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Animals as Natural Therapy

GUARDIAN PROFILE - Last Updated: 07/09/2018



Chief Staff Officer:  Sonja Wingard

Employees:   Full-Time:  3  Part-Time:  9  Volunteers:  220

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. Employees: All employees have detailed job descriptions and clearly documented policies and procedures describing their duties, as well as a Safety Protocol for ANT Programming document that they must read and sign, indicating that they understand their responsibilities. Each employee takes part in an annual evaluation by the Executive Director and/or board of directors.

Volunteers: After an initial intake with the Volunteer Coordinator (VC), becoming an ANT program mentor requires three specialized ANT training sessions: general training, horse handling training, and specialized mentor training. Ongoing education takes place on a daily basis with the support of the VC, Barn Manager, instructors, counselors, and the horses. The animal-care team support the programs through daily farm chores and maintenance and are required to attend a general training and specialized chore training. The fundraising event volunteers attend ongoing meetings, working hundreds of hours before, during, and following the events. Each volunteer must read and sign the Safety Protocol for ANT Programming document, indicating that they understand their responsibilities.

Governing Body:

Board meetings per year:  12

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

Board Compensation:

Is Board Chair compensated?  No  Is Treasurer compensated?  No

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

Board Relationships:

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

Board Affiliations:

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

If yes, provide the name, title, responsibility and family/business relationship of each Board and/or Staff member, and the name of the related organization. The ANT Director owns the property at which the organization conducts its programs and is paid a modest lease for said property which includes the six horses she owns.

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

Additional Comments:
We do mandatory national background checks on all staff and employees. We do not do drug screening. Our signed agreement with staff and volunteers states: 1. It is a violation of our policy for any staff or clients to possess, sell, trade or offer for sale illegal drugs or otherwise engage in the use of illegal drugs or alcohol at the farm or while performing duties with Animals as Natural Therapy. 2. It is a violation of our policy for anyone to report to work under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol -- that is, with illegal drugs or alcohol in his/her body.
3. It is a violation of our policy for anyone to use prescription drugs illegally. (If a staff person legally uses prescribed controlled substances/medications, the staff should notify his/her supervisor. As long as it does not affect one’s performance and judgment on the farm it will be allowed. But these medications should not be brought to the farm.)
4. Anyone coming to the farm under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs or prescribed drugs that are affecting one’s judgment will be asked to leave the premises. If this occurs one will be put on probation and likely be asked to give up one’s volunteer or client position.
5. If it is suspected that a staff person is coming to the farm under the influence of any of the above substances they will be spoken to privately by the supervisor and may be asked to undergo drug screening. If it is found that the person has been dishonest they will immediately be removed from the ANT program.
6. If indicated the staff person or client is responsible to seek and receive treatment and to comply with treatment and aftercare plans as described.
Horse handling is minimal for just one office staff person who only does fundraising and event planning.


1. What percent of your total programs and services are horse-related? 90

2. Describe your specific horse-related programs services or activities:
     Our Equine Assisted Experiential Growth and Learning (EAGAL) programming utilizes horses and directly serves over 400 youth per year, 90% of whom are low income. ANT offers ten-week weekly sessions in the fall, winter, and spring, as well as six separate week-long summer day camps. Some children, youth, and veterans also meet with our mental health counselors individually or with their families throughout the year.
Many of the youth ANT serves, due to their limited resources, will not have access to or seek traditional counseling on their own. This means that ANT's Animal-Assisted Experiential Learning programs (which primarily involve a mental health counselor) are often the only mental health support these youth will ever receive or accept. ANT has a growing waiting list of vulnerable children, teens, and veterans that are desperately in need of ANT's services but are unable to pay for them. A number of these individuals are being raised by grandparents, extended family, foster or adoptive parents due to parental instability, addiction, and incarceration. ANT's highly effective and innovative programs are a way to ensure these young people are provided a place where they develop inner strength, self-confidence, healthy relationship skills and tools they need for the extra life challenges they face. These youth need hope and a new way of doing life to break family cycles.
At the farm, young people practice honest, respectful methods of communication and challenge themselves in multiple ways. They learn to face their fears. This empowers them to make healthy choices. To affect such life-altering changes, ANT works in tandem with horses. These sensitive, thousand pound animals are great mirrors for reflecting human emotions. They demand healthy boundaries, clear communication, and trust in order for people to build successful relationships with them. Horses teach essential life skills, in a fun and lasting way, that are inaccessible by way of traditional methods.
ANT utilizes innovative activities and group processing to develop powerful metaphors and life parallels. Through this work, the young people gain self-confidence and self-worth. They develop leadership, communication, problem solving, and teamwork skills. In a safe and supportive environment they can push the envelope of their fears and learn ways to overcome those fears. They learn to set boundaries, to feel, to identify and communicate their needs, and to express their appreciation of others.

