Tiny Trotters Hosts American Miniature Therapy Horse Association Qualification Clinic at Solid Rock Stables

June 12, 2024

On June 8 and 9, Solid Rock Stables was the venue for an important event in the miniature horse community: the American Miniature Therapy Horse Association (AMTHA) Qualification Clinic. Horses from Tiny Trotters, Solid Rock Stables, and the Asheville Therapeutic Equestrian Center (ATEC) participated in the two-day clinic, successfully passing the rigorous Qualification Standards set by AMTHA.

The AMTHA is renowned for being the first organization to establish Standards of Operations and Behaviors for Miniature Therapy Equine “teams” of horse and handler. Their comprehensive Qualification Evaluation ensures that both the horse and handler are equipped with the necessary skills, behavior, and aptitude to safely visit institutional facilities, public venues, and home environments.

During the clinic, each team was required to navigate a challenging course designed to simulate the various obstacles they might encounter during therapy visits. The course included stairs, different types of flooring, a teeter-totter to represent elevator movement, balloons, a simulated privacy curtain, hula hoops to represent oxygen hoses, wheelchairs, walkers, and patients demonstrating loud noises and arm gestures.

All participating teams passed the evaluation, showcasing their exceptional training and preparation. Tiny Trotters horses who achieved qualification included Tater Tot, Sugar Cookie, Blueberry Muffin, Moon Pie, and Snicker Doodle. Chief from Solid Rock Stables and Nutmeg from ATEC, along with her handler Sandra Peterson, also passed the qualification standards. The handlers from Tiny Trotters who qualified were Carroll Traynham, Ruth Porten, Sharron Dillard, Gail Campbell, Carolyn Dye, and Sharon Meyerhofer.

Tiny Trotters Therapy Horses are known for their visits to nursing homes, schools, daycares, assisted living centers, and community events. They are also a proud member of the “Just Say Whoa to Bullying Program,” which offers a unique approach to bullying prevention by helping children recognize and respect differences in one another.

For more information or to schedule an event, please contact Sharron Dillard at (864) 871-1744 or visit letssaddleup.org.

Congratulations to all the teams that passed the Qualification Standards, demonstrating their dedication to providing therapeutic support and joy to those in need.