Application Process

Potential participants are required to have a completed Participant Application with includes a Professional Referral Form.  Applications can be filled out online through our website, downloaded and printed, or picked up at our office. Once all necessary forms are complete we will book an onsite assessment to better determine the particpant's needs and goals.

Once entered into programming, a Participant Update Form will be required once a year or if there has been any change in the participants medical condition. If there is a new medical condition or physical impairment we will require an updated Professional Referral Form as well. It is the responsibility of the participant/guardian to inform Hope Haven's staff on any changes in medical conditions.

Rowan's Law requires every sport organization to make sure all participants including coaches and staff review both Hope Haven's Concussion Code of Conduct as well as Ontario's Concussion Resources on a yearly basis. A confirmation of completion will be required to be submitted to Hope Haven prior to participation in programs.

Payment Methods

Participants will be invoiced at the start of each session for the full amount. We accept payment by cash, e-transfer ( or cheque made payable to Hope Haven Therapeutic Riding Centre. If your cheque does not clear, we ask that you pay by cash or certified cheque.   

Session Withdrawls, Refunds and Credits

  • All session registration cancellations/withdrawals must be made in writing via written note or email.
  • If a rider withdraws before the beginning of a session, they will be issued a refund.
  • If a rider withdraws without a medical cause once the session has started, no refund will be issued.
  • If a rider withdraws once the session has started due to medical reasons, a refund or account credit will be issued for the remaining classes. A physician’s note is required.

Lesson Cancellation

We ask that you please give us 24 hours notice if you need to cancel your lesson. Please contact the office by phone 519-986-1247 or email as soon as you know you will need to cancel.

  • There are no refunds for cancelled lessons.
  • Hope Haven reserves the right to cancel your lesson if there are conditions that may be hazardous to everyone's safety such as storms, excessive heat, high winds, etc. You will be issued a make-up lesson, account credit or refund in this event.
  • Participants must be on time for their lesson in order to keep our schedule running on time. Please note your expected time of arrival on your lesson confirmation. 



Concussions: Prevention and Management

Hope Haven follows the policy and procedures as set by the Ontario Equestrian Concussion Guidelines. We also require a confirmation on a yearly basis, as determined by Rowan's Law, that all Hope Haven participants, coaches and staff have reviewed the following:

  1. Concussion Awareness Resources as provided by the Government of Ontario
  2. Hope Haven's Concussion Code of Conduct for Participants & Parents/Guardians OR
  3. Hope Haven's Concussion Code of Conduct for Coaches, Trainers and Staff

Bodily Contact Policy

Due to the inherent nature of being around horses and especially if mounted, there will be times necessary for our staff and volunteers to have hands on the participant for reasons of safety or increased therapeutic gains.

When mounting and dismounting, most participants will have hands on help by our volunteers and staff. There are occasions where small individuals may need to be lifted onto or off of the horse. During a mounted session there may be hands on for safety with balance, correcting of posture, helping to reposition, etc. During the session if there is a concern for rider safety an emergency dismount may be performed where the volunteers and staff are trained to pull the rider to ground as safely as possible.

If there are behavioural concerns during any type of session, a participant will be removed from the immediate area of the horse by the volunteers or staff for safety reasons of all of the participants in the area. This may involve lifting of the participant if need be.

General Safety Rules and Guidelines

  • Children must be supervised at all times.  
  • Please do not go into the barn or paddocks to visit the horses without permission and supervision.
  • Our horses and volunteers should be treated kindly – they work hard for all of us.
  • No photographs may be taken unless a rider has signed a photo release form.
  • Parents, caregivers, and visitors are asked to stay outside the riding arena, preferably in the Viewing Room, unless they are asked to enter by the instructor.
  • Interaction with riders should be avoided while the instructor is giving lessons.  This allows the rider to focus on the direction of the instructor.
  • Smoking is prohibited anywhere on Hope Haven property.

We do everything possible to ensure the safety of the riders, volunteers, staff and horses.  We are dependent on our volunteers to run our classes safely.  In the event there are insufficient volunteers for any given class, the following will occur:

  • Parents, caregivers, or friends may be asked to assist as sidewalkers and for this reason will be encouraged to take the volunteer training.
  • If suitable, the class will be offered in the form of unmounted equestrian activities.  Riders will not ride if adequate help is not available. 



Volunteer & Staff screening: The Executive Director & Volunteer Coordinator interviews all volunteers & ED interviews new staff & conducts reference checks at all times. All must undergo a police check & sign a declaration of confidentiality. Staff must be minimum 16 years of age, and must participate in a training program twice per year. A Volunteer Training Manual is provided to each volunteer. This includes a Code of Conduct policy. All instructors must be CanTRA certified & complete a first aid & CPR course.

Harassment: We are committed to providing a work environment in which all workers are treated with respect and dignity.

Conflict of Interest: The Hope Haven By-laws contain a comprehensive section on conflict of interest that ensures all Directors & their families do not benefit financially from their participation at Hope Haven.

Complaints: Received verbally or in writing by the Executive Director or any Board member if preferred by the complainant. The Board reviews complaints & appropriate steps are taken to rectify the situation.

Health & Safety: Hope Haven has a Board approved Risk Management Plan for the prevention of abuse & injuries to clients, their families, staff & volunteers while at the Centre. It is based on the Risk Management Standards of CanTRA.