The SAFETY NET PROGRAM specifically serves youth and teens identified as behaviorally and emotionally challenged and in need of support for their particular challenges. These youths are referred by collaborating local and tribal schools, community organizations, professionals, and families. This program is ANT's main project and includes year-round weekly sessions for groups or individuals, summer camps, and also family sessions.

ANT's programming is set up to provide unique challenges and the horses play an integral part. Horses have a way of letting us know which of our strategies are effective and which are not. They give us a chance to try out new skills without any judgment, only direct, honest feedback. Creating a healthy relationship with an animal can guide us to more successful relationships at home, school, and in the community.

ANT strives to help young people develop lifelong skills that will help them to live self-sufficient, fulfilled lives. ANT has constructed a plan to track the success of this program. Variables include increased confidence, GPA improvement, less incidences requiring disciplinary action, positive peer interaction, and the ability to set boundaries. This tracking will be long term and the data will hopefully be mutually beneficial to ANT's efforts and the efforts of all the partners who support the idea of providing a "Safety Net" to catch any young person before they fall.

The LEARNING LIFE PROGRAM serves youth through a variety of school partnerships ranging from a tribal preschool to weekly high school groups. Last year, 128 students had the opportunity to come to Windy Acres Farm to learn from animals, caring people, and the natural world. Here, the learning is truly 'hands-on' and experiential--learning how to convince a 1100 pound horse to move away from the grass, working with classmates to move horses through an obstacle without touching them, or noticing how calming it is to just be outside holding a soft bunny in their arms.

Animals as Natural Therapy partners with 5 school districts and 2 tribal schools to provide our Learning Life programs, which include:
• Eighth graders taking small animals to visit elders in residential care facilities for their service learning projects.
• Preschoolers from the Lummi Head Start program coming to learn about treating animals and humans with kindness.
• High school students attending 4 weekly workshops on managing anxiety in everyday life.
• School counselors referring struggling students for sessions. While they may get the message that they are 'not okay' in the classroom, youth can rediscover their worth on the farm.
• Teachers coming for "Teach the Teacher" events and other specialized trainings.
• Teens facing academic, social, and behavioral challenges in and out of the classroom. The BRIDGES program for “troubled and troubling” high school students in Bellingham School District comes weekly during the school year. Many outwardly 'tough' teenagers join the Thursday outings so they can come for what they call "Fuzz Therapy” and then experience greater success at school and at home.
• Groups of middle school students come for two days of Leadership and Bullying Awareness Workshops. With staff, fellow students, and the horses, they develop a deeper awareness of self and others, boundaries, what positive leadership can look and feel like, and how to speak up for themselves and others.

MOBILE ANT brings the joy of connecting with animals to elder care facilities, homeless shelters, and stressed university students. In this inter-generational program, youth from schools and rehab programs bring bunnies, chickens, dogs and mini horses to visit elders. Teens and elders connect and find value in themselves and one another. These interactions invite youth to develop empathy, practice respectful communication with older people and patience with animals. This program builds community between over 100 youth and hundreds of elder community members each year.

The EAGLE PROJECT assists veterans returning from military efforts to face the challenges of depression, PTSD, addictions, and anger. Veterans may meet work in groups, individually or with family members. Using equine-assisted activities, ANT provides a means to release troubling emotions and increase coping skills, something especially useful for those who have experienced psychological and physical trauma. This program specifically focuses on helping veterans develop the tools to manage:

• Reintegration- Transition back to civilian life is challenging. Equine-assisted learning methods help one move from a sense of isolation to a sense of community.
• Crisis- Hopelessness is turned around by the companionship and understanding shared by the horse and humans at ANT.
• Addictions- A horse’s strong intuition and acceptance of our full range of feelings has helped many individuals overcome addictive tendencies.
• PTSD and/or Depression- Horses are fight or flight animals who have learned to deal with their own anxieties and who invite humans to develop strategies to address theirs.

