About Our Therapy Horse Training
All our horses here are VERY WELL TRAINED to be handled around wheelchairs, beds and walkers as well as being trained to go inside the house, PLUS they learn to do agility training over obstacles & jumps! We also are doing the basic training to be Mobility Service Horses. We have lots of detailed videos showing our signature training!
We have had so many requests over the years that we decided for the first time ever we will offer our superior therapy horse training services to the public. We LOVE what we do and we LOVE our horses! Besides having extensive horse knowledge and years of horse training experience, the kindness and love we have for these horses shows through our training! Each horse is treated as part of the family!. We pride ourselves in being the best in the country and with over 24 years experience we have extensive background and knowledge on Therapy Training and Trick Training horses! We have many clients all over the USA and in other countries! We will be offering therapy training services at our new farm in Bradenton, Florida starting 2021. We are booked until November 2023. The horse must meet our temperament requirements before being accepted! The mini also must be under 34" and be at least a year of age (NO colts or stallions, they must be geldings or mares only) and have proof of current vaccinations given by a licensed vet and a negative coggins. Insurance on your horse is recommended but not required. All three training programs we offer include full board - hay, grain, stall cleaning, farrier work if needed, worming, and daily turnout plus therapy registration, personalized therapy vest with your horse's name and your farm name on it as well as shoes for your mini. Please note your mini must know how to halter, lead and have basic ground manners. If it doesn't have any of this training, then you must pay for an additional month of training.
Our Level 1 Therapy Training Program is a 30 day training program that costs $3500.00. At Level 1 we will train your mini all the basics of therapy work (obstacle work with poles, tarp, jumps, etc. plus desensitizing and indoor therapy performance training). We also teach it to go up steps and ramps and load in a van. We will take your horse out on a couple therapy visits at nursing homes to get them started.
Our Level 2 Therapy Training Program is a 60 day training Program that costs $4500.00. At Level 2 we will teach your horse everything in the Level 1 training program PLUS take it out on WEEKLY therapy visits to nursing homes so it will be fully therapy trained for you.
Our Level 3 Therapy Training Program is a 90 day therapy training program that costs $5500.00. At Level 3 we will teach your horse everything in the Level 1 training program PLUS take it out on visits and teach it a variety of tricks so you can entertain audiences when you travel to facilities!. Tricks include bowing, curtsy, getting on a platform, counting, shaking hands, smile, dunking a basketball, picking up a bear and/or hanky. So your horse will be getting the trio of training - therapy training, trick training & obstacle training! We also will show you how to handle your newly trained therapy trick horse!
Anyone that has witnessed the remarkable effect these little horses have with special kids, patients and the elderly, have seen the amazing healing like abilities horses have as therapy animals. Horses in general have a natural built in sense to know when someone really needs that nuzzling kiss on their cheek or be given a warm hug by wrapping their hands around their soft neck. Even as simple as just running their fingers gently through their beautiful flowing mane will bring a smile to anyone. The love a therapy horse gives is unmeasureable and their touch is truly magical in every sense. Together we all can make a difference!
