Student Placement Process
Intake Assessment All participants are assessed prior to placement in any of Breaking Free’s programs. An intake assessment serves to orient the participant and parents and/or caregivers to the facility, the programs and the various services offered. This assessment is completed by Breaking Free Staff to determine a participant’s functional ability, overall behavior, educational goals, communication needs, and appropriate placement to the therapy program. Assessment is required for students who have not received services and Breaking Free within the past 12 months, however, Breaking Free reserves the right to reassess any participant prior to scheduling services or within any service period.
Eligibility Criteria Safety and maximizing the therapeutic benefits of equine activities are primary concerns of a successful program. Due to the capacities of volunteer side walkers and current program horses, insurance requirements and industry standards, Breaking Free is limited to accepting students who: For Riding:
- Weigh less than 260 pounds
- Are able to be effectively supported by side walkers
For all Breaking Free programs:
- Do not exhibit conditions that are contraindicated
- Have current signed and dated paperwork
- Benefit physically, emotionally, socially and/or cognitively from a Breaking Free Therapeutic Riding Program
- Complete an intake assessment where it is determined that eligibility criteria are met
- Do not threaten the health or well-being of other participants, horses, volunteers or staff
A potential participant is not a candidate for equine programming if conditions exist that contraindicate equestrian participation as determined by PATH or if a participant is unable to adhere to Breaking Free policies are set forth in this Student Handbook. A team consisting of a Breaking Free Intake Assess, the Program Director, the head Instructor and a professional adviser (i.e. physical therapist, occupational therapist, mental health professional, etc.) will make the final determination of acceptance and appropriateness for specific programs for any given participants. Eligibility will be re-evaluated as necessary.
Waiting List and Placement
Upon completion of all required paperwork, payment of assessment fee, and an intake assessment by PATH Int. Riding instructors, prospective participants will be added to the primary waiting list. It is the student’s responsibility to notify Breaking Free of any changes in contact information. Failure to do so may impact notification of lesson openings.
For any of the programs listed below, please ask your Instructor or call the Head Instructor for more information.
Riding Lessons/Equine-Facilitated Therapy
Each Lesson incorporates the educational, physical, social and recreational goals of each individual student. The 45-minutes lesson includes mounting, warm-up time, an exercise, an activity or game, skill development, skill review, a closing activity and dismounting. Group lessons have 3-4 students per class. Lessons will include some unmounted time devoted to expanding horsemanship skills. Students may groom, saddle, or perform other appropriate activities that develop horsemanship skills. Continual participation in the program is suggested for maximum therapeutic benefits.