Reports from both teachers and parents indicate that students attending ANT programs have learned to manage their behaviors, resulting in improved academic success. Four months after a one-week intensive camp, 70% of parents reported that their children’s grades had improved, attributing this to what their children learned at ANT. The Leadership/ Bully Awareness program participant survey shows an increased awareness of how their behaviors affect others and an ability to show empathy; and 78% report having intervened in bullying situations six months later. The following quarter, the public school reported that since their students attended ANT’s leadership and bullying awareness program not one student had been suspended from school.

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. The other animals that participate in ANT programs are: rabbits, chickens, goats, a rooster, dogs, a turkey, a cat, and llamas.
The miniature horses as well as some of the smaller animals are involved in visits to the care facilities with Mobile ANT, and also out in the community: the nearby university at mid-terms, homeless shelters and local community events. Our smaller animals are often enjoyed by visitors of all ages to the farm and each has a special role to play.

5. Does your organization operate programs involved with animals other than horses?  Yes


1. Describe your equine management philosophies, practices, policies and operations with respect to the use of the horses in your program, including the rehabilitation and retraining (if applicable), ongoing training, schooling and exercising plan for each horse and your policy as to the number and condition of the horses accepted by your organization. 
     Our horses give a great deal of themselves in their walk with humans at ANT, so we are concerned with helping them make the best of their years with us. We have had to retrain a few donated horses, mainly to be part of a herd and work comfortably in an arena setting, but also to be comfortable with natural horsemanship groundwork techniques. We have created two new part-time positions focused on the needs of our herd. The Horse Activities Manager and a part-time Trainer work with the horses weekly on handling and exercise/ activity needs. They also train our volunteers to assist with schooling horses and conveying activity plans for each horse.

ANT's part-time trainer, experienced volunteer riders, and instructors ride our able horses on the property and occasionally on trail rides, allowing them the opportunity to have someone ride them who is not in need of emotional support and/or does not lack knowledge about riding and balance. This additional exercise is based on which participants are riding a particular horse that season and which horses need the extra exercise (or de-stressing in the case of trail rides). We also have horse buddies who have each taken on one or two horses to be their special friends and give them walks down the road or in the fields as a bonus, massage them weekly, and give extra TLC.

Rehabilitation takes place when a horse becomes injured. The client may help with care-taking, hand walking their horse, and recovery when appropriate. Another horse will step in to work with the client for a number of weeks if the horse needs a long break.

A primary concern at ANT is to make our horses lives fulfilling and comfortable and find ways that they can renew their energies. One example is letting the horses roll in the round pen or a large sandy area before and especially after their work with clients.

We are currently at maximum number of horses with thirteen. We are fortunate to have the use of a neighbor's field in the summer to add to our turnout pastures as well as a respite farm that our horses are able to visit when needed.

Each horse keeps a different schedule, however a typical schedule for our busiest horse may be: Mondays - three riders; Tuesdays - two riders; Wednesdays - two riders; Thursdays - two riders; Fridays - one rider; Saturdays - one rider. Often these "riders" do not actually ride the horses; rather, they perform ground work and may be on the horse for as little as twenty minutes.

2. Describe how your horses are acquired (adoption, seizure, surrender, donation, purchase, auction sale, retirement). 
     Of the fourteen horses currently in service at ANT, six belong to the founder/ director and ANT has a lease/ care agreement with her (four of which were born on the ANT farm over the past 23 years), another horse is on a lease/ care agreement with a private party, and six have been donated to ANT and belong to the 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. 
     We accept horses on a 30-90 day trial basis, as we are offered many horses at no cost. Initially we visit the horse and then the family visits our farm, we discuss needs and often request that the family take the horse back when their work is finished at ANT. Either way, when a horse is no longer content or well-suited with us, we re-home it. Three of our volunteers have adopted horses who showed signs of being done with therapeutic work, one after about eight years at our farm at age 26. Another horse was re-homed after eight years, at age 25, to a family who had developed a strong attachment to him and own other horses; they will keep him until natural death. We have used word of mouth and referrals from trustworthy sources to find new homes for a handful of unsuitable horses, but usually they are returned to donor. If necessary we would use local horse groups and lastly, craigslist, always using careful screening of families.

Our programs depend upon a large amount of groundwork and relationship building, which are physically possible and mentally healthy for our horses well into old age. Our older horses continue to receive a great deal from these interactions and are able to give in ways that the younger horses cannot.

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.). 
     For a horse to be considered for our program, first we go to the farm where they are located and if possible our trainer and/or our program director perform a test ride. The horses are assessed for friendliness, hoof handling, leading, training, and general attitude and behavior. Their riding history, health, and feeding routines are discussed with the owner. A vet exam may be required or we may perform an exam soon after arrival at our farm. The following information is sent out to prospective donors:

Below are some considerations to keep in mind regarding ANT's requirements for horses:
Horses must be sound in all four limbs.
Horses must have full and complete vision (occasional exception)
Horses should be preferably between 9 and 18 years of age. Due to the amount of training we invest in our horses, we hope they will stay with us for many years.
If a horse is over 18 we will consider them for the program on a care lease basis. This means that the owner will retain legal ownership of the horse and agrees to take them back once the horse is retired from ANT.
Any additional information you have to share, such as copies of registration papers, health records, photos, videos, awards, etc. are helpful.
ANT requests a 30-90 day trial on any new horse coming into our program to make sure that the horse is happy in this environment and that it will fit the needs of the program.
Horses coming to ANT must be up to date on hoof trims, worming, vaccinations, and teeth floating and should not come due for any of these services during the time they are on trial at ANT.
It is important that your horse feel comfortable around a variety of people. Horses in our program can possibly be ridden 5 days a week, with some used up to 3 hours a day. Many different people handle them over the course of each day, and several volunteers will groom and tack the horse. In addition to the rider, a horse may have a leader and up to two side walkers.
After reviewing the questionnaire, if we determine that your horse seems appropriate for our program, we will arrange a time to meet and ride the horse. At that time, if we think the horse seems suitable, we will ask for up to a 90 day trial period at ANT.
We appreciate you thinking of ANT as a home for your horse!

Horse's Name
Age Sex Height Breed Registered? Color
Owner's Name Phone Email Address
Trainer's name (if applicable)
Where is this horse boarded (Including living situation- stall, turnout, combination)?
How long have you owned this horse?
ANT requests a 90-day trial on any new horse coming in to our program to make sure that the horse is happy in this environment and that it will fit the needs of the program.
Horses coming to ANT must be up to date on farrier work, worming, vaccinations and teeth floating.
Date last shod/trimmed? Vaccinated? Wormed? Teeth floated?
Who is your horse's current veterinarian? Farrier?
Please call your horse's veterinarian and release their vet records to ANT.
Please provide a complete list of the horse's daily hay, grain, and supplement intake, including name and amount of each product.
What kind of training does the horse have? (i.e. Does the horse walk, trot, canter and pick up both leads, neck rein, jump, hunt seat, western, dressage training, 4-H, eventing, etc.)
Does this horse have any allergies, health, or soundness problems? (Please explain)
One a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being very calm and 10 being very spirited, please rate the horse's temperament.
Please describe the horse's disposition and attitude (i.e. sensitive, spirited, unflappable, cooperative, etc), including any known vices (cribbing, weaving, stall walking, pulls back when tied, etc).
How does your horse behave when others handle him? Multiple people?
Have you trailered this horse? If so, how does the horse load/travel?
Has your horse ever been a school horse before?
Do you have to lunge your horse before your ride?
Does the horse clip/bathe? Does the horse lunge? Drive?
What are your reasons for wanting to sell, donate, or lease this horse?

