Student Intake Packet

Conditions for Acceptance and Continuation:

All required forms must be complete and resubmitted every three years as well as after any hospitalization, unusual seizure activity, major illness, surgery, fracture, or change in diagnosis. Participants with Down Syndrome will also have to submit an annual medical update from their physician. Thorncroft reserves the right to request additional medical information from participants as necessary to appropriately evaluate their admission and continued participation within the program.

To even be considered for evaluation participants must have the ability to assume a sitting posture, tolerate movement, wear a riding helmet, and be over the age of 5. Participants must also have sufficient tolerance and attention span to benefit from 20 minutes of sustained activity.

Thorncroft must have an appropriate opening for the participant’s age and ability and have an instructor and suitable horse available to meet the rider’s physical requirements such as height, weight, and muscle tone. While our overall weight limit is 200 pounds for mounted lessons, for the safety of our participants, volunteers, and horses, participants who are not eligible for mounted lessons due to our weight restrictions may be eligible to continue with Thorncroft in our unmounted programing.

Due to the nature of therapeutic riding and other equine-assisted services and therapies, there are individuals for whom Thorncroft’s programs are no longer appropriate. Individuals accepted into our programs have periodic progress reviews (or as a result of rare occurrences during a program session). The evaluation team may find that continuation in the program for a given individual is no longer appropriate. Thorncroft reserves the right to reevaluate students and terminate/ suspend services as it sees fit to ensure the safe service of our mission for all parties involved.

Thorncroft reserves the right to decide if we are unable to serve an applicant due to inaccessible resources and/or safety concerns including PATH, Intl. guidelines relating to precautions and/or contraindications for participation. This includes periodic progress reviews and/or reevaluations.

Contraindications to Participation:

Seizure disorders may be a contraindication to riding and are evaluated based on precautions and contraindications for PATH, Intl. Centers. Other contraindications include but are not limited to atlantoaxial instability, uncontrolled behavior, loud outbursts and/or unmanageability, open sores, unstable spine or a serious heart condition, spontaneous fractures or recent fracture, recent surgery without subsequent physician’s release, obesity, acute arthritis, inability to safely transfer from ramp to horse, as well as dismount. Thorncroft Staff must be notified prior to a lesson if a participant has had a seizure, or has had medical attention or medication changes; is hospitalized or experiences anything which would affect behavior, safety, or functioning while at class.


Thorncroft offers private, semi private and group lessons. Private lessons are 30 min, semi private (two students) lessons are 45 min and group lessons of 3 or more riders are 1 hour. Group Lessons take place in a mainstreamed environment in which riders are grouped with participants of similar age, riding skills, and goals. Thorncroft offers lessons 6 days a week, from Monday through Saturday.


Participants are expected to arrive on time for each class – we ask arrival to be 15 minutes before the scheduled start time. If a participant has not arrived within 10 minutes after the start of the class, his/her scheduled horse is returned to the barn and volunteers are given other assignments.There is not a make-up opportunity Please understand that lateness has a negative impact on all participants in the group and diminishes the quality of the lesson.

Because Thorncroft maintains a waitlist, consistent attendance is expected from all participants. If you are unable to attend a regularly scheduled session, notification must be made by calling the Thorncroft office at 610-644-1963 AND your regular riding instructor. Please leave a message so sufficient notice may be provided to staff and volunteers. Excessive absences will lead to being excused from a program.

Make-up sessions are not available unless Thorncroft needs to cancel classes due to some unforeseen circumstances such as inclement weather. Cancellations due to inclement weather will be communicated via email. In order to remain informed DO NOT unsubscribe to our email list! If Thorncroft cannot offer an optional makeup time a credit will be applied. Thorncroft reserves the right to change mounted lessons to unmounted at any point to preserve the health and well being of our equine partners.

Terminating Lessons:

If you plan to discontinue lessons, Thorncroft requires notification in writing to one month prior to your last scheduled ride. In addition, to better serve our riders, we would like to have additional information as to why you are terminating lessons.

Holiday and Event Closings:

Thorncroft will be closed New Year’s Eve at 5pm, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day Weekend Friday through Monday, 4th of July, Thorncroft 5K at 3pm, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve at 5pm and Christmas Day. THERE ARE NO MAKE UPS FOR HOLIDAY CLOSINGS.

Fee for Service:

Thorncroft is able to subsidize the majority of this cost through the generosity of individual and corporate sponsors as well as foundation grants and proceeds from fundraising events. The actual cost of participation is far greater than Thorncroft’s fees for service.

Thorncroft offers a monthly rate of $225.00 for lessons. The $225.00 covers one lesson a week with payment due by the 7th of each month. *Due to the number of riders we teach, we are unable to offer makeup lessons due to illness or otherwise, or offer any discount for missed lessons. If there is any reason Thorncroft needs to cancel your lesson, we will prorate the $225.00 fee. We offer a $25.00 discount if tuition is paid by the 7th of the month. Please refer to our Lesson Payment Policy for further information. If you plan an extended absence and wish to have your spot reserved you will be required to pay a $90 hold fee prior to your absence.

