These policies exist to maintain a safe and professional environment. PLEASE REVIEW THESE POLICIES CAREFULLY. You can also download a printable copy of our policies here.
Program Enrollment Process
For our Therapy Programs, any person diagnosed with an emotional, physical, or cognitive disability from age 2 years and up is eligible to apply for enrollment. Students between the ages of 2-4 must be seen by a licensed physical or occupational therapist.
For our Sport Programs, any able-bodied rider/driver and rider/drivers with disabilities seeking a competitive and/or independent sports track is eligible to apply for enrollment. Generally speaking, riders begin traditional lessons no younger than age 5.
For the health of our horses and the safety of our riders and sidewalkers, we generally do not accommodate riders in excess of 200 lbs. in mounted sessions. We make exceptions for athletes (with and without disabilities) in our sports programs. If it is determined that a rider does not have the requisite balance to stay astride the horse, a mounted program is not appropriate. Alternative means of interaction with horses, such as grooming or adaptive carriage driving, will be recommended for individuals who would still like to participate in an equine-facilitated activity.
There are additional steps that students must meet before we can enroll them in our program.
- The first step is to contact the Head of School at Carlisle Academy to discuss space availability and program suitability (207-985-0374, email@example.com).
- We will determine eligibility and assists the necessary paperwork including insurance benefits and other funding resources as needed, including scholarships through our charitable partner, the Carlisle Charitable Foundation.
- An intake and evaluation meeting will be scheduled with the appropriate Carlisle staff to establish an individualized plan of care or find an appropriate program type.
- Once the enrollment material is completed and the medical paperwork has been reviewed, the student is enrolled in an upcoming session or placed on a waiting list. No student may begin at Carlisle until the necessary paperwork is received.
- Enrollment midway through a session is considered on a case-by-case basis.
Tuition Payments & Credits
- Tuition is based on a per diem fee or the full session, as indicated on the tuition sheet.
- Students are billed monthly.
- Students receiving a CCF award must pay their balance before the start of the session.
- All agencies/schools are billed monthly, unless other contract terms have been established.
- If a student is unable to pay the balance in the time requested, a payment plan will be established with the office.
- A student may not enroll in another session until their balance is paid in full, or it is established that their payment plan extends beyond this time frame.
- Carlisle Academy is an out-of-network provider for all insurances policies with the exception of Maine Community Health Options. Families will be provided with a packet of information on how to file their own claims.
- Students/Interns who also participate as a sidewalking Apprentice within the allotted time (see Apprentice Program) will receive a 15% lesson discount.
- For multiple children/family members enrolled per session, a 10% discount will be applied to the second member’s balance (or the lesser amount) after other forms of tuition support have been accounted for. In the event that the rider is also an apprentice, a 15% discount will be applied to one of the lesson spots only.
- For students who participate in more than one program or lesson per week, a 10% discount will be applied to the second program’s balance (or the lesser amount) after other forms of tuition support have been accounted for. In the event that the rider is also an apprentice, a 15% discount will be applied to one of the lesson spots only.
- Discounts and pro-rations only apply to a student’s balance, and not portions paid by other parties (e.g. insurances, a foundation).
- No pro-rations or discounts apply to students enrolled in CCF-sponsored Groups.
- Carlisle Academy observes rolling admissions for winter and summer sessions and for new students and will prorate tuition accordingly.
Lesson Cancellation Policy
- Carlisle Academy must coordinate staff, apprentices, and horses to plan an effective and safe lesson for each student. A 24-hour cancellation call is required for students who are unable to make a scheduled lesson. Otherwise a 50% lesson fee is applied to the student’s balance.
- Students who consistently fail to give a 24-hour notice may be asked to give up their spot in the program. Students running more than 15 minutes late will forfeit their lesson for the day.
- Per diem students must maintain active attendance in order to enroll. Students who miss more than two lessons within a session may be asked to forfeit their spot to make room for students on the waiting list..
- Severe weather (thunder/high wind) may force us to cancel the mounted portion of your lesson. In the event of severe weather we will make every attempt to design a valuable unmounted activity for each student.
Refund and Credit Policy
We do not provide make up lessons for students in cancelled groups or when students are ill or other absences. Refunds or credits are available under the following circumstances:
- Cancellation is initiated by Carlisle Academy. (weather, staff or equine illness). For updated weather conditions please check our “real time” weather link on our website.
- Student withdrawal due to medical reasons. (Please note: a physician’s statement is required).
- Credits and refunds are determined on a on a case-by-case basis by the Head of School.
- Students who receive tuition support from other sources will receive lesson credits or refunds based upon the percentage of tuition per payer.
- Carlisle Charitable Foundation scholarships will be credited back to the Foundation within that session for unused lessons or excused absences.
Safety Equipment & Attire Policy
- Students are required to wear riding helmets during unmounted and mounted portions of their lessons. Carlisle Academy provides students with a properly fitted ASTM-SEI approved riding helmet. Students who wish to use their own helmet must present it to a staff member for approval. The helmet cannot be more than 7 years old and must bear the ASTM-SEI certified seal.