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 assessed by their attitude and behavior toward clients of all ages, during both ground work and riding. Their ears and eyes are observed, as well as general responses and patience. Physically, they are continually re-evaluated and as they show any signs of aging or discomfort, we keep in close contact with our veterinarian regarding their needs. A horse energy practitioner is contracted to assess pain and energy blockages, and to assist in releasing these. Three of the full-sized horses have reduced weight limits as they have aged; another is no longer used for riding, but is still a wonderful teacher and enjoys ground work. We have a rider weight limit of 30% of the horse's body weight, but we also take into account: age; history of injuries; build of the horse; student fitness and balance; weight of tack and type; and the length and terrain of each lesson.
Five-way vaccinations are performed yearly. Ivermectin-type de-worming is done after the first frost in fall and after the last frost in spring. SafeGuard is used once or twice as needed in summer months and fecal samples are done when indicated per discussion with our veterinarian (tail rubbing, etc.).
Dental exams and floating are performed if grain is being dropped or if horses show any sign of discomfort with eating. Two horses have had foot x-rays due to lameness over the past two years; one of which indicated some rotation and this has since improved greatly with proper diet (a grazing muzzle is used). The other revealed abnormal bone growth in a pastern during developmental stages, which started to affect her ability to be ridden, but with corrective shoeing for the past year she is now rideable and pain free.

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: 
     We have euthanized only one horse at ANT. She was owned by the founder's family for 23 years and was the first therapy horse on the farm. She was 33 years old and no longer able to get around comfortably. Another horse was euthanized by her previous owner when we returned her to them as she was showing signs of unmanageable pain in her late 20's. This was in accord with our care-lease agreement and at the owner's request. Both horses had lived long lives and had irreversible health problems.
All other horses who have proven to be unsuitable for therapeutic work on the farm have been re-homed to highly reliable sources as needed. We would never euthanize a horse that was healthy due to space or behavioral issues.

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: 
     During our seventeen years in operation, we have only bred one very high quality mare to a therapy stallion from another program. When we did this, our mare was kept with her foal for six months before weaning, which was done gradually. We do not have a "no-breeding clause" for our retiring or re-homing horses, however we have only re-homed to families that we are assured to be reliable. As a rule we refuse stallions, but in the rare case that we accepted a stallion we would ensure that it was castrated before arriving at our farm. We were donated a well-trained stallion mini many years ago and castrated him, keeping him at a neighboring farm until a few months after the gelding procedure.

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? 
     Adopters/purchasers may be required to provide updates (photos, vet records) for one year, depending on how well we know the owners and their care of horses.

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: Less than $200

15. Adoption Fee Policies
  Adoption fees may vary depending on species.
  Adoption fees may vary depending on the equine level of training.
  Adoption fees may vary depending on the equine breed.
  Adoption fees may vary depending on the equine age.
  Adoption fees may vary depending on the equine type.
  Adoption fees may vary depending on the equine health and soundness.

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

17. Provide any additional explanation to your answers if needed: We have not charged people for horses we have re-homed but we could possibly consider it if we were to give up a strong healthy younger horse.


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
Animals as Natural Therapy

721 Van Wyck Rd Bellingham WA 98226

1. Facility General Questions

1. Name of Contact: Sonja Wingard

2. Contact's Phone: 360-671-3509

3. Contact's Email: director@animalsasnaturaltherapy.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: Sonja Wingard
721 Van Wyck Rd
Bellingham WA 98226
360-927-3612 (cell phone)

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? 
     We started leasing this property in 1999. The length of the current lease is 10 years. The start date of current lease is July 1, 2013 and will end July 1, 2023. At that time it is the organization's plan to renew the 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 receives a monthly lease payment of $1250. Roads will be proportionately maintained by Tenant and Landlord and neighboring properties. Tenant shall make, at Tenant's expense, all necessary repairs to the Leased Premises. Repairs shall include such items as routine repairs of fences, pastures, pens, drainage, floors, walls, ceilings, and other parts of the Leased Premises damaged or worn through normal occupancy, except for major mechanical systems or the roof, subject to the obligations of the parties otherwise set forth in this Lease. The back parking area will be maintained by Tenant. Landlord shall maintain fire and extended coverage insurance on the Building and the Leased Premises in such amounts as Landlord shall deem appropriate. Tenant shall be responsible, at its expense, for fire and extended coverage insurance on all of its personal property, including removable trade fixtures, located in the Leased Premises. C. Tenant and Landlord shall, each at its own expense, maintain a policy or policies of comprehensive general liability insurance with respect to the respective activities of each with the premiums thereon fully paid on or before due date, issued by and binding upon some insurance company approved by Landlord, such insurance to afford minimum protection of not less than $1,000,000 combined single limit coverage of bodily injury, property damage or combination thereof. Landlord shall be listed as an additional insured on Tenant's policy or policies of comprehensive general liability insurance, and Tenant shall provide Landlord with current Certificates of Insurance evidencing Tenant's compliance with this Paragraph. Tenant shall obtain the agreement of Tenant's insurers to notify Landlord that a policy is due to expire at least (10) days prior to such expiration. Landlord shall not be required to maintain insurance against thefts within the Leased Premises or the Building.

