Dear Dreams on Horseback and Field of Dreams Families:
We hope you are all well and safe. We miss your smiling faces and the energy you bring to the barn and look forward to your return. We hope you have been enjoying the virtual content you have been receiving during the time we have been apart. While we realize it is not a substitute for the sights, sounds and smells of the barn, and particularly not for the care you receive from our instructors and volunteers, it is our way of letting you know that we think of you every day.
During our time apart we have been working very hard to create a reopening plan and policies that have everyone’s health and safety at the forefront of all our decisions.
While we understand that our horse programs provide healing, hope, and comfort to our many participants, the very things we all long for at this time, we must make decisions in compliance with the health recommendations from Governor DeWine and Dr. Acton. Our reopening plans reflect compliance with their directives and consultation with a number of other resources such as:
- Our outside Legal Advisor
- PATH, Intl., our industry’s trade association and governing body
- Columbus Public Health
- Ohio Department of Health
- Bella Vista Equine Veterinary Medicine
After consultation with these agencies, we have decided to slowly begin to restart a portion of our programs on May 11 that allow us to 1) maintain social distancing and 2) keep our group size in our centers to less than ten people.
As such, on May 11 we will be inviting a small number of riding students who are
capable of independently tacking, mounting, and riding back to the farm for unsupported or lightly supported riding lessons.
In June, we hope to invite additional
riders to return. As we receive additional information from the Ohio Department of Health we will work towards welcoming riders at a later date who require horse leaders or sidewalkers. We appreciate your patience in waiting for that date to be announced as our decisions will be led by the recommendations of the state and other consulting agencies.
Many changes have had to be made to our summer line-up of events:
- The Fun Show previously scheduled for this month has been cancelled and will be not be rescheduled.
- The Polo Party scheduled for June has been postponed and may be rescheduled for a later date - stay tuned.
- Our 2020 Summer Vocational Training Program sponsored by Autism Speaks is cancelled.
- Special Olympic State Competition has not been cancelled at this point. We are awaiting word from the SO state office and will communicate with Dreams on Horseback 2019 athletes as that information becomes available.
- Our Walk, Trot, and Decanter Gala is rescheduled for October 3.
When riders return to the barn,
new safety protocols
will be in place including but not limited to:
- Riders should take their temperatures before coming to the barn. If the rider has a fever or if they have been exposed to a family member or other person who is ill, please cancel the lesson.
- Temperatures will be checked at the barn using a temporal thermometer.
- Riders, staff, and volunteers are required to wear a mask after exiting their car. Riders may remove the mask once mounted.
- Riders must sanitize their hands at a sanitizing station provided at the barn upon arrival and exit.
- All tack is sanitized after each rider uses it.
- All high touch surfaces and restroom facilities will be sanitized on a regular basis throughout the day.
A safety protocol video will be released this weekend that you can watch with your rider to familiarize him and yourself with our new procedures.
ONE IMPORTANT CHANGE:
PERSONAL RIDING HELMETS WILL BE REQUIRED
Due to the nature of the COVID-19 virus and the importance of keeping any surfaces that may carry the virus away from our faces, we feel that it is very important that our riders
share helmets. Therefore, you must purchase an ASTM certified riding helmet for your rider.
You may purchase a riding helmet from Rod’s Western Palace at the following link:
We also have a limited number of helmets available for purchase at the barn. If you need assistance in obtaining a helmet before you return to our barns, please let Becky King know and she and our instructor staff can assist you in acquiring one of these helmets.
While our instructors will inspect the rider's helmet from afar, for their protection we hope that you will not require them to come so close to your rider as to make the helmet adjustments.
To properly adjust a Troxel helmet, please refer to the following link:
Should your rider acquire another brand of ASTM helmet search brand generated instructions online to fit it properly.
Please have the helmet adjusted per brand instructions before coming for your lesson.
In regards to new payment policies that are in line with our new schedule, please watch for a communication from Becky King that will explain adapted schedules of payments, cancellation policies, and more.
While some of these safety measures may take some getting used to, our love for our horses is constant. Our wonderful horses are eager for all of their riders to return and when it is safe to do so we will quickly return to a full suite of program offerings!
We thank you for your patience as we methodically reintroduce our programs and for your adoption of our safety protocols that will help all of us stay well.
Jennifer Hansen, Executive Director