Only those organizations that have received the EQUUS Foundation Guardian designation and provide a wide range of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs using certified specialists, therapists, counselors, instructors, trainers and/or facilitators are eligible to apply.
The Guardian organizations must meet the following additional criteria:
• Designate personnel with expertise in community outreach to enlist the volunteer support of the participating volunteers; the participating volunteer must be at least 16 years old;
• Designate personnel for volunteer management;
• Designate personnel with expertise to teach on-site sessions and serve as mentors; mentors will be required to complete the online course of study;
• Provide facilities at which to conduct on-site sessions and hands-on interactions with horses.
• The application will be available online to Guardian charities starting on January 1st.
• The deadline is May 31st.
• On or before August 31: Recipients will be selected.
• Between September 1 and September 30: Recipients will be notified by email and financial support will be disbursed.
• On or before May 31 of the following year: Recipients will conclude the program and report back to the EQUUS Foundation with results.
Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT): Any activity that incorporates equine interactions and/or the equine environment, mounted or ground-based, including horsemanship instruction aimed at contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals with special needs, psychotherapy and/or mental health counseling aimed at achieving goals set forth by the mental health professional and the client, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology treatment strategies that utilize equine movement, and experiential learning approaches that promote the development of life skills for educational, professional and personal goals.
Special Needs: Any difficulty or difficulties (such as a physical, emotional, behavioral, or learning disability or impairment) that require or benefit from assistance and support from certified specialists, therapists, counselors, instructors, trainers and/or facilitators. The difficulty may not be limited to a health issue but may result from the interaction between the individual and the society in which he or she lives arising from an abusive or unhealthy environment and a lack of resources, including economic resources, which can impact an individual's ability to successfully transition into adulthood and being at-risk of a future with less than optimal outcomes.
At-Risk: Refers to being at-risk of a future with less than optimal outcomes. Youth are considered at-risk for a number of reasons, such as if they are homeless or transient, involved in drugs or alcohol, abused sexually, physically or emotionally, mentally ill, neglected at home or live in stressful family environments, lacking social or emotional supports, and involved with delinquent peers. At-Risk youth are likely to be involved in a number of risky behaviors, such as running away, skipping school, drinking under age, engaging in sexual behavior, displaying disruptive behavior, bullying/harassment, fighting, and committing acts of vandalism.
I. By submitting information to the EQUUS Foundation, your organization is granting permission to the EQUUS Foundation to ask people to review the information and to give advice and information to the Foundation about your organization, board, staff, and others with whom you are affiliated.
II. Materials submitted to the EQUUS Foundation as part of the process become the property of the Foundation and will not be returned. The materials will be used as the Foundation deems appropriate. They are not subject to any right of confidentiality unless specifically agreed to in writing by the EQUUS Foundation.
III. The EQUUS Foundation is under no obligation to fund or otherwise have a future relationship with any organization.
IV. The Guidelines contained herein are subject to change without notice.