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

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

2. Facility Horse-Related Questions

1. Enter the total acreage dedicated specifically to the horses: 5

2. Describe the number and type of pastures and paddocks, fencing, enclosures, stabling including barns and run-in sheds. The pastures are divided into 7 fields for rotational grazing with tracks around the perimeters. There are 7 open air paddocks (one is 100'x35' and others average 20'x40') in which the horses spend most of their time. All paddocks include run-in spaces in the loafing shed or the barn. Some of the run-ins provide gates or doors to lock horses in as needed (for example in the case of an injury). To divide fields we use hot wire cross fencing and field fencing for the perimeter.

3. Describe how you manage the use of your pastures/paddocks given the size and number of your pastures/paddocks and the number of horses you have at this facility.
     The horses live in small bands in divided paddocks and are separated individually for grain time only. Turnout is done using a track around the perimeter of the fields in winter and in the fields themselves in dryer seasons. A neighbor's five acre fields are also used in dryer months for grazing and turnout. When needed, two of our horses at a time can go to a respite farm nearby for a few weeks at a time.

4. How many hours of daily turnout do the horses get? (Estimate or Average) 2

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.
     For riding and ground work we use a 65' round pen with sand footing and 80'x60' large arena with sand footing. We have a 24 by 55 foot grooming barn which is covered. We also have a meeting room that seats 24 people for our group discussions and some other outdoor areas where we circle up with participants in when weather is more comfortable.

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

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

8. If this facility is recognized as compliant with the published standards of another applicable organization, and/or accredited by another applicable organization, including any state licensure or registration process, please provide the details.
     We have been a PATH Premier Accredited Center since 6/2010. Animals as Natural Therapy is registered with Washington State Secretary of State Charities registration solicitation.

9. Describe the availability/accessibility of emergency horse transportation at this facility.
     We have a 4 horse trailer and truck.

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.
     Instructors assess all equipment before during and after each lesson. In addition, program staff conduct bi-yearly full assessments. Tack is fitted to and labeled for each horse.

12. Describe the system used by your organization to help staff and volunteers readily identify each horse on the property.
     A photo and identifying information about each horse is posted on the inside of the barn wall.

13. Describe your housing plan and the turnout process/plan for horses normally stall bound.
     There are no stall-bound horses (only in open paddocks with run in barns/sheds) unless an injury has occurred and then it is only for a matter of weeks and they are hand-walked for turnout as recommended by the vet.

14. Describe your feed, feed management plan and your guidelines for the use of supplements.
     The majority of feed is local hay. All aging horses or horses who have had teeth removed get various senior grains in addition. All horses get some timothy grass in addition during winter's colder months. Older horses get soaked beet pulp and soaked alfalfa cubes. Some horses who have metabolism problems and are sugar intolerant wear grazing muzzles in summer. All horses get Dynamite vitamins daily. The QH-thoroughbred gets oats, the others get a cup of grain twice a day or more depending on body weight management.

15. How do you use the Henneke Body Conditioning Score to guide you in your hennekeing/exercising/use practices for each horse?
     We keep our horses between 4 (as recommended for our Tennessee Walker who came with hip damage) and 6. This determines the amount of extra hay and grain that they receive. If they get more exercise, we increase their rations.

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 picked up twice daily and piles are managed with our tractor. Pipes are inserted into the manure piles for composting. Mature composted manure is hauled away to local resident, school, and community gardens. The de-worming is done twice a year and then on an as-needed basis with fecal samples done. If horse people come from other barns they are asked to clean their boots before coming and not to come if their other barn has a contagious disease occurrence. Euthanasia is done by the vet so carcasses go to the vet for disposal.

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 do not use our horses during high wind gusts or if icy conditions making footing unsafe. We have a fire plan and an earthquake plan in our safety policy book and this is gone over with volunteers at trainings.

