CANTECoronavirus Statement #3
21 April 2020

Dear CANTER Family and Friends,

First, we are so grateful for our volunteers, students/families, and sponsors. How are you? How can our caring servant volunteer organization help you? While we are proud to be one of a few Therapeutic Riding programs in the country still supporting public schools and other exceptional student programs like SKILLS and Embrace Life, this pandemic again highlights what we are missing by not meeting the exceptional families/caregivers we are so grateful to. We thank you and we hope to increase the lines of communication we have started to build during this pandemic.

Sorry for the extra week of silence. We hoped for some early clarity of what it would look like after 30 April, but only know for sure that the schools will not reopen. In support of National and State efforts to reduce any spread of the coronavirus, CANTER continues to suspend its services; however, we are still exercising/grooming our program horses.

While there is not clarity, we are somewhat encouraged that the Nation and many states to include Arizona are entertaining plans to “begin” future phased re-opening of services “when safe” Accordingly, we list dates as targets.

We will surely adjust dates as needed based on guidance, but we are being optimistic in postponing our Family/Student Activity Day to Saturday/30 May and continually to be hopeful that our Summer Program will start on 4 Jun 20 as originally planned.  We continue to plan how to resume operations as explained below, but please be assured, that we will not proceed unless we can safely meet all future health guidelines for both our students and our volunteers/instructors consistent with current and updated City, County, State, and CDC as well as our accrediting therapeutic organization, PATH International.  We will keep you all apprised of our re-opening policies and seek your feedback.

We continue to receive pledges for the Ride-a-Thon and will be extending that deadline to 8 May to allow distribution of the T-Shirts prior to Activity Day. Unfortunately, we understand that Arizona has not changed the timeline for Arizona Tax Credits, but CANTER will accept checks dated by 15 April. 

We are planning our re-opening polices, which will restrict classes sizes to three riders with a matching set of three family settings with folding chairs (vice surface rich benches and picnic tables).  We will also expand time breaks between classes to eliminate any overlap of students/families with the follow-on class. The folding chairs will be sanitized between classes.  Because our safety side walkers cannot maintain 6 ft social distancing with the students, we will require students and volunteers to wear cowboy/cowgirl bandanas (hopefully fun for the students) or face masks during the lessons. Given some students tactically may not accept wearing a bandana/mask, we hope a family member/day program employee can volunteer as a side walker. We are also considering a temperature station before entering the CANTER premises. Initially the CANTER playground will be closed as it would be another surface rich environment. All previously discussed sanitization policies will be enforced. We welcome feedback as to these and the previous policies. 

We know our students’/family’s life routines have drastically changed with mounting new demands on their time.  If time allows, we would appreciate notification of your student’s desire to participate in the rescheduled 30 May Activity Day by 15 May and notification of your student’s desire to attend the Summer Program by 21 May. Embrace Life participated last year, and we are hopeful that the Embrace Life and Aires summer programs will participate this year. 

Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions. We are happy to help during this challenging time.

Dean Quain
Board President

Swing into Spring
Swing into Spring Dinner Dance will be rescheduled due to the COVID-19 until further notice.

About Us
CANTER is accredited by PATH International, the national organization that sets the standards for therapeutic riding centers throughout the country. CANTER is one of only five Premier Accredited riding centers in the state of Arizona. This accreditation results from on-site inspections by PATH International in which our programs, instructors, horses, facilities, volunteers, and documentation are reviewed. 

The Cochise Area Network of Therapeutic Equestrian Resources (CANTER) is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that offers therapeutic riding. CANTER's vision is to serve all eligible individuals in Cochise County, using multiple instructors with diverse skills and training methods to safely and effectively meet the specific needs and requirements of its students.

CANTER was founded in 1993 to provide Equine Assisted Activities (EAA) to individuals with disabilities in the Cochise County area. When our program began, horses were brought to a temporary riding facility hosted by a volunteer. In 1998, 17 acres of bare land were donated to CANTER by a stroke patient who was a client of CANTER. Over the next four years, land was cleared, fenced, and a riding arena was established. Stables were erected for the horses; an office, tack room and classroom were added. In 2002, a manufactured home was placed on the property allowing a full time horse steward/caretaker to reside at the facility and care for the horses and grounds. Today, the facility is home to eight specially trained CANTER therapeutic riding horses.

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