Veteran and First Responder Equine Experiences


Veterans, Active Duty Military members, First Responders, and their spouses, significant others, and children (5 years and older), are welcome in this specialized program. Participants will take part in Equine-Assisted Services and discover how our equine partners can assist us with leadership, problem-solving, and communication. This program is led by the HETRA Team consisting of PATH Int’l Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors, Occupational Therapists, Mental Health Therapists, and select Volunteers.

Participants will experience the unique communication style and behavior patterns of horses through several activities. Establishing and building trust in themselves and relationships; engaging with a purpose; finding motivation and moving forward with perseverance; and developing a creative problem-solving process are all beneficial outcomes of equine- assisted learning.


If you need any assistance with the required paperwork contact Rita Borgstadt -  If you would like a private tour of the facility, or to talk more about our programs, please contact Edye Godden - directly.  

Please enter none if not applicable

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

Participant Liability Release

Liability Release


(participant’s name above) would like to participate in the Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy program.  I acknowledge the risks and potential for risks of horseback riding.  However, I feel that the possible benefits to myself/my son/my daughter/my ward are greater than the risk assumed.  By entering my name below, I hereby, intending to be legally bound, for myself, my heirs and assigns, executors or administrators, waive and release forever all claims for damages against Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy, its Board of Directors, Instructors, Therapists, Aides, Volunteers, and Employees for any or all injuries and/or losses I/my son/my daughter/my ward may sustain while participating in Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy Programs.

Warning: Under Nebraska Law, an equine professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant in equine activities resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities, pursuant to sections 25-21,249 to 25-21,253

Photo Release

to the use and reproduction by Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy of any or all photographs and any other audiovisual materials taken of me/my son/my daughter/my ward for promotional printed material, educational activities or any other use for the benefit of the program.

Medical Consent

This authorization includes x-ray, surgery, hospitalization, medication and any treatment procedure deemed “life saving” by the physician.  This provision will only be invoked if the parent/guardian or emergency contact is unable to be reached. By entering your name in the signature box below you agree to the above statement Medical Consent Plan. 

Consent to Treat 

I hereby consent to evaluation by an occupational, physical, speech, or mental health therapist prior to or during participation in HETRA programming. If physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, or mental health therapy as well as substance use therapy is deemed appropriate, I give consent for treatment and/or telehealth services as outlined by the therapist which could consist of individual or group programming.  I understand my session may consist of a cofacilitation session (therapist and instructor both involved in session) or cotreatment session (two therapists from different disciplines involved in same session).  I understand that volunteers will be part of the session as horse handlers, sidewalkers or assistants.

Barn Rules



The following guidelines have been developed for your safety. 

Failure to follow these rules can result in your dismissal from this facility.

