HETRA Participant Paperwork


Dear Parents, Participants or Caregivers,


Thank you for choosing HETRA.  We look forward to working with you!  Please read through all the information in this letter thoroughly.  It contains very important information regarding registration of your Participant and participation in the HETRA program.


We are very excited about everything we have accomplished over the past few years!  In order to keep the program affordable to all of the participants, HETRA continually hosts fundraising events and activities and looks for grants and foundations to help support our program.   HETRA continues to be committed to provide services to our Participant regardless of their financial situation or ability to pay.  With this commitment though, we need help from all of our HETRA families to assist with our fundraising efforts throughout the year.


We are very proud of our dedicated and motivated parents, guardians and Participants and all that you do for the HETRA organization.  You are a very important part of our Team!!!!  We are looking forward to embarking on another adventure with you. 


Thank You!


Edye Godden


Edye Godden, OTR/L

Executive Director




Participant Handbook

1.  Getting Started

First please complete all paperwork included in this package.  Then either mail (HETRA, 10130 S. 222nd Street, Gretna, NE 68028) or fax (866) 577-4598) your completed paperwork in to HETRA.  Once your paperwork has been received & processed you will be contacted to set up a time for an evaluation with one of our therapists (new Participants) or to schedule your riding time (returning Participants).  If you are a returning Participant your reevaluation, if needed, will be completed during your first riding session.  All new Participants need to schedule an evaluation time.  There will be a $30.00 registration fee for all Participants.  Evaluation fees are $60 for Therapeutic Riding/Driving Participants and $90 for Hippotherapy Participants (see billing information for more details on fees).

2.  Programs

      HETRA offers Adaptive Riding, Adaptive Carriage Driving, and Therapy Services Programs.  There is a description of each program below.  At the time of your Participant evaluation one of our therapists will discuss each program with you and make a recommendation as to which program is most appropriate for the Participant.  

      Riding time:  If there are 2 or fewer riders, the riding session will be 30 minutes.  If there are 3 participants, the riding session will be 45 minutes.  This allows time for mounting and dismounting.  It is up to the instructors’ discretion to decrease the length of a session for any reason including the following:  Participant fatiguing, Participant medical problems, Participant complaining of discomfort, Participant being unbalanced, Participant behavior problems, horse fatiguing or other horse related problems.  If a horse problem occurs we will attempt to complete your session time, if possible, on another horse.  Instructors will attempt to evaluate each individual Participants needs and continue the session if possible.  We would highly encourage all parents to attend a volunteer training.  Because our program relies heavily on volunteers there is always the chance that we may have volunteer no-shows or cancellations.  It is very helpful to the HETRA staff to know that we have trained parents able to step in for absent volunteers, this will also enable your Participant to continue with their mounted session as planned.   If there are not enough volunteers, or horses available to conduct a safe riding lesson a ground/grooming lesson may be offered in place of the riding session. 

Adaptive Riding Program: Participants are scheduled to ride once a week for either 30 or 45 minutes.   The minimum age for this program is 4 years old.  Participants are eligible to ride more that once a week if there are available time slots.  All Adaptive Riding Participants are instructed or supervised by PATH, Intl. certified riding instructors.  These are typically group sessions with one instructor teaching 2 to 3 Participants.  Participants are screened by a therapist and their programs are periodically reviewed by the therapist for changes.   A

Therapy Services:  Participants in this program will participate 1-3 times per week with the time frame and number of times per week being recommended by the therapist, physician and family.  Therapy Participants must be at least 2 years old.  A licensed OT, PT, PTA, or COTA will conduct all sessions.  Goals for this program focus on functional ability.  This program is basically an outpatient OT or PT session with the horse being utilized as one of the treatment tools within this session. 

Adaptive Carriage Driving Program:  Participants will participate one time per week for 30 minutes.  These will be individual sessions instructed by a PATH, Intl. certified driving instructor.  Participants are evaluated and periodically reviewed by one of our therapists.

3.  Participant Dismissal & Discharge Policy

It is at the discretion of HETRA’s Staff to accept or remove a Participant from the program. The results of a risk/benefit analysis will also be considered. Participants who do not adhere to the rules and procedures or meet the guidelines for eligibility are subject to dismissal or discharge. Possible grounds for dismissal may include, but are not limited to: conduct endangering another Participant or staff or the horse, conduct endangering themselves, consistent failure to follow safety procedures with respect to the horses & facility, a gain in weight above the HETRA maximum levels, frequent cancellations or no shows.   The development of a contraindicated condition or the deterioration of a condition to the point horseback riding is no longer beneficial or could be harmful to the participant or where safety for the Participant or others has become a concern.

