Seminar

Therapy Horse Handler Certification

SEVEN OAKS FARM MINIATURE THERAPY HORSES
IS DEDICATED TO TEACHING OTHERS AND SHARING YEARS OF KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE.

Creating a handler certification as well as a horse registration program has been a long-time goal of ours. We want to create a standard of excellence across the world of miniature therapy horses and animal assisted activities. Over the past few years, we have been teaching those across the country to replicate what we do; and by using that same material - we are creating a certification program to carry that excellence throughout the industry.

There are still details to work out; but we wanted to share the ideas we have for those who want to stay in the loop during this process.


Overview

MINIATURE THERAPY HORSES 103

This seminar is for those interested in handler certification! Miniature Therapy Horses 103 is available entirely online, so anyone around the world can work thru the materials, quizzes, and become certified as a miniature therapy horse handler.

CVG Airport

What you will receive:

  • In the mail:

    • 100+ page bound student guide and

    • DuPont healthcare training booklets with quizzes.

  • Through email:

    • Secure link with access to lecture videos, YouTube videos, and additional materials. There will be linked tests over each individual section, as well as a final exam.

To receive your handler certification, you will have to:

a) watch the lecture over the section;

b) complete a quiz after each lecture video;

c) watch any additional videos to reinforce the materials;

d) complete quizzes in the additional training series over specialized human resources and healthcare;

e) record videos of handling during visits;

f) provide a background check and;

g) complete a final exam.

After sending in the completed quizzes, background check and passing the final exam; expect an e-version of your Miniature Therapy Horse Handler Certification.

 

MINIATURE THERAPY HORSES 104

This handler certification program is geared for participants who have been through another one of our seminars. We highly recommend finishing either Miniature Therapy Horses 102 or 103, after which you can register for the Miniature Therapy Horses 104 course.

Version 2

Locations:

  • Ohio,

  • California,

  • Missouri,

  • Oregon, and

  • Florida.

This entirely hands-on seminar is to enhance everything you have learned in Miniature Therapy Horses 101, 102 and 103 to give you a full understanding of training and handling miniature therapy horses. You do not need to bring your own horses, all horses will be provided by the host farm.

Details:

  • 1-day Saturday course (dates TBD)

  • 9:00am - 7:30pm

  • Lunch and dinner are provided

  • Question & Answer sessions over meals

  • Limited class size: 10 participants

  • Full day of hands-on training with Lisa Moad & staff

  • Final exam after dinner

The exams will be graded by Lisa Moad and her staff; upon completion and passing of the exam, expect an e-version of your Advanced Miniature Therapy Horse Handler Certification.


INTERESTED?

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If you are interested in hosting a 104 seminar, please let us know; we would love to connect!

Hot Topic: Potty Trained?

CAN YOU TRULY “POTTY TRAIN” A HORSE?

This is something that is a true argument between miniature horse owners. Before we start the conversation, we need to clarify a few details:

  1. The idea of potty training. When people hear potty training, they typically assume you are talking about a dog. Where: the dog itself is trained to stand by a door or bark until you, the owner, pays attention and lets the animal out to go potty. The animals are signaling to the owner that they need to relieve themselves. The owner doesn’t need to constantly be on watch for signs.

  2. With-holding food. For a horse to be healthy - they need to be eating 18-20 hours of the day. Otherwise, they develop ulcers and can have serious health problems. Certainly, if an animal isn’t given food - they won’t need any relief. But, for horses to be healthy… this is not an option.

  3. Horses enjoy routine. If they are used to doing the same thing - chances are, they will get used to that routine and stick with it. That routine is developed and they know to relieve themselves in the same spot over a period of time; such as a special place in the yard or in the trailer.

  4. Horses do not have the sense to “hold it” like a trained dog (and human) can do. They will just go. And handlers are always on guard to watch the animal for signs or signals.

Okay: so with these details… You can start to see why we believe:

Horses cannot be potty trained in the same sense that a dog can be potty trained.

 

Dog vs. Horse Potty Training

Dallas, Buddy, and Skye

When an animal is “potty trained” they are considered to know that relieving themselves inside is bad, and that they need to alert their owner that they need to go. The owner can be doing other things, and will be alerted by the animal itself; there is no constant-following or supervision to watch the animal to make sure they don’t go in the house - since they are trained. With that explained; horses do not give a sign to their owner, rather, the hander needs to be on constant lookout to watch their horse for signs.

Here’s an example: I know when Wendy starts to move around after an hour of standing still during a visit, that we need to go outside to let her relieve herself. She hasn’t announced through pawing or nudging (signs she is trained not to do during a visit anyways) that she needs to relieve herself, instead I am watching for a sign. AND I know we have been on a visit for about an hour - the typical timeframe a horse will need to relieve itself anyways. So we go outside to the trailer and she relieves herself.

 

With-holding Food

Now, I’ve already mentioned how often horses need to be eating. We never-ever keep food away from the horses before a visit. There is always hay in the trailer with water in a bucket, or at least in a sealed container since certain horses like knocking over the water 😏… and they will always be offered water before and after a visit. (I think I nailed this one on the head now.)

 

Routine

Denver.JPG

Herd animals enjoy doing the same thing over and over again. Have you ever noticed horses getting bent out of shape when you feed at a different time than “usual”? The nature of these animals is to follow the same routine. So naturally, if they are used to the routine of a visit they will automatically learn that after a certain task is performed they continue to the next. Our pre-visit routine is the same each time: a) bathe the horses, b) let them dry in the corral, c)load into the trainer {cue relieving themselves, also because they smell it}, d) make the visit, e) return to the trailer {again, a cue to relieve themselves} f) return home and roll in the dirt. See: although the visit location of the visit may differ, the routine is always the same. Notice with the more veteran therapy horses… take Denver for example. When we put on a BunBag, vest, clean his hooves and brush his mane and tail he seems to “get in the mood” for the visit. He understands this is the same as always and has very trusting relationship with us. His head drops and he is ready for visitors.

But wait: You still put on a BunBag?

YES! We will always put a BunBag on. When we were first doing training visits years ago, we were getting so caught up and nervous watching the horse for signs that we couldn’t focus on the patient/horse experience. The bags are a security for us as handlers. Then, we don’t have to keep watching and honestly, stressing, to watch and observe the horse for signs they may have to go. Remember, horses can hear your heartbeat - so when your anxiety increases your heart rate increases and the horses will notice that and become unsettled with you.

Fun Fact: Horses only pee 2 - 3 times a day; However, they will poop almost every hour.

Also consider: if you are doing a visit where your horses are eating in the grass while visitors pet them - they will more than like poop during that visit. What goes in always comes out.

Always Remember: Horse are unpredictable.

You could think your horse is doing well remembering the routine of a visit, but something can always happen. Even our more experienced horses have pooped in their bag during a visit. Some horses are coined as “double-poopers” and we keep note of that. These are horses that will stress poop for various reasons. You just never know. And instead of constantly watching our horse for signs, simply leaving the relieving to be relieved; we can have a fun enjoyable visit with a built-in safety net for the horse.

We never leave the farm without a bag on, that is our policy. I take everything we came with back to the farm.


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