Therapy Center Eligibility & Enrollment

Therapy Center Eligibility & Enrollment

HIPPOTHERAPY – ELIGIBILITY & ATTIRE 

Any person diagnosed with an emotional, physical, or cognitive disability from age 2 years and older is eligible to apply. We require a physician’s signature/approval and will review precautions and contraindications with our physical and occupational therapists. Our hippotherapy program is designed to treat individuals with disabilities who show measurable progress toward their established physical or occupational therapy goals. It is not a therapeutic recreational program. Factors which make a person ineligible for services include conduct endangering themselves, staff or horses, exceeding hippotherapy weight limit of 150 pounds, and excessive high/low tone, postural sway, or unbalance impacting equine and staff safety and health.  

Students are required to wear riding helmets during the mounted time. 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 5 years old and must bear the ASTM/SEI certified seal. No bike or ski helmets are allowed. Students ride on pads in hippotherapy with no stirrups typically. Sweat pants or leggings are appropriate. Slippery wind pants are not recommended. Sneakers are allowed, however open-toed shoes are not. 

ADAPTIVE HORSEMANSHIP – ELIGIBILITY & ATTIRE

Any person diagnosed with an emotional, physical, or cognitive disability from age 4 years and older is eligible to apply. We require a physician’s signature/approval and will review precautions and contraindications with our physical and occupational therapists. Our adaptive horsemanship program is designed to teach basic riding skills with nationally certified instructors trained in adaptive technique for educational and enrichment purposes. Unlike Hippotherapy, it is not a clinical therapy. However, given our interprofessional team in the Therapy Center, the Adaptive Horsemanship Program is under the consultation of our staff physical and occupational therapists who are present at the time of intake. Factors which make a person ineligible for services include conduct endangering themselves, staff or horses, exceeding adaptive riding weight limit of 190 pounds, and excessive high/low tone, postural sway, or unbalance impacting equine and staff safety and health.  

Students are required to wear riding helmets during all mounted portions of their lessons. Carlisle Academy can provide 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 5 years old and must bear the ASTM- SEI certified seal. All saddles are equipped with breakaway safety stirrups. Students using stirrups are encouraged to wear riding boots or hard-soled shoes with a heel. The Academy has a collection of boots and breeches to lend out to students for a season.

MENTAL HEALTH & WELLNESS PROGRAMS – ELIGIBILITY & ATTIRE

 Our Mental Health & Wellness Programs are under the supervision and direct service of Carlisle’s health professionals including on staff physical and occupational therapists and consulting mental health colleagues. All programs are supported by PATH, International Instructors with specialty certifications as Equine Specialists in Mental Health & Learning. These are ground-based, unmounted programs and as such, there are no weight or ambulation restrictions. Helmets are not required. All participants should wear long pants, closed toed shoes preferably with coverage at the ankles. The Farmscape Program requires independent ambulation on uneven surfaces and the ability to lift up to 50lbs.

Hippotherapy Enrollment Process

There are steps that students must meet before we can enroll them in our program.

  1. The first step is to contact the office to discuss space availability and program suitability (207-985-0374, info@carlisleacademymaine.com).
  2. The office can assist with the client documentation (see below) including funding resources and scholarships through our charitable partner, the Carlisle Charitable Foundation.
  3. An intake meeting will be scheduled with Carlisle’s therapy staff to establish an individualized plan of care.
  4. Once the enrollment material is completed and the medical paperwork has been reviewed, the client can be enrolled in an upcoming session or placed on a waiting list. No student may begin at Carlisle until the necessary paperwork is received.
  5. Enrollment midway through a session is considered on a case-by-case basis.

Additional considerations:

  • Students with specific treatment plans that include specialized emergency procedures, medical prescriptions, or actions to be taken around behavioral issues, must have a parent/caregiver accompany them to each session at Carlisle.
  • Some students may be difficult to provide services for because of a physical, mental or behavioral challenge that scares or threatens those around them, most especially the horses. Carlisle staff will attempt to create the best student, horse, staff and sidewalker combinations possible. Carlisle reserves the right to deny or remove a student from a therapy session if their actions jeopardize the safety of the horses, staff, or him/herself.

Begin Enrollment

Please, read the following information carefully, and contact our office if you have any questions.

As part of our Core Values…
We believe in the power of the horse to teach, inspire, and heal while providing a unique movement and presence that can be scientifically demonstrated to benefit a person’s functional health and resiliency.


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