Participants at HETRA shall have no history of inappropriate behavior with fire or any tendencies or history of abuse or violence directed toward other people or animals. HETRA reserves the right to deny services to any individual based upon concerns for the applicant’s safety and/or the safety of the horses, volunteers, staff, facility, or for other reasons in accordance with PATH, Intl. operating center guidelines.

No Participant will be dismissed without an opportunity to discuss the reasons with supervisory staff.  The Participant may at any time, for whatever reason, decide to sever the Participant relationship with HETRA. Notice of such a decision should be communicated as soon as possible.


4.  Weight Limitations for All Participants

Maximum weights are listed below, but decisions regarding participation will be based on the availability of a suitable horse related to the height, weight, cognition and balance of the participant.  The maximum weight for participants cannot exceed 220 pounds. The weight limit may be lower as determined by available equines and the ability of staff and volunteers to safely support the participant at the time services are requested.  HETRA staff will evaluate the participant’s weight and physical abilities to determine if riding is a safe and appropriate activity based on available equine, staff and volunteers.  

·  220 lbs. for a well-balanced centered Participant not requiring sidewalkers.

·  180 lbs. for an unbalanced Participant needing sidewalker assistance.

·  Each horse has individual weight limitations based upon the horses height weight, age and physical and medical condition.

* Not all horses can manage the maximum weights listed above.

* Weights are checked once every 12 weeks using the HETRA scales with participant wearing the appropriate riding gear.

5.  Scheduling of a weekly riding time for new Participants 

Once the initial evaluation is completed we will make a program recommendation for your Participant and then see if we have a current opening in the HETRA schedule that are suitable to meet your Participants needs.  If an opening does not currently exist, then we will put your Participant on a waiting list and you will be notified as soon as an opening becomes available.  Riding sessions are typically offered late afternoon to evening on weekdays and mid-day on the weekends. 

6.  Attire

No open toe shoes, sandals or clog type shoes.  No slick (jogging type) pants.  And we would prefer that your Participant wore pants instead of shorts as the saddle can get very uncomfortable with direct skin contact.

7.  Children

We ask that children under the age of 12 be monitored and in direct vision of the adult at all times while at the facility.  Please review the barn rules with your children prior to arriving at the barn.

8.  Dogs and other Animals

Dogs and other animals are not permitted at the barn.  The exception to this rule is service animals.  Please let your instructor know if you will be bringing a service animal to the session with you

9.  Questions

Please direct questions to your Participant’s instructor.  All Instructor & Therapist phone numbers are listed on the HETRA website.  If you do not get a satisfactory answer to your question, please feel free to contact the office at 402-359-8830. 

Thanks so much for your interest in our program, we look forward to working with you this year.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the office at 402-359-8830.

Please enter none if not applicable

Military Information

Mother/Guardian Information (minor or dependent adult only)

Father Information (minor or dependent adult only)

Caregiver Information (minor or dependent adult only)

If other is selected please fill in the fields below.
Individual Responsible for Payment (only if other than Mother or Father)

In the event emergency medical aid/treatment is required due to illness or injury during the process of receiving services, or while being on the property of the agency, I authorize Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy to:

1. Secure and retain medical treatment and transportation if needed.

2. Release participant records upon request to the authorized individual or agency involved in the medical emergency treatment.

In the event I cannot be reached please contact: 

Emergency Contact #1

Emergency Contact #2

Medical Information

I have listed all significant medical information to the best of my knowledge: 

HETRA Billing Policy

If you have any questions about HETRA’s fees or billing
please contact Erin Bevington at 

To help HETRA save on postage, all invoices are sent via email.  

If you do not have an email or would prefer to receive your billing via regular mail, please let us know!

**HETRA does not bill health insurance or Medicaid**


Evaluations - Evaluations are performed by one of the HETRA therapists for all new Participants entering the program.   Evaluation fees are $70, and $55 for a re-evaluation.  At this evaluation you will work with the therapist to determine which program is best suited for the participant.

Registration Fees - All Participants will be billed an annual $30.00 registration fee which helps HETRA cover insurance, paperwork processing, scheduling and other office fees.