  1. Please DO NOT pet the horses in any outside pens or indoor stalls.  Some horses on the property are privately owned and are not part of the HETRA herd.
  2. Please do not arrive at the barn before you are scheduled.  There must be a HETRA Instructor, Staff Member, or Barn Leader on site when volunteers, participants, or guests arrive.  For insurance purposes there cannot be visitors at the HETRA facility when there is not a staff member on site.
  3. ONLY the Barn Leader or certified Horse Leader will be allowed to get horses from outside pens.
  4. No individual should enter a pen or stall with a loose horse in it. 
  5. You should not be in any outside pens UNLESS you have been asked by an Instructor or Barn Leader to complete a specific task in this area.  Once this has been completed please return to the proper volunteer areas.
  6. NEVER sit, kneel, or lay on the ground near a horse. 
  7. All phones must be turned to silent or vibrate when in the arena.
  8. Please only use HETRA tack and equipment and always return it to its appropriate place.
  9. Always clean up after yourself and any horse you are working with (sweep up hair, manure and throw away any trash).
  10. All riders during a HETRA riding session are required to wear approved safety helmets (this includes Instructors).
  11. Please do not feed any horses treats.  Treating horses tends to promote biting.  Also some horses are on special diets and treats can be detrimental to their health.  Please do not allow horses to lick your hands, this encourages biting. 
  12. Please DO NOT pet the horses on their heads or faces, this is a personal space for them and can make them crabby.
  13. When approaching a horse, always consider the horse’s limited field of vision.  Horses cannot see directly behind or in front of them without moving their head.  Always approach a horse at the shoulder, speak to them as you approach, and then extend your hand and pat them on the neck or shoulder.  When moving around a horse, placing a hand on their hip as you move around them allows them to know where you are.
  14. Avoid sudden movements when around the horse.  This includes removing coats, raising arms suddenly, running,  jumping, climbing, etc.  Horses can spook easily, please keep this in mind at all times when around horses.
  15.  Please DO NOT reach into or a pet a horse through the bars.  If they can put their heads out it is ok to pet them.  Please respect that they may need down time and do not want to be petted.
  16. Only HETRA Instructors are allowed to put bridles on the HETRA horses.
  17.  Please do not bring dogs or any other animals to the barn (If you have a service animal please notify HETRA Staff).
  18. The cats are cute and fun to play with but they can bite and scratch.  Playing with cats is done at your own risk. 
  19. All children under the age of 12 must be DIRECTLY monitored by an adult at all times while on the property.
  20. DO NOT enter any other buildings on the property unless directed by a HETRA Instructor or Staff Member.
  21. If you are not directly involved with a session please keep all activities and conversations to the designated waiting areas or check with the Barn Leader or Schedule Keeper as to additional tasks that need to be done around the barn. It is important to keep noise and conversation to a minimum when lessons are being conducted as it can be very distracting for the participants and horses.
  22. The session Instructor is ultimately responsible for all aspects of the session from the time the first horse is taken out until the last one is put away.  Please listen and follow all directions given by the session Instructor.  Please be aware of all situations around you and report any unsafe situations to the session Instructor or Barn Leader immediately.
  23. HETRA strictly prohibits anyone, including individuals with permits, to carry concealed handguns, from possessing and/or carrying a concealed handgun while on HETRA’s property.  NO EXCEPTIONS will be made to this Policy.  Any violation may result in the dismissal of Volunteer or Guest.                                                          

    My Family and/or I have read the Barn Rules and by entering my name below I agree to follow them at all times while at the facility.







                Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy is required by law to protect the privacy of your personal and health information, provide notice about our information management practices, and follow the information protocols described below. 




Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy uses your personal and health information primarily for treatment, obtaining payment for treatment, conducting internal administrative activities, and assessing the quality of care we provide.  We use your personal information to contact you for scheduling, billing and providing organizational information.


Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy will obtain your written permission and authorization before disclosing your personal health information.  If you provide us with written authorization to release your information for any reason, you may later revoke that authorization to stop disclosures at any time.  If and when any changes are made in our privacy and confidentiality policies, a new Notice of Information Practices will be posted in the same area for public view.  You may request a copy of our Notice of Information Practices at any time.  Our HIPAA Compliance Officer is Edye Godden and can be reached by calling the office at (402) 359-8830. 




You have the right to review or obtain a copy of your personal health information at any time.  You have the right to request that we correct inaccurate or incomplete information in your records.  You also have a right to request a list of instances where we disclosed your personal health information for any reasons other than for treatment, payment, or other related administrative purposes.


You may request in writing that we not use or disclose your personal health information for treatment, payment or administrative purposes except when specifically authorized by you, when required by law, or in an emergency.  Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy will consider all such requests on a case-by-case basis.  The company is not legally required to accept the requests.




If you are concerned that Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy may have violated your privacy right or if you disagree with any decisions we have made regarding access or disclosure of your personal health information, please contact our HIPAA Compliance Officer, Edye Godden, at the office address listed below.  You may also send a written complaint to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. 


Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy

HIPAA Compliance Officer

Edye Godden

10130 S. 222nd Street

Gretna, NE 68028

Phone: (402) 359-8830

HIPPA Release

Page 7

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.