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?
     There are lights at the farm yard entrance that come on with motion. There is a large gate at the entrance to the barnyard that is chained unless the trailer is coming out. We are on a dead end road with very little traffic. We have no big signs advertising where we are. We have on-premises caretakers living on site.

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.
     Whatcom County Humane Society 3710 Williamson Way, Bellingham, WA 98226 (360) 733-2080 director@whatcomhumane.org

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.
     Whatcom Conservation District 6975 Hannegan Rd Lynden, WA 98264 360-526-2381 wcd@whatcomcd.org Washington State University Whatcom Co Extension Services 1000N Forest St Bellingham, Wa 98225 360-676-6736

Veterinarian Information

View The Vet Checklist conducted on 04/27/2018

Veterinarian: Dave Sauter

Clinic Name: Kulshan Veterinary Hospital    Street: 8880 Benson Rd    City: Lynden  State: WA    Zip: 98264

Phone: (360) 354-50    Email: baj.dvm@gmail.com

Instructors assigned to this Facility
(see Instructor Section)

     1. Instructor: Amanda Martin

     2. Instructor: Haley Didier

     3. Instructor: Roz Anderson

     4. Instructor: Shannon McCune Dickerson

     5. Instructor: Sonja Wingard

     6. Instructor: Trish Pendleton

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: 14.

1-b. Enter the total number of horses housed at this facility: 14

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

14 2-a. Total number of horses housed at this facility involved with your programs on January 1, 2017.

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

           +  2-c. Total number of horses returned.

15 = Total of 2a-2c

           - 1 2-d. Total number of horses adopted during the year.

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

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

1 = Total of 2d-2f

14 2-g. Total number of horses housed at this facility involved with your programs on December 31, 2017.

            14 2-h. Total number of horses not retired including horses undergoing rehabilitation and/or retraining.

             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.

$78152     2017 Total Horse Care Costs

$1453     2017 Total Donated Horse Care Costs

4790     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: $16
Question 3 ($78,152 ) divided by Question 4 (4790).

Average length of stay for an equine: 319 days
Question 4 (4790) divided by total of Questions 2a-c (15).

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? 415

2. How many hours per week do you operate the horse-related programs at this facility? 35

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? 8 Weeks(Weeks/Months/Years)

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

    Mounted: 1.00  Un-Mounted: 3.00  Total: 4

6. How many days per week does each horse work? (Estimate or Average) 4

7. What percent of your programs and services at this facility are mounted (vs. ground-based)? 10%

8. Provide any additional explanation to your answers if needed. Many of our horses are not available for riding activities (3 minis, 3 seniors, 1 rescue with old injuries, 2 horses still in training for participant riding). We usually serve groups of 4-6 youth at a time, but sometime there are groups of 2-3 veterans or school groups of 7-15 students. Most of the time then, we are using less than half of the horses during a lesson. Our group lessons are primarily on the ground, focusing on building respectful relationships between human-horse pairs. We spend much of our time teaching youth and veterans to develop greater awareness of self and others, the ability to read horses, grooming, leading, practicing assertiveness and boundaries with horses in hand or at liberty. When we do have mounted lessons, the amount of time riders are on horses is typically 20 minutes or less. During our three quarters of afterschool groups each year (27 weeks total), about 1/3 of the lessons involve riding time. During our summer camps (6 weeks/year), horses might have two riders per day for a total of 40-50 minutes of total riding time per day. Included in the participants served in 2017 were 89 seniors who were living in care facilities. We visit them with our mini horses, dogs, bunnies, chickens, and youth. No riding occurs, only petting and connecting.

V. Instructors/Trainers

     1. *Instructor: Amanda Martin

         *Facility Participation:

         Animals as Natural Therapy

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)2010

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

Briefly describe the nature/level of the certification.Therapeutic Riding Instructor (2010) and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (2012) certifications.

Please use the space below to share any additional information about this instructor. Amanda Martin is a PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. She has a Master's Degree in English and currently teaches English composition, literature, and humanities at Whatcom Community College. Amanda continues to develop professionally by attending conferences and workshops, presenting to peers and researching in the areas of mental health, child development, and student-centered pedagogies. She has worked with children and teens since 2001 as mentor and teacher, facilitating experiential learning with animals.

