HETRA Public Riding Participant Paperwork


Dear Parents, Participants or Caregivers,

Thank you for choosing HETRA.  We look forward to working with you this year!  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 currently have openings in the Public Riding program, but these spots fill up fast so get your paperwork in quickly!  

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 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 an adventure with you this year. 

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 and processed you will be contacted to discuss possible session riding times.  There will be a $30.00 registration fee for all participants which is due when you send in your paperwork. 


2.  Programs


HETRA has opened up our center to individuals in the public that would like to come take riding lessons.  The participant must be at least 5 years old.  Sessions with 1-2 riders in the class will be 30 minutes lessons, if there are 3 participants the session will be 45 minutes long.  All sessions will be taught by one PATH, Intl. certified instructor.  Goals for this program focus on horsemanship skills and leisure activities.


3. Participant Dismissal & Discharge Policy 

It is at the discretion of HETRA 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, a gain in weight above the HETRA maximum levels, failure to cancel in advance for more than three lessons or incomplete paperwork. Paperwork that is required is: Registration / Health History/Photo Release, Authorization for Emergency/ Medical Treatment, Consent for Release of Information, Participant’s (Signed) Medical History and Physicians Statement, Policies, Procedures and Barn Rules Agreement.  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, property owners, 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.

·           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.  


5.  Scheduling of a weekly riding time for new participants 

The HETRA staff will place participants in a class based on their riding skills and the current open time slots that work for your schedule.  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, available riding times will be discussed at your evaluation. 


6.  Billing


  • Public Riding Program is $35 per ride/drive and will be billed in 12 week courses ($420) prior to the beginning of the course.  If your payment is postmarked by the due date on your invoice we will offer you a 10% discount ($378 for the 12 week course)

Any Participant (in any program) with an outstanding balance from the previous course will not be allowed to ride until the balance on the account has been paid or payment arrangements have been made.   In addition, all Participant fees that are not paid according to the previous payment arrangements, will be assessed a minimum of $20.00 charge per month (beginning once the invoice has gone over 30 days) to cover administrative expenses on the balance.

7.  Cancellations


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

  • Public Riding participants your fees will be credited toward the next 12 week course. 


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

If you cancel a riding sessionPublic Riding participants this session will not be refunded, but can be made up.  You are allowed a maximum of 2 make up sessions per 12 week course and these must be made up during that course or the course immediately following the cancelled sessions. 


       HETRA running late:  Any time the HETRA program is running late (as we will at times) we will do our best to get back on schedule however, we will offer the participants their full session time. 


       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.


       Dropping out of a Course:  If your participant drops out of a 12 week course without finishing it there will be a $50 fee assessed unless it was medically necessary.


8. Make-Up Lessons


Make up sessions are scheduled on a first come, first serve basis.  Only participant cancelled sessions are eligible to be made up.   If a participant is a no-show (no previous notice given), this session will not be eligible to be made up. 




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.




We ask that children 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.




Dogs or other animals are not allowed at the barn at anytime.  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.




Please direct questions to your participant’s instructor.  If you do not get a satisfactory answer to your question please feel free to contact the office 402-359-8830. 



Thanks so much for your interest in our program, we look forward to working with you


In order to help us place you in a class with other participants working on similar skills, please tell us about your riding experience and interests:

Mother/Guardian Information (minor or dependent adult only)

Father 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

HETRA Payment Policies

Welcome to HETRA!  We are very excited to begin working with you.  

Below is some information on HETRA billing policies.  If you have any questions about HETRA’s fees or billing please contact Erin Bevington at (402) 677-5986 or Erin@hetra.org

To help HETRA save on postage, we would appreciate it if we could send your billing to you via email.  If you could please provide this information to us on your registration form.  If you do not have an email or would prefer to receive your billing via regular mail please let us know. 


Registration Fees- All participants will be billed annually for a $30.00 registration fee which helps HETRA cover insurance and other office fees.


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

  • Public Riding participants your fees will be credited toward the next 12 week course. 

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

If you cancel a riding session:  Public Riding participants this session will not be refunded, but can be made up.  You are allowed a maximum of 2 make up sessions per 12 week course and these must be made up during that course or the course immediately following the cancelled sessions.  

HETRA running late:  Any time the HETRA program is running late (as we will at times) we will do our best to get back on schedule however, we will offer the participants their full session time.  We will attempt to notify you upon arrival regarding the length of wait before your participant will ride.

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 them to participate in while at the barn such as grooming.

Dropping out of the Course:  If your participant must drop out of the 12 week riding course for any reason that is NOT medically necessary, there will be a $50 fee assessed.


        Any participant (in any program) with an outstanding balance from the previous course or outdated paperwork will not be allowed to ride until the balance on the account has been paid or payment arrangements have been made and/or paperwork is updated.   In addition, all participant fees that 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.  

I have read and understand HETRA's Billing Policies

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.


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. 


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



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.