Rainier Therapeutic Riding


We often receive requests for information on how to start a similar program in your area. It is one of our missions at Rainier Therapeutic Riding to encourage other centers nation-wide to support our service people as they return home from deployment. Below you will find commonly requested information. Please do not hesitate to email or call us for additional information as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

We do offer mentor programs for those interested in working toward thier PATH registered instructor certifications.

What do I need to know before starting a program from scratch? 

Where do your military riders come from?

Have you had any issues with paperwork? (we have issues with the VA signing off on the Dr.s form)

Who teaches the programs/classes? Is it just Therapeutic Riding instructors or are mental health people out there as well?

1. All instructors are PATH Int'l certified, this would be your first step in getting started.  Process can take 6 months or longer.

2. Becoming a non-profit will take up to a year.

3. You will need to put together a board of directors, It is a good idea to recruit people of various backgrounds that can help you get started.  An attorney or legal assistant as well as an accountant are valuable additions to a board.  Someone with experience in starting a non-profit will be able to help you write by-laws.

4. Obtain state licenses you may be required to have.

5. You will need to have insurance. Markel Insurance is who we use, and they have reasonable rates.

6. Horses - need to be VERY WELL TRAINED, all of our horses have gone through testing for the program, and all have been trained with natural horsemanship methods.  These soldiers are in the process of healing.  The last thing you want is to add another injury to their recovery process.

7. Maintaining horses is expensive. We lease all of the horses, to keep overhead down for Rainier Therapeutic Riding.  This way if a horse is no longer able to do the program, he or she goes back to the original owner, instead of the program needing to care for a horse that cannot be used.

Some come from the Warrior Transitition Battalion at Joint Base Lewis MCChord which is an Army/Air Force Base.  We also recruit riders from the VA and other veteran's support groups.  We do presentations all over the area to raise awareness about our program because almost everyone knows someone who they think would benefit from RTR.

 None, No issues at all with the doctors signing off.  I have some VA vet riders that just go into their primary care provider. Our rider application is available in PDF format on our "Becoming a Rider" page.

Our instructors are PATH Int'l certified instructors or in the process of becoming certified.  Although we have some volunteers that have a mental health background, that is not their function in class.  The horse is the therapist, it is not us.