Although the benefits of equine assisted therapy have long been proven, these programs can be quite expensive to set up and maintain due to the costs of acquiring the horses and providing for their care as well as finding suitable facilities. There are several grants that may help overcome both the initial and ongoing costs of these programs.
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One of the first places to look for grants is the federal government, which offers money to non-profit organisations. Since equine therapy has proved successful in treating numerous disorders such as post traumatic stress disorder seen in veterans, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides grants for those running equine programs set up to help soldiers from current war efforts as well as those from past wars. Programs that help physically handicapped soldiers are also eligible for grants. Other government grants are available to help physically and mentally challenged children.
Many breed associations also offer grants to help equine assisted therapy programs. While some of these grants may not be large, such as the £325 awarded to the U.S. Air Force Academy for its Warrior Wellness programs by the American Paint Horse Foundation, they often provide the catalyst for donations and additional grants. While most breed associations now offer horse show classes for special needs youth, many also have special shows to raise money for assisted therapy groups as well.
There are numerous private groups such as The Horse and Humans Research Foundation which was established to help fund research in this field. The goal of this group is to increase awareness of the benefit of equine therapy and to help find better methods of delivery. These grants have been made both to therapy facilities and to universities engaged in equine therapy research.
In most cases, having a professional grant writer to both locate and write grant proposals is advisable. There are also numerous programs such as those offered by Equine Assisted Assets that offer instruction in grant writing as well as actually setting up the therapy program. Some of these groups work with for profit organisations as well as non-profit ones. While the cost of a professional grant writer may seem high, having the necessary guidance may prove cost effective in the long run
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