Dear EquiCenter families, volunteers, and staff,

We are very excited to share that the EquiCenter is cautiously opening our doors and welcoming back our participants! In order to ensure everyone’s safety, we have created three phases for bringing programming back. Please understand that this will be a slow process but we plan to bring all our participants back as we are able to.

The Three Phases: 


Phase 1: Minimum Participation (Beginning June 1, 2020)

  • Mission Mustang:

    • Socialization and physical contact with horses

    • Participants would be able to sign up for a time slot, much like their lessons. They would be able to come out and see the mustang training, verbally, from a distance, interact with the trainer, and have limited physical contact with the mustangs.

  • Therapeutic Riding: 

    • Limited to independent riders only

    • Participants would be able to sign up for a lesson, would be under strict protocols throughout their time at the EquiCenter

  • Therapeutic Horticulture:

    • Virtual programming only


Phase 2: Increased level of participation (Beginning July 6, 2020)

  • Mission Mustang:

    • Introduce veterans back into active lessons

  • Therapeutic Riding: (Riders will receive a direct invite to return)

    • Introduce riders who only require a leader back into active lessons

    • Participants would be able to sign up for a lesson, will follow strict protocols 

  • Therapeutic Horticulture:

    • Virtual and limited outdoor programming Participants would be limited to designated spaces in the farm area and will follow strict protocols

  • Equine Assisted Learning

    • Determine if there are groups interested in small quantities and create opportunities that would allow for meaningful social distanced learning.


Phase 3: Maximum Participation-with limitations (Beginning September 14, 2020)

  • Mission Mustang:

    • Return to four days of programming per week

  • Therapeutic Riding:  (Riders will receive a direct invite to return)

    • Introduce riders who require side walkers back into active lessons (by invitation)

    • Provide participants and their parents an email 2-3 weeks from the projected start of full session participation for sign up.

    • The first lesson will be an ‘orientation’ of how we will operate moving forward with new protocols

  • Therapeutic Horticulture:

    • Virtual and Outdoor programming 

    • Participants would be limited to designated spaces in the farm area and would be under strict protocols throughout their time at the EquiCenter

    • We will assess if our Cooking with Heroes program will be able to return during this phase and when. 



Q: How will you decide how long each reopening phase will last?

A: We will be closely monitoring the spread in our local area and take any precautions from the state’s reopening phases as well.  There will be no set length of time for our phases.


Q: When will I be informed that I am able to resume my riding/programming?

A: The EquiCenter staff will be continually assessing our ability to safely bring our participants back. When we feel we are at a point to bring you back, we will contact you directly to let you know.


Q: When will volunteers be allowed to come back on the property?

A: We are currently welcoming volunteers back on the property. You can fill out an application or update form on the volunteer tab. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Debi Houliares for upcoming opportunities.


Q: What safety protocols will staff be following?

A: Masks will be worn during all lessons, maintaining strict discipline with touching hands to face, washing hands before and after each lesson, we will check temperature upon arrival using a touchless thermometer, maintain social distancing during lessons, and limit the number of people allowed in small spaces/offices. If you have traveled outside the state recently, please contact your instructor before your lesson to verify if you are eligible to return. For a list of the states under the travel advisory, go here:


Q: I have not been feeling well but I do not think I have COVID. Can I still come onto the property?

A: Participants will be informed not to come if they are experiencing any cold or flu symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, etc.)


Q: I want to come back for Therapeutic Riding/EAL lessons but I am immunocompromised and I’m nervous about coming back. When will it be safe for me to return?

A: If we have invited you back to your lessons and you are unsure about your safety returning, please reach out to Lindsay Alberts and share your concerns.  Your safety is very important to us.  We will also be assessing our ability to ensure that we can keep our environment safe for you as well.  We will only ask you to return when we feel we can do our best to keep you safe.


Q: Is everyone on the property required to wear a mask at all times, and for how long?

A: Everyone will wear a mask when they arrive on the property, and when anyone is within 6 feet of each other. Riders will also be required to wear their mask during lessons when unable to remain 6 feet apart.


Q: What safety and cleanliness measures are being taken to protect the participants during lessons?

A: Participants will not be grooming and tacking horses- this will be done by staff prior to their lesson. Participant doors will be sprayed down/wiped down with dilute bleach solution between lessons. Helmets and Tack will be sprayed/wiped down with dilute chlorhexidine after a lesson. For a more detailed overview of our cleaning protocols, please feel free to reach out to Chad Van Gorder.


Q: Will future events be canceled or postponed?

A: We have decided to cancel our Horse Show for the safety of everyone, and will instead be hosting an alternative virtual fall-themed event. As of now, the Mane Event will still be on September 26, 2020. Other future events are currently being assessed, and we will update the website as decisions are made.


Q: Who should I direct any further questions to?

A: Direct further questions to Chad Van Gorder at

EquiCenter exists to foster the personal growth and individual achievement of children and adults with disabilities, at-risk youth, veterans, and their families using a wide range of therapeutic equestrian and related programs. 

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EquiCenter Inc

3247 Rush Mendon Road

Honeoye Falls, NY 14472

Office: (585) 624-7772 

Barn/ Programs: (585) 624-7777  Email:

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