American Miniature Therapy Horse Association
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The American Miniature Therapy Horse Association (AMTHA) Team Qualification Program judges potential miniature therapy horses and handlers in various situations and environments to ensure that the team is prepared to act appropriately in, but not limited to, institutional facilities, public settings, and one-on-one encounters. Re-qualification is mandatory every 2 (two) years. All applications for qualification will be reviewed by 3 (three) evaluators (recorded by video by the on-site evaluator and evaluated by 2 (two) off-site evaluators if an on-site evaluator is available and by video taken by a third party and submitted for evaluation by 3 (three) off-site evaluators). If a team fails to meet all qualification criteria and needs correction and/or additional training, they will be designated “On Probation” and will be able to retest after 30 days. A certificate of completion will be provided upon acceptance of proof that the following standards have been adhered to; or if the team is currently registered and in good standing with other organizations that require evaluations of miniature therapy horses and/or handlers. All teams tested are required to have dues up-to-date and pay a fee for testing.
Requirements for Qualification:
Successful completion of all standards of qualification.
Minimum age of handler is contingent upon local and/or state child participation statutes. Copy and proof of meeting statutes required.
Minimum age of a horse is 6 (six) months
Completion of 5 (five) documented therapy visits
Handler Health Requirements:
Negative TB (If required by handler’s State Health Department)
Horse Health Requirements: (copies required at time of qualification application)
Vaccinations (appropriate for geographical area to be determined by owner/handler and their veterinarian)
Yearly Health Certificate from Vet
Negative Coggins-if required in your state
Therapy horses are required to have the highest grooming and cleanliness standards due to the nature of their work. The standards maintain the cleanliness to protect the horse and clients at all times. The horses’ coat, mane, and tail should be soft and free of dirt, dander and loose hair. A winter coat is acceptable during the fall and winter seasons. Hooves are to be properly trimmed and cleaned with pick and brush and washed with disinfectant before entering any building.
Loud and/or unexpected noises
Medical and housekeeping machinery
The sudden movement of individuals and people in a group
Objects blowing with the wind or flapping on either side, back and front
Moves with handler
Navigates in close spaces
Can be approached from either side, back, and front without incident
Approachable front, behind and sides
Navigates around equipment (wheelchair, crutches, walker, scooter chair)
Shows appropriate individual interactions with child and adult