Are the Programs Only for Active Duty Military Families?
No. All families, whether they're Active Duty, Reserve or Guard are welcome to participate in the Horses4Heroes programs.
What Age Groups Do the Programs Serve?
Horses4Heroes has various programs that serve a wide-variety of age groups. Participants range from kids as young as two-years-old, teens and adults of all ages.
Are Participants Required to Wear A Helmet?
All riders under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet. This requirement is optional for anyone who is 18 or older.
Can Wounded Warriors Participate in the Riding Programs?
Yes, as long as they have clearance from their doctor or health care provider. Additionally, wounded warriors that have suffered any kind of head trauma are strongly encouraged to wear a helmet.
Does the $25 Membership Fee Cover All Costs?
No. The $25 membership fee enables facilities to provide certain programs at greatly reduced prices. For example, without a membership, adults or kids who are interested in taking riding lessons from a facility that offers Horses4Heroes programs would pay full price, whereas Horses4Hereos members would receive lessons at a deeply discounted price.
Furthermore, membership covers the cost for any of the Horses4Heroes health and wellness programs, which means you wouldn't pay additional fees to participate in one of the StayStrong programs or HorsePlay! which is a mommy-and-me type program for kids ages 2-6.
Besides reduced prices on lessons, members will also receive:
- A one-year subscription to Blaze Kids magazine.
- Horses4Heroes T-shirts for each family member.
- Directory of horse-related services that offer discounts to Horses4Heroes members.
- Affordable camps and clinics.
- Numerous other benefits which are featured here.
Do I Have to Renew My Membership?
No. The cost of membership is a one-time fee.
How Do We Become a Member?
Becoming a member is easy. Simply go to the Horses4Hereoes Member Benefits page, download the application and follow the submission instructions.
I'm Not Sure If I Want to Become a Member. Are There Any Programs That I Can Try Before Making My Decision?
Yes. You do not need to be a member to participate in Operation Free Ride.
Is the Membership Application the Only Form I Need to Fill Out?
No. Each facility has documents such as liability waivers, etc. that you'll be required to complete before participating in a program(s). (This is a standard procedure. Most riding facilities, regardless if they offer Horses4Heroes, will not allow riders to participate without signing a waiver of liability.)
Does Horses4Heroes Accept Volunteers?
Absolutely! Horses4Heroes relies heavily on volunteers and considers them a valuable part of the organization. In fact, on their Web site they refer to volunteers as the "lifeblood" of the organization.
If you love horses and would like to volunteer, Horses4Heroes needs help with:
- Saddling and unsaddling
- Warming up and cooling down the horses
- Mucking and sweeping stalls
- Assisting with and/or giving lessons
- Barn chores
- Staff events
Please visit the Volunteer Page to learn more about this opportunity and to download their form. If you don't have any experience with horses, don't worry. Horses4Heroes provides training for their volunteers.
What's the Difference Between Horses4Heroes and Horses for Heroes?
Horses4Heroes is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2006 as a way to thank individuals and families who make sacrifices on behalf of others—and they accomplish their goal by providing numerous recreational, educational and health and wellness horseback programs for able-bodied kids and adults.
Horses for Heroes is an equine therapeutic riding program for wounded warriors that's offered through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH International). Depending on the needs of the wounded warrior, this particular program utilizes therapeutic riding in conjunction with therapy sessions conducted by licensed therapists. Furthermore, facilities offering this program must meet strict guidelines set forth by PATH International.
Is Membership to Horses4Heroes Only Available to Military Families?
No. In addition to military families, Horses4Heroes welcomes individuals and family members of:
- Law Enforcement
- First Responders
- Critical Care and Hospice Nurses
- Special Needs School Teachers
- Families that are suffering from serious chronic illnesses and/or disabilities.
- Anyone who has a physically dangerous or emotionally demanding job.
(Individuals that don't meet the above mentioned criteria can join as a "Friend" of Horses4Heroes. However, the Friend membership fee is $100, which is still an excellent bargain considering all of the programs you'll have access to in conjunction to reduced prices on lessons.)
How Can I Locate a Horses4Heroes Facility in My Area?
A listing of facilities is featured here or you may browse the location's page on the Horses4Hereoes Web site. If you cannot find a facility in your area, please e-mail Sydney Knott, the President/Executive Director of Horses4Hereoes at firstname.lastname@example.org and she'll make some inquiries and do her best to find a facility that's near you.
I Have More Questions About Horses4Hereoes. Who Do I Contact?
The organization's contact information is as follows: