Special Equestrians, Inc.

Making Miracles Happen

aka SE   |   FORT MYERS, FL   |  www.specialequestrians.net

Mission

Special Equestrians,Inc. is a local nonprofit organization which provides therapeutic horseback riding and carriage driving and equine-assisted activities and therapies to children and adults with disabilities.

Notes from the nonprofit

Special Equestrians achieved Premier Accreditation Center status with the North American Riding For the Handicapped Association (NARHA) in 2005. NARHA changed their name in 2011 to Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship Intl. (PATH Intl). Premier Accreditation status has been retained since 2005. Re-accreditation is a process that must be repeated every five years. Our most recent reaccreditation was in 2019. Special Equestrians has been a United Way Partner Agency since 2004. During this year of the pandemic, Special Equestrians followed all of the CDC guidelines. COVID protocols were established and followed, allowing us to stay open offering our services to our community.

Ruling year info

1991

Executive Director

Jan Fifer

Board President

Erin Houck-Toll

Main address

PO Box 61528

FORT MYERS, FL 33906 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

SPECIAL EQUESTRIANS HORSES AND HANDICAPPED INC

EIN

65-0250071

NTEE code info

Health Support Services (E60)

Equestrian, Riding (N69)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In expanding our programs and services, it has been difficult to keep up with the volunteer needs of our organization. We are working hard towards increasing our volunteer base to service the expansion of our organization.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Special Equestrians, Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies

Established in 1987 by the Fort Myers Kiwanis Club, Special Equestrians began their program using borrowed horses. We now serve over 95 participants with disabilities each week with sessions offered four days a week. Participants learn how to ride horses, drive a cart pulled by one of our horses or learn ground activities. There are many therapeutic benefits achieved with learning these equestrians skills. Special Equestrians also has an unmounted Veterans Program which began in 2019.

Participants from the age of four to ninety-seven have participated in Special Equestrians. The disablilities of our riders have included: Cerebral Palsy, Down's Syndrome, Autism, Head Injury, Stroke, Vision and Hearing Impairment, Developmental Delay, Multiple Sclerosis and many other disabilities. The fee for a six week session is $90. The program is year-round with the exception of one month in the summer.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Veterans

Where we work

Accreditations

North American Riding for the Handicapped Association - Accreditation 2005

Awards

Premier Accredited Center (Accreditation) 2019

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Int'l)

Eight Pet Partner Teams 2020

Pet Partners

Affiliations & memberships

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International 2017

United Way Member Agency 2017

Chamber of Commerce 2017

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children and adults served during each week with therapeutic horseback riding classes

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities

Related Program

Special Equestrians, Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Special Equestrians offers therapeutic horseback riding, therapeutic carriage driving classes and equine assisted activities and therapies to persons with disabilities and to veterans

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

As a nonprofit offering therapeutic horseback riding and equine assisted activities and therapies to persons with disabilities, our goal is to enhance the lives of our participants, cognitively, physically and socially, in a safe environment.

Special Equestrians uses equines as a tool for our learning environment. Lessons may be mounted or unmounted, with learning taking place in each type of setting.

We have therapeutic riding classes set up for four days of the week, 33 weeks of the year. During the therapeutic riding classes, we have four paid PATH Intl. certified instructors who teach our classes.

We also have a therapeutic carriage driving program taught by a PATH Intl. certified driving instructor. These classes will be offered during the late fall, winter, and early spring.

In 2017, Special Equestrians began offering occupational therapy services using hippotherapy as a treatment modality.

Special Equestrians is located on property that is owned by our organization. It was purchased in 2007 and at this time, our property is approximately 15 acres. At our facility, we have two areas for our classes, one is a covered riding arena and the other is a Sensory Integration Trail.

In order to run our organization, we need many volunteers to make it all happen. At this time,we have approximately 140 volunteers who come to Special Equestrians each week. Last year, our volunteers gave over 24,000 hours of volunteer service.

Our classes and lessons are all taught by certified riding instructors who are associated with PATH Intl., The Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship. We are a Premier Accredited Center, which means that we must follow the standards set forth by PATH Intl. Every 5 years, we must go through re-accreditation. We have retained this distinction since 2005.

We have accomplished so much since our beginnings in 1987. We have our own property with a 12 stall horse barn, caretaker home, office, covered riding arena, sensory integration trail, new pasture land for our equine, a new outreach program, 3 paid instructors and 4 volunteer instructors, our own drill team made up of our independent riders, a dedicated board of directors and the distinction since 2005 of being a Premier Accredited Center with the Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship.

Special Equestrians is debt-free at this time. In 2013, we were able to pay off our property mortgage.

Our future holds additional services such as hippotherapy, therapeutic carriage driving lessons, and a Veteran's program. Our carriage driving instructor has begun the driving classes. We also have an occupational therapist who is a PATH certified therapist for hippotherapy. She has been offering her OT services in this area since 2017. We would like to expand our unmounted veterans program.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our funders,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Special Equestrians, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Special Equestrians, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 4/14/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Erin Houck-Toll

Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.

Term: 2019 - 2020

Freda Jones

Raymond Building Supply

Erin Houck-Toll

Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.

Jan Fifer

Special Equestrians, Inc.

Brenda Morrow

Forrester, Hart, Belisle & Whitaker, PL.

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/13/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data