Ground Sessions – In the event that your participant can not do a mounted session in a particular week, if possible HETRA will offer a ground activity/lesson.  These lessons will be built around the participant’s current goals and help to build their skills and knowledge base.  They will be completed either in the arena, stall area, therapy room or classroom.  These will be offered as an alternative to a HETRA cancellation due to potential extreme heat/cold, horse availability, or instructor/therapist availability.  Ground sessions will be billed at the same rate as the program you are currently participating in.  If you have additional questions about ground activities, please contact Edye@HETRA.org

Adaptive Riding & Driving Sessions -$35 per ride/drive, $420 for one 12-week course, a 10% early payment deduction is available if full payment is made by the due date posted on the bill.  Adaptive riding/driving is billed at the beginning of each 12-week course, and is due by the due date on the bill. Payment arrangements can be made if needed. 

Therapy Services-

  • Course Fee – $240.00, or 1/3 of the cost of the course, billed at the beginning of the 12-week course.  
  • Session Fees - $20 for each 15-minute session, $40 for a 30-minute session, and $60 for a 45-minute session.  All therapy session fees will be billed on a bi-weekly basis and payment is due by the due date posted on the bill. 

Group Activity Program - -$40 per session, $480 for one 12-week course, a 10% early payment deduction is available if full payment is made by the due date posted on the bill.  Group activity fees are billed at the beginning of each 12-week course, and is due by the due date on the bill. 

Scholarships-  Scholarships and outside funding is available for all Participants in any program.  We can provide you with a list of outside funding sources that have been very supportive of HETRA families.  We ask that you investigate these options prior to applying for a HETRA scholarship.  HETRA Scholarships are based on your annual income with consideration made to your current family situation.  We also offer a discounted services program which is based on how many hours you volunteer for HETRA or how much you help raise in donations.  If you need to request a scholarship, outside funding sources or discounted services form please contact Erin Bevington at (402) 359-8830 or Erin@HETRA.org.   

Dropping off of a Course – If the Participant needs to drop out of a Course without finishing the 12 weeks, a $50 fee will be assessed unless it is medically necessary and a physician note has been provided. 

Cancellations - In order for goals to be met and progress to be made in a timely manner it is important that our participants attend their sessions on a regular basis.  We understand that all families need to cancel on an occasional basis but we also want to make our families aware that often times we have individuals on a waiting list that would utilize that time.  We are asking all of our families to make a commitment to regular attendance of their weekly scheduled session. 

  • If HETRA should cancel a riding session (due to weather or instructor illness, etc.):

Adaptive riding, & Carriage Driving: Participants your fees will be credited toward the next 12-week course.

Therapy Services: The course fee for that session will be credited towards the next 12-week course.  The session fee will not be billed for HETRA cancellations. 

You will be notified by phone, email and/or text message for any HETRA cancellations. 

  • If you cancel a riding session:  

Therapy Services Participants: if 72 hours’ notice has been given there will be no charge for your session fee AS LONG AS IT HAS BEEN reported through the HETRA Participant Cancellation Form.  If less than 72 hours’ notice is given there will be a $15 cancellation fee.  The Course Fee is not refundable for participant cancellations, but you can schedule a make-up session.  There will be no session fee charged for participants that have a doctor’s note for their cancellation AND a participant cancellation form has been completed.  Each participant will receive one free late notice cancellation per course.  If a participant does not show up and no notice is given there will be a $25 no show fee charged.  Please always fill out the cancellation form as soon as you know your participant will not be able to attend their regularly scheduled session so the HETRA staff can be notified. 

Adaptive riding, Ground Lessons, Group Activity & Adaptive Driving Participants: this session will not be refunded, but can be made up (see make-up session information below).   

Make Up Sessions: You are allowed a maximum of 1 make up session per 12 week course and these must be made up during that course or the course immediately following the cancelled sessions.  Make up sessions will ONLY be offered at 2 set times per week during the HETRA schedule.  You are responsible for scheduling these make up sessions with the program intake coordinator – Rita Borgstadt Rita@HETRA.org.  Make up sessions are only available it they have been reported via the HETRA participant cancellation form located on the HETRA website under the Services tab.  

Participant tardiness:  Any time a Participant is late; their session time will be decreased accordingly in order for the schedule to remain intact.  If a Participant is 15 or more minutes late for a session they will NOT be allowed to ride for that session.  We will do our best to provide other activities for the Participant to participate in while at the barn such as grooming.  Therapy Services Participants: Participants that are 15 minutes late for their 30 minute scheduled session may be charged a $15 late arrival fee.

*If a participant misses 3 or more sessions per course the Program Management Team will meet with the family to discuss scheduling concerns and/or changes that may need to be made. 

