organization to help staff and volunteers readily identify each horse on the property.
     Each member of the staff is able to identify each horse before they are hired.

13. Describe your housing plan and the turnout process/plan for horses normally stall bound.
     A stall bound horse would be under veterinary care.

14. Describe your feed, feed management plan and your guidelines for the use of supplements.
     We use XL program to map out our herds nutritional needs and we feed non-GMO organic feed and we make our own hay. We add supplements as needed or recommended by vet.

15. How do you use the Henneke Body Conditioning Score to guide you in your hennekeing/exercising/use practices for each horse?
     We do a body score assessment each year with our vet and build a program around each horse's specific needs.

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.
     Our biosecurity plan is a collaboratiaon with our vet and implemented on an as needed basis. Manure is removed weekly from barn area.

17. Please describe your emergency preparedness plans that address weather related issues, fire safety procedures and/or any additional hazardous scenarios your facility could potentially experience.
     We have an emergency procedure plan at the barn with contacts and phone numbers posted on wall at 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?
     The gates to the property are closed in off hours.

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.
     Animal Control, 500 Highland Avenue, Cheshire, CT 203-271-5590

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.

Veterinarian Information

View The Vet Checklist conducted on 04/09/2018

Veterinarian: Denise Branecky D.V.M.

Clinic Name: Fairfield Equine    Street: 32 Barnabas Road    City: Newtown  State: CT    Zip: 06470

Phone: 203-270-3600    Email: dbranecky@fairfieldequine.com

Instructors assigned to this Facility
(see Instructor Section)

     1. Instructor: Nancy Moore

     2. Instructor: Rebecca Caruso

4 -> 2 - The total number of instructors entered for this facility does not match the number of instructors assigned to this facility under Instructors.

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: 9.

1-b. Enter the total number of horses housed at this facility: 11

1-c. Enter the maximum capacity of horses at this facility: 15

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

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

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

           +  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, 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).

$     Bedding.

$     Veterinarian.

$     Farrier.

$     Dentist.

$     Manure Removal.

$     Medications & Supplements.

$     Horse/Barn Supplies.

$     Horse Care Staff.

$     Horse Training.

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

$42177     2017 Total Horse Care Costs

$59784     2017 Total Donated Horse Care Costs

2920     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: $14
Question 3 ($42,177 ) divided by Question 4 (2920).

Average length of stay for an equine: 324 days
Question 4 (2920) divided by total of Questions 2a-c (9).

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? 200

2. How many hours per week do you operate the horse-related programs at this facility? 11

3. How many weeks per year do you operate the horse-related programs at this facility? 30

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

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

    Mounted: 2.00  Un-Mounted: 2.00  Total: 4

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)? 50%

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

V. Instructors/Trainers

     1. *Instructor: Nancy Moore

         *Facility Participation:

         Hidden Acres Therapeutic Riding Center

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

Certification 1:

Provide the name of the certifying organization.PATH International

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

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

Briefly describe the nature/level of the certification.PATH International certified carriage driving level 1 instructor.

     2. *Instructor: Rebecca Caruso

         *Facility Participation:

         Hidden Acres Therapeutic Riding Center

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

Certification 1:

Provide the name of the certifying organization.PATH Int'l

Enter the year that the certification was awarded. (yyyy)2011

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

Briefly describe the nature/level of the certification.PATH Int'l Certified Riding Instructor

Certification 2:

Provide the name of the certifying organization.PATH Int'l

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

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

Briefly describe the nature/level of the certification.PATH Int'l Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning

Please use the space below to share any additional information about this instructor. Rebecca Caruso is also registered in the State of Connecticut as a Licensed Certified Social Worker, LCSW.