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FAQ

How much do you charge for lessons and how long are the lessons?

We charge $60 per hour for a group adaptive riding lesson.
We also offer private adaptive riding lessons at $75 per half hour. This allows us to pay our volunteer instructors for their additional time at SMART.
There is an annual administrative fee of $50 that is due at the first lesson and with annual renewal applications. There is also a $50 intake assessment fee for new riders and a $25 assessment fee for returning riders.


What types of disabilities qualify?

We serve individuals who have any type of physical, emotional or cognitive disability. We currently serve riders with attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, stroke victims, epilepsy, developmental delays, traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, hearing and speech impairments, Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, blindness, autism, and psychological or emotional challenges.


Are there age restrictions?

Individuals must be at least 4 years of age and there is no maximum age.


Are there weight restrictions?

Due to safety reasons, our Riding Program can only serve individuals who weigh less than 180 lbs.


How many volunteers to do you have?

On a weekly basis, we have between 20-35 volunteers at any given time. We have a minimum volunteer age of 14. SMART is a volunteer-powered organization—so annually, 75-100+ volunteers play a very, very important role in the effectiveness of the program. We are always eager to invite new volunteers to join us and become a part of the SMART Team.


If I want to volunteer, do I have to get trained?

Yes, we start with an orientation held on the first Saturday of each month. Following the orientation, training is accomplished by having experienced volunteers mentor new volunteers for a period of time. Contact our volunteer coordinator via email [email protected] for information on the date of the next orientation. We need volunteers for hands-on horse and rider support during lessons as well as assistance with fundraising, administrative work, and facility maintenance.


Where do you get your funding?

We receive funding from Individuals (10%) Corporate and Civic contributions (9%), Special Events (28%), Foundations & Grants (35%), Program Service Fees (11%) and Manatee County Government (3%). Our annual budget is around $400,000.


What percentage of your budget is used for administrative & fundraising costs?

Our administrative and fundraising costs for 2018 were 1.38%. We have two paid staff.


Are you on social media?

Yes! Click the links here to our pages:
Instagram
Facebook


Do you have any sponsorship programs?

Yes. You can “Sponsor a Rider” for $2,500 which pays for a Scholarship for therapeutic riding lessons for one rider for one year. You can also “Adopt a Horse” for $250, $500 or $1,000 which helps to pay for some of the feed, vet and farrier costs for one horse for a year.


Can I visit the program?

YES! We love having visitors! Plan to visit anytime during our scheduled lessons (see #6 above)…or give us a call at (941) 322-2000 to set up an appointment for a tour.


How can I help SMART?

Become a Volunteer or help support SMART financially.

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