- Students should wear long pants when working around and riding horses. Students may choose denim jeans, sweat pants or riding breeches. For riders participating in hippotherapy, sweat pants or leggings are appropriate. Slippery wind pants are not allowed. It is suggested that male riders wear an athletic supporter.
- All saddles are equipped with breakaway safety stirrups. Students using stirrups are encouraged to wear riding boots or hard-soled shoes with a heel. Students participating in hippotherapy may wear sneakers.
We have a loaner closet with breeches and boots. Please consider donating outgrown riding gear to benefit others.
Parental/Guardian Involvement and Student Safety in the Farm Environment
In a farm environment, many potential safety issues exist. Please review the following to ensure safety.
- If you bring a rider to the program please enjoy the farm serenity. We have waiting areas adjacent to the arenas, and waiting areas outside the lesson barn. Please use these areas and do not congregate in the lesson barn where horses are being prepared for lessons. If we need assistance we will let you know. We suggest that you use the time at the beginning or the end of a lesson to communicate any changes or concerns that may impact your rider. In addition, if you arrive early please yield to a lesson in progress. Lastly, unless invited by the instructor or the therapist, do not talk to your child during the lesson. This is distracting and can impact lesson safety and effectiveness.
- If you have been trained as a sidewalker, you may be asked to assist in the riding arena. Please wear appropriate footwear. Sneakers and hiking boots provide the best support and protection. If we need your assistance to address things such as behavior or communication we will let you know.
- If you bring another child with you they must be supervised by you at all times and if you arrive early your child must be supervised at all times. There is an outside swing set and toys in the viewing room available to children. If you have an older child and you will be dropping them off and picking up later make sure our staff knows. At the end of the day, staff will not leave until all children have been picked up so please do not be late.
- Anyone taking pictures must first seek permission from all parties in the arena or barn. This includes our staff, volunteers and other riders.
- Horse Sense!
- No one other than Carlisle Academy staff are allowed into horse pastures.
- Equine vision is unique and items such as umbrellas, balloons, kites or quick and sudden movements outside of the ring can frighten our horses. Our horses are service animals and they are in service when they are wearing a bridle or halter. Please do not touch or speak to a horse unless you have been told you may do so.
- Normal voices must be used around our horses and yelling and screaming may scare them.
- Treat Week! Do not hand feed our horses. The last week of each session is “Treat Week” and you may bring carrots or apples at that time.
- Carlisle Academy reserves the right to dismiss from the center any guest who becomes disruptive, does not adhere to the program’s policies or creates a safety concern for people or horses.
- A unisex, handicapped accessible public toilet is located on the farm property.
- Smoking is not allowed on the farm property. If you see someone smoking, please let us know.
- If you need proximal parking, please make sure your you have car hanger or plate and park in the areas indicated by the “handicapped” parking signs near the arenas or lesson barn.
- Do not send riders if they are ill.
- Carlisle Academy is a “sex offender restricted zone” as defined in Section 261(4) of Title 17-A of the Maine Revised Statutes. Any person who is required to register in Maine for placement on Maine’s sex offender registry and who has been convicted of a sex offense against another person who had not attained 14 years of age may not have any direct or indirect contact at Carlisle with another person who has not attained 14 years of age. Carlisle reserves the right to exclude from its program and the premises it controls any person convicted of a sex offense.
- All service and personal dogs must be on a leash while on the property.
- Anyone licensed by the state of Maine to carry a firearm must keep it in a locked car while on private property belonging to Spring Creek Farm.
Student Dismissal & Discharge Policy
It is at the discretion of Carlisle Academy’s Head of School to accept or remove a student from the program. Students who do not adhere to the rules and procedures or cease to meet the guidelines for eligibility are subject to dismissal or discharge. No student will be dismissed without an opportunity to discuss the reasons with supervisory staff. The student may at any time, decide to end the student relationship with Carlisle Academy. Notice of such a decision should be communicated to Carlisle Academy staff as soon as possible.
Possible grounds for dismissal or discharge may include, but are not limited to:
- conduct endangering another student or staff
- conduct endangering themselves
- consistent failure to follow safety procedures with respect to the horses
- Rider weight: exceeding 200 pounds and height impacting equine safety and health
- Excessive high or low tone impacting equine safety and health
- Excessive postural sway or unbalance while riding impacting equine safety and health
- In ability to provide the rider with safe and sufficient support from sidewalkers
- Behaviors jeopardizing the safety of the horse, instructor, therapist, side walker or other students
- Continued failure to cancel lessons in advance
- A change in medical condition should it be determined that it is no longer safe or beneficial for a rider to continue.
- At the discretion of a therapist, the student has met all therapy goals. Prior to discharge the therapist would meet with the student/guardian/caregiver to review rationale and offer recommendations which may include a transition to another Carlisle program.