Outstanding Balances - Any Participant (in any program) with an outstanding balance from the previous course will not be allowed to participate until the balance on the account has been paid, payment arrangements have been made or scholarship application completed.   All Participant fees that are past due by 30+days or are not paid according to the previous payment arrangements, will be assessed a minimum of $20.00 charge per month to cover administrative expenses on the balance.

Liability Release

Photo Release

Medical Consent

Consent to Treat 


I am aware of the risks of contracting or spreading Covid-19 while working or volunteering at Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy; attending an event; and/or receiving on site services from Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy during the time of a pandemic outbreak. 

I am aware that on site services and experiences may increase my risk of contracting and passing on the Covid-19 or Coronavirus and agree to hold harmless Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy and its Board of Directors, staff, Medical Advisor Board, members, officers, managers, agents, employees, volunteers and all other individuals I may come in contact with during this interaction and receiving of services, providing services, attending an event, volunteering within this organization or visiting. 

I agree to and will follow all guidelines for personal hygiene, personal safety and public safety as recommended by Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy; as well as my individual provider/practitioner. This may include, but is not limited to, maintaining social distance; limiting the number of people attending with me to what is outlined by the organization at the time, washing my hands prior to and following each session or activity; use of hand sanitizer upon request; wiping down surfaces with disinfecting wipes and/or wearing a mask and/or gloves. 

I agree to stay home and/or cancel my time at Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy should I have personally exhibited or have been in contact with someone who has presented with illness within the previous 24 hours to 2 weeks, including; cough, sneezing, fever, chest congestion or additional signs of potential spread of any virus or bacteria/disease. In addition, I will follow the recommendations of my provider once I have notified them of these risks in regards to my future services or attendance during this pandemic.

Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy will engage in regular cleaning and sanitizing of the facility, horse tack, equipment, doors, and frequently touched areas in-between participants and on a daily basis as recommended by the CDC for the safety of participants, their families, employees, volunteers and horses. 

I am signing under my own free will and agree to follow these and hold harmless all individuals associated with Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy


*In the event that the undersigned is under the age of 19, the signature of a parent or guardian is required.

HETRA Participant Photography and Social Media Policy
Videos and Photography taken at the HETRA Facility Policy:  
In order to protect you or your participants privacy as well as the privacy of others at the HETRA facility and due to the sensitive, private, and personal nature of our participants and the services we offer, we must exercise every precaution when taking photos or videos at HETRA.  At this time we ask that all participants and families follow this process if they would like a picture of their participant while at the HETRA facility.  Please do not take any picture or video at any time while at the facility on your own, please use the following procedure for any picture or video requests. 

Procedure for pictures or videos of their participants while at HETRA.
    1. Please notify your instructor or therapist that you would like a particular picture or video taken of your participant.
    2. HETRA instructor or therapist will supervise taking of the picture on a HETRA approved devise. 
    3. Once the picture/video has been taken it will be sent to the designated staff for approval (this allows the staff to check photo releases on everyone and make sure other participants/volunteers are not in the photo and there is no confidentiality issues related to the photo).  Designated staff includes - CEO, COO, Equine Operations Manger and Program Manager. 
    4. Once approved the photo will be sent to the requesting party.  We will do our best to make this a very timely process.  

Social Media:
Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy (HETRA) embraces social media and relies on our participants, staff, and volunteers to increase our online presence and build our brand. It is one of the most powerful platforms we have to share our mission, create positive awareness for our organization, and engage with our community on a daily basis. We highly encourage participants to engage with HETRA’s social platforms by liking, commenting, and sharing our posts.  

Where to find HETRA:
Facebook            TeamHETRA                                                     
Twitter                @HETRA            
Snapchat            Team HETRA
Instagram           team_HETRA
You Tube            HETRANebraska             
Linked In            HETRA

  • Help HETRA spread the good word - share, retweet, and regram HETRA posts on your own social platforms. 
  • Refer to HETRA horses in a positive manner and forward inquiries about HETRA horses to a staff member
  • Think twice before posting. If you have any doubt, please do not post.

  • Claim to be an official representative of HETRA
  • Share confidential information about a participant, volunteer, employee or the organization
  • Take photographs or video of a HETRA participant, volunteer, HETRA facility, horse or employee unless specifically approved to do so by a designated staff member
  • Use language that is profane, harassing, racial, political, religious, or that is considered biased or slurred when posting about HETRA.
  • Refer to a HETRA horse or the HETRA barn environment negatively.

Violation of Social Media Policy

If a social media post is discovered that is in violation of this policy, you will be asked by a staff member to remove the post. Failure to remove a post could result in verbal or written warning or immediate dismissal from the HETRA facility and program.

Barn Rules

Privacy Policy