Therapeion Health & Safety Rules

These expanded health and safety rules will be in effect at Therapeion, as of May 30, 2020.  We will be monitoring medical advice from the State of Indiana, the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and other competent medical authorities. We will make adjustments to these rules as deemed appropriate by changing circumstances.

Note that anyone violating these rules may be permanently banned from future Therapeion activities!

​Let us first note something important — horses cannot catch or transmit the coronavirus!  Furthermore, all of our horses get regular attention from Purdue veterinarians. Thus, we don’t need to do anything special with the horses — they are safe, and of particular importance: they cannot infect any of the riders or volunteers!

Let us also note that some of the students, volunteers, and staff may have weakened immune systems, and some are in groups with a higher risk of complications if they fall ill. It is thus extremely important that we all work together to ensure that the Therapeion environment remains a place of healing and fun for everyone.

Furthermore, note that some of the SARS-CoV-2 mutants (e.g., delta and lambda) are known to (re)infect some people who have had COVID or been vaccinated.  Do not assume you are immune!

As a reminder, the Therapeion phone number is (765) 414-8066.



  1. Anyone who themselves or whose close family members have traveled outside Indiana or outside the US to a CDC-designated level 2 or 3 location within the last 14 days should self-isolate and not come to Therapeion. Anyone who has symptoms of, or a diagnosis of, COVID-19 (the actual illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus), or who has had contact with someone diagnosed with it within the last 14 days should self-isolate and not come to the stables.  (Reason: the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus can be spread before symptoms develop, and younger people, in particular, may be asymptomatic carriers.)  Class fees for students in this situation will be refunded.

    This especially means that if anyone with whom you have had close contact is suffering from a fever, cough, muscle aches, or shortness of breath -- whether they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or not -- should stay away from Therapeion for 2 weeks after such symptoms disappear.

  2. Everyone on Shepard Stable/Therapeion grounds before/during/after classes must wear a face mask that covers both mouth and nose.  Students may, at instructor discretion, lower their mask while on horseback outside the stable.  Instructors may lower their masks during time in the arena but they will keep extra distance away from others.

    Hint for those with a runny nose or allergies: medical personnel often fold one or two tissues then place them inside the mask to keep the mask dry.  

    (Optional: You can purchase a Therapeion-branded mask from Zazzle. Proceeds help feed the horses!)

  3. Any person who is ill with anything that might be contagious should not come to the stables for any reason.  This is mandatory if the person is running a fever, has muscle aches, is experiencing shortness of breath, or has a cough.  Be considerate of everyone else and don’t take a chance of infecting others with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, or influenza, or a cold, or anything else.  Please call the Therapeion phone number to let us know as soon as you can if you are not coming in.  If you notify us ahead of the class you will not be charged for it.

  4. Any communicable disease diagnosis for anyone who has been at the stable in the previous week must be immediately reported (by phone) to Therapeion. This includes not only the development of COVID-19 but influenza, strep, measles, mumps, etc.  We will respect the privacy of the family involved but we also have a duty to inform and protect our students and volunteers; Therapeion will not disclose the identity of infected persons, only that there has been a potential exposure.  

  5. Unless your physician advises otherwise, we strongly encourage everyone — including adults -- to be current on their standard vaccinations (e.g., tetanus, measles, mumps, diphtheria, chickenpox, rubella). We also suggest you get a flu shot each year.  Vaccinations do work.  Consult your physician if you are unsure of your current status. 
    Effective, free COVID vaccinations are available now in the US for everyone 12 and older — you should consider getting one.  It is not a hoax, and any side-effects of a vaccine are much, much less severe than death or long-covid syndrome.

  6. We strongly encourage everyone to carry a bottle of hand sanitizer when they come to Therapeion.  We encourage its use on hands both before and after class. It should also be used after touching communal items such as pens, clipboards, etc.  (If anyone has extra bottles of sanitizer to donate, please do so!)

  7. Everyone should wear long pants and closed-toe shoes when present at the stable.  We prefer that people wear a long-sleeved shirt.

  8. The instructors (Libby and Kim) have the authority and responsibility to tell anyone to leave, immediately, if they have reason to believe that the health or safety of any people or animals is at risk as a result of that person’s continued presence.

  9. Anyone traveling outside Indiana must self-quarantine for 14 days after return before coming to any Therapeion activity.

​Students and families

  1. Only one family member, guardian, or escort per family is allowed on-site with each family group of students. Anyone else who is "along for the ride" must stay in the car.  NO exceptions!

  2. Please remain in your cars until 5 minutes before your scheduled class time, then go directly to the classroom area. When class is over, please leave immediately.  We all love socializing with others, but until further notice this should not occur at the stable!

  3. Some of our students are “huggers.” Shaking hands, hugging, and any other touching will be politely discouraged. Please do not take this personally!

  4. Only volunteers may handle horse tack or enter the tack room.  Students may be allowed to help groom their horses after class, but this is not a certainty after each class.

  5. Students are required to wear a clean shirt, long pants, and closed-toe shoes.  Wear clothing of a weight that matches the current weather. 

  6. Students are required to wear riding helmets. You can bring your own. Alternatively, we will provide some loaner helmets, if needed, and they will be disinfected after each use.   Helmets with a stamped date of manufacture more than 5 years ago are expired and cannot be used.

  7. Each family should bring hand sanitizer to classes, and use it on themselves and the student both before and after each class.

  8. All families/participants should keep at least 6 feet away from others in the classroom and common spaces.  There is enough room to do that.  Only one family unit is allowed to sit on a bench at a time.

  9. Students will not be charged for classes they miss because of illness if we are informed ahead of time. Please put the health of everyone involved as a priority and take a “sick day” if needed!

  10. Anyone wishing to cancel the remainder of the session—for any reason—may do so without penalty if we are given prior notice, preferably at least 24 hours before the next scheduled class.  We will refund unused class fees or apply them as a credit to a future session, at the client’s discretion.


  1. If you suspect that a client or parent is ill, report it to Libby and/or Kim immediately.  If you are ill, call to let us know and do not come to the stable.

  2. Only volunteers may handle horse tack or enter the tack room.  Students may be allowed to help groom their horses after class if the instructors or volunteer coordinator say it is okay.

  3. Only one volunteer is allowed in the tack room at a time.

  4. ​Before and after a class session, use a disinfectant spray or wipe to clean the reins, helmet, saddle, and all other tack that may have been touched by either the student or any volunteer.  We recommend you also use hand sanitizer or wash your hands after each session. 

  5. Try to minimize touching your face, or any students or other volunteers.  If side-walking and holding onto a student’s leg, don’t worry about the contact but be sure to clean your hands when you return to the barn.

  6. Seek to maintain distance as much as practical while monitoring students for safety.  Side-walking and guiding dismounted students often require close attention, and safety in these circumstances takes precedence.

  7. If you need to sneeze or cough, do so into your arm/elbow, never your hand.  If you forget, clean your hands before touching anything else another person might touch.

  8. We have plastic gloves (food prep grade) that you are encouraged to wear.

  9. If you are unable to attend a class for any reason please give us as much advance notice as possible.



These policies will be updated as needed.  The version currently posted on the website will be the rules in effect.

—The Board of Directors and the Instructors of Therapeion

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