     2. *Instructor: Haley Didier

         *Facility Participation:

         Animals as Natural Therapy

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.Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH International)

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."Therapeutic Riding Instructor" which certifies her to lead mounted and groundwork activities with horses and humans.

     3. *Instructor: Roz Anderson

         *Facility Participation:

         Animals as Natural Therapy

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)2003

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

Briefly describe the nature/level of the certification.Therapeutic Riding Instructor (2003) and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (2011) certifications.

Please use the space below to share any additional information about this instructor. Roz is not actively instructing at ANT (she reitred) but she does come out and assist our trainer, Trish, in working with the horses. We consider her as an emeritus instructor as she is a fount of wisdom about anything to do with riding or the care of horses.

     4. *Instructor: Shannon McCune Dickerson

         *Facility Participation:

         Animals as Natural Therapy

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)2010

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

Briefly describe the nature/level of the certification.Therapeutic Riding Instructor (2010) and Equine Assisted Mental Health and Learning is pending (2016).

Certification 2:

Provide the name of the certifying organization.Certified Horsemanship Association

Enter the year that the certification was awarded. (yyyy)2007

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

Briefly describe the nature/level of the certification.Riding Instructor--Level 1 English and Western

Please use the space below to share any additional information about this instructor. Shannon McCune Dickerson is a PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor with a master’s degree in Education. She has worked with children and teens for over 12 years mentoring, teaching, leading wilderness trips, facilitating groups, and as a foster parent. In the past 6 years, she has also worked as a parenting educator and most recently as a family counselor, meeting with high-risk families in their homes. She has been involved with equine-assisted learning since 2006 and loves how horses can invite us to see our individual challenges and strengths and open conversations for how we can grow into our best selves.

     5. *Instructor: Sonja Wingard

         *Facility Participation:

         Animals as Natural Therapy

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)2003

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

Briefly describe the nature/level of the certification.Therapeutic Riding Instructor (2003) and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (2011)

Certification 2:

Provide the name of the certifying organization.EAGALA

Enter the year that the certification was awarded. (yyyy)2003

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

Briefly describe the nature/level of the certification.Horse handler level one and two

Certification 3:

Provide the name of the certifying organization.Certified Horsemanship Association

Enter the year that the certification was awarded. (yyyy)2003

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

Briefly describe the nature/level of the certification.English Level One, Western Level Two and Trail Guide certifications.

Please use the space below to share any additional information about this instructor. Sonja is the full time Executive/Program Director of Animals as Natural Therapy, incorporated in 1999. Sonja is a certified horse instructor with three internationally recognized equine organizations: PATH-Professional Association of Therapeutic Riding International, EAGALA-Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association, and CHA-Certified Horsemanship Association. Sonja has pursued training methods which inspire partnership with the horse as co-teacher with Eponaquest- Linda Kohanov, Adventures in Awareness-Barbara Rector and Anne Alda, and Dances with Horses- Frank Bell. With this mindset Sonja is a skilled facilitator for self-discovery and the building of healthy relationships whether people to people or people to animals. Sonja holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Washington State University. She has been practicing nursing for over 40 years in the fields of Family Health, Home Health, School Nursing, Public Health, Camp Nursing, Mother-Baby Care and most recently as a Nursing Instructor in localities as diverse as Boston, the Navajo Reservation and various communities in Washington State. She is the mother of three adults and eight grandchildren who have also contributed to her training.

     6. *Instructor: Trish Pendleton

         *Facility Participation:

         Animals as Natural Therapy

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

Please use the space below to share any additional information about this instructor. Trish is not an instructor in our programs. She is a trainer who works with our horses. She works with our barn manager to ensure that older horses are getting sufficient exercise and mental challenge. She also works with our younger horses and others with specific challenges to help them work through difficult behaviors or fears. Here are some of the trainers she has studied with: • Kim Roe - Dressage • Vicki Schimke - 3 Day Eventing (Cross country jumping, Stadium jumping, and Dressage) • Dawn Secontine - Stadium jumping • Kaylee Stuit - Collection, rating, skills to ride successfully in a drill team • Donna Kellaher - Dressage • Betty Squire - Flat work (western and english) • Sarah Pingot - Ground work • Roz Anderson-Ground work, training young horses, centered riding