All of our Therapy Horses are trained here at All Star Farm and are registered with - "You Make The Difference" (YMTD) - a program that registers miniature horses for use in therapy and has over 200 registered therapy minis in it from all over the USA!. The registration certificate is simply validation of the training the horse received by its very qualified and experienced trainers here at All Star Farm who have trained horses for 24+ years. A therapy trained miniature horse that is registered in our program will receive their YMTD certificate of registration as a therapy horse with either a gold or silver star depending on amount of training and/or therapy visits. A Gold Star means the horse has been fully trained and has done at least 20 therapy visits OR has had between 40-60 hours of training through our extensive and detailed therapy training program. This means they have been exposed and trained for walkers, wheelchairs, beds and all the noises, sounds and tight spaces that go with nursing facilities (or any therapy type facility). They are even taught obstacle work over jumps, tarps, poles and to go up and down steps and a ramp. Some of them we even teach tricks too. Silver Star Horses are usually always young horses in training like foals that have completed their therapy training on the farm and are ready to start going out on visits. We always like to take our time with the foals and we want to be sure they are physically and mentally ready before we start taking them out on visits. Silver Star Therapy Horses are classified as therapy horses in training, which means we are acknowledging they have limited therapy experience. A Silver Star therapy horse can upgrade to a Gold Star once their level of experience has been reached and completed. A therapy horse that has been an ambassador for therapy and has over 40 visits will receive a special Blue Star on their certificate in honor of their long term service as a therapy horse. All Mares, Fillies, Geldings and Colts are accepted into our program. Once a colt has reached 2 years of age it must be gelded (we prefer they are gelded by 1 year of age if dropped) in order to remain in our program! We do not and will not ever use mature stallions for therapy work! Stallions are prone to being nippy for one but with the testosterone they can't be around mares when doing therapy (as they can "drop" in public from excitement or worse!). But most importantly it can be dangerous as stallions can be unpredictable! Yes there are sweet tempered and people loving stallions out there, we have one! but it is not worth the risk with all that testosterone! Stallions also don't usually get along with other males either. If you want to use a stallion for therapy work then have him gelded, he will be much happier believe me! It is also a known fact that mishandling of any horse can cause them to loose trust and undo any training put in them. It doesn't matter how well trained they are to start with, if you mishandle a horse you can undo the training that had been put into them. Any knowledgeable trainer will tell you that. As the horse's well being is most important to us we want to keep tabs on the horse and how they are being handled thus why we require our certificates to be updated yearly and videos to see how the horse is being handled and treated. Every program is different, this is how we run ours and others run their programs different and that is perfectly fine. We just know what works for us as we want what is best for the horse. Any program that does not put expiration dates on their certificates are not looking out for the best interest of the horse nor do they care about the training they put into them. Any therapy program that does not have expiration dates on their certificates are most likely not a true therapy registration program. Also with Silver Star horses, we want to make sure that the new owners are continuing to work with them so they can eventually get their gold star status. Remember it is up the the new owners to be responsible and not undo the training that has been put into the horse. If you would like to learn more about this program in greater detail, go directly to the Program's website at www.youmakethedifferenceprogram.com
Also please note there is no such thing as a "certification" program for therapy horses ONLY therapy registration programs!. Any therapy program that is claiming to only be a certification program and not a registration program is NOT legit so be careful!. Our certificate of therapy registration has the horse's pictures on them, their name, date of birth, color and gender. You also get the ORIGINAL copy of your registration certificate in hand! We do not fax, email or text our certificates to you as ONLY legit therapy registration programs will send you the real certificate and not fax, text or email it to you so be cautious!.
Our Breeding Program
Most of the horses in our program were bred, born and raised on our farm out of our own therapy trained mares and stallions that we have hand selected based on conformation, size and temperament. We also hand select a few top quality foals that were born at other breeding farms that we have a good relationship with that we then train once they are weaned and shipped here. All the babies are handled daily and their basic training to be a therapy horse starts when they are just a few weeks old like haltering and leading, being touched all over and picking up their feet then as they get a little older they will learn to be clipped, bathed, brushed, stand tied etc. Once in awhile will take the mares and babies to nursing homes together when the foals are 4-6 months of age (not any sooner) to get them acclimated to what will be expected of them as their adventure into becoming a therapy horse begins!. Foals that have been bred right with a good temperament and had the proper handling and training truly LOVE to interact with people and are NEVER scared! Of course you never take a foal anywhere that has never been properly handled or trained nor has the disposition for it. Generally our foals are trained and ready to go to their new homes between 8-10 months of age. Some people don't like training their babies before a year of age because they are "too young" they say or too immature or too scared to handle it. Well the problem is these people have no experience in training foals and NO knowledge (they lack years of experience) on HOW to do it. People have been training foals at a young age for decades and it is perfectly safe both mentally and physically. It is a known fact that foals that are properly handled and trained early on actually do better as adults. There is nothing wrong or cruel with training a foal when they are young! This is how foals learn! As long as the training is done with knowledge, kindness, care and patience and WITH their mothers always WITH them there is no stress involved as the babies love learning and doing things! We let the foals learn at their own pace, they are never forced to do anything! For decades - hundreds of World Class Trainers and World Champion Breeding Farms have been training foals that are 4 to 6 months of age to get them ready for the show ring with no issues whatsoever when done correctly and with care. There are even classes specifically for weanling foals to show in and the trainers have to prepare them and train them ahead of time for these classes before they are weaned!. How else are the foals going to learn?? Our foals are weaned at 6 months and only through a slow stress free gradual weaning process. We do not believe in just taking a foal away from it's mother and separating them, it should be done slowly and gradually over time. Experience, experience, experience is the key to making a good therapy horse! Be careful of anyone claiming their yearling will only grow an inch taller! Miniature Horses grow until 3 years of age and will grow at least 2-3" taller then what their current height is at a year of age. For instance if a yearling measures 25 inches then you can expect it to mature to AT LEAST 27-28". There are several breeders/sellers that are advertising their new foals, weanlings and yearlings with the incorrect height (saying the foals are 12" or 14" for instance when it is quite obvious the foal is much taller then that and ironically when asked to remeasure them they are indeed much taller then they said). They are also giving incorrect height estimates so be sure to double check that. Remember these two rules: 1.) Get the TRUE height they currently are by using a measuring stick (ask for pics of them being measured to prove height) and 2.) Use the online charts to see what they will mature to based on their current height. If you are purchasing a newborn foal from a breeder - make sure to ask for height measurements at birth and again at 3 and 6 months to make sure that foal is on track to stay the height at maturity they are predicting. USE the online measurement charts to know what your foal will mature too! Just google for the miniature height chart! Also it is MYTH that a yearling won't grow anymore just because it's tail hits the ground! Be careful of farms that post negativity and false information on the internet - Do your research! We welcome visitors to come to our farm anytime to see our minis! .
There are two kinds of small mini horses. There are minis that were bred to be small because their parents and grandparents were small and then there are horses that are accidently small, meaning the parents and grandparents are much taller but the offspring happened to be small. If you specifically want a foal that has a higher chance of being genetically small then you need to get a foal that was bred to be small meaning it has small parents and grandparents.
We do tend to favor pintos but do have other colors on our farm as well such as overos, palominos, bays, blacks, appaloosas, sorrels and grays. As they say, a good horse is never a bad color! The most important thing we breed for is temperament first and foremost. The horses must be gentle and friendly. On occasion we do purchase from other farms if they have a horse that fits the requirement we are looking for in our program. It is our experience, that the majority of horses do make good therapy horses, however not ALL horses are suitable. It takes a special horse that has the natural ability to do this kind of work. They should not only enjoy doing it but it really should come natural and easy to them. We also found that the smaller minis (under 30") are not only a bit easier to train but because they are so small, they can maneuver in tight rooms much easier then a larger mini. We have encountered some pretty tight areas and spaces where a larger mini would have had difficulty maneuvering through, but these little minis can squeeze in smaller spaces with no problem!. So that is why we specialize in the under 30" miniature horses for our therapy program. It is not easy to breed them this small either and that is why there are not many out there because there are higher risks of complications during birth when breeding these small minis. We have many years of experience in birthing horses and can handle any situation that arises during the birthing process, but we are also lucky enough to have one of the best reproduction vets in the state so if any problems arise, she is there to help. But another reason, these little horses are more rare is you have to have the perfect combination of mares and stallions that have proven to produce small year after year and they must be proven to produce correct, show quality babies as well. We are proud to be able to have a program that breeds for the whole package - conformation, quality, temperament, color and small size (under 30"). It has taken us years and years to develop the right combination of mares and stallions to be able to produce the outstanding and tiny foals that we are so proud to offer. We do on occasion will get foals from other breeders that will mature over 30" as these are the ones that make the ideal size for service horses!.
So if your looking for a therapy trained miniature horse. You have come to the right place. We have an incredible selection of already therapy trained horses for sale. And our goal is to be able to help get you started with your own program and match you up with the right horse!