Families that need additional support can apply for scholarship support which is awarded based upon the availability of funds and the financial need of the participants and/or their family. Scholarship requests must be completed yearly and further information can be obtained from the admissions office. Excessive absences will mean the withdrawal of future scholarship support.

Billing Policy:

Bills are due upon receipt. Lessons will be discontinued for any amount past due 90 days. Payment and signed release for new students must be received before the first lesson. There are no make ups for a missed or canceled lesson and you may not “pay by the lesson."

Payment Methods

The Following are the options available for paying your lesson fees…

  • Pay for your lessons Online. Online payments are the preferred method of Go to Programs and Clinics, Programs, Weekly Lessons and scroll down to “Pay Lesson Fees Online."
  • You may pay for your lessons in person. Please put your check in the white box located on the wall in the waiting area of the Main Arena. This box is locked at all times. Do not hand your check to an instructor. Put the rider’s name in the memo of the check.
  • If you pay by mail, please remit payment to the following address payable to Thorncroft: 190 Line Rd. Malvern, PA 19355.

Please be sure to include the rider's name in the memo of the check.

Horse Selection and Care

Riders are matched with horses for a variety of reasons including movement, physical attributes, and individual characteristics. Horse selection is the exclusive decision of instructors and program staff. Parents and riders are not involved in the selection process.

If appropriate for ability and skill level, each student is encouraged to prepare his or her own horse for the lesson. This includes grooming, tacking up and tidying up after your horse. Plan to spend an additional 30 minutes before and after scheduled lesson time. There will always be assistance and supervision in the barn.


Participants should dress appropriately for the weather. For safety, we highly recommend proper footwear; at a minimum, a sturdy shoe or boot with a heel (such as paddock boots), and mounted participants must wear long pants. No tank tops, spaghetti straps or crop tops. Thorncroft requires participants to wear ASTM-FEI approved helmets, if you do not have your own ASTM-FEI approved helmet one will be provided for you.


Heat Policy: To ensure the health and well-being of horses, Thorncroft follows the Heat Index Equine Activity Scale below, in which the heat index calculated is the sum total of actual air temperature (Degrees Fahrenheit) and relative humidity(%)

180+:Unmounted lessons only.
170-180: Walk-only lessons. No trot or canter.
160-170: Walk with minimum trot permitted. No canter.
150-160: Minimum trot, no canter.
130-150: Walk, trot, and minimal canter at the discretion of the instructor (Factoring in horses, age, fitness, health conditions, workload, etc.)
< 130: Up to the instructor's discretion

Cold Weather Policy:If temperatures are below 20 degrees Farenheit in the facility's indoor arenas, Thorncroft's lessons will transition to unmounted.

Severe Weather Policy: In the case of severe weather conditions including, but not limited to high winds, heavy rain, hail or lightning storms, instructors or most senior staff must safely dismount riders, clear the arena and return horses to stalls. Thorncroft personnel will use their best judgment in prioritizing the safety of the rider, staff and volunteers. Every effort will be made to provide classroom based instruction or unmounted skill development during these rare circumstances.

Confidentiality Policy:

All information including but not limited to, personal, medical, and financial documents are confidential among all participants, volunteers, and staff. Confidentiality is considered one of our most basic responsibilities.

Personal Information Release Policy:

We respect the privacy of our participants, hold in strict confidence all information about participants and comply with applicable privacy and other legislation. No information will be released to a third party without your prior written authorization. At any time, you have the right to withhold or withdraw consent to, or place conditions on, the disclosure of your information. Exceptions to confidentiality may include legal and/or ethical obligations.


TEC will not engage in or tolerate any other forms of unlawful harassment. The term “discrimination” or “harassment” includes, but is not limited to, derogatory comments, slurs, offensive remarks or jokes, or other verbal, graphic, or physical conduct. Harassment also includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, unwelcome or offensive touching and other conduct of a sexual nature

Behavior and Zero Tolerance Regarding Discrimination and Harassment Policy

TEC will not engage in or tolerate unlawful discrimination (including any form of unlawful harassment or retaliation) on account of a person’s sex, pregnancy, age, race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, immigrant status, military status, veterans status, disability, handicap, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, family status, domestic partner, civil union, or ridership in any other protected group. TEC will not tolerate threatening behavior of any kind, threats towards any TEC staff member, volunteer, or student will result in immediate expulsion from TEC.



  • Call the Main office at 610-644-1963 and notify their regular instructor directly when they are unable to attend at regularly scheduled day and time – especially if your situation changes at the last minute
  • Will not bring dogs or pets on the premises at any time. Exceptions will be made for service dogs
  • Walk when on the premises…no running!
  • Use appropriate voices and avoid sudden movements, particularly near the horses
  • Wear appropriate attire
  • Wear a currently ASTM/SEI-approved helmet for all riding
  • Not feed any animals unless given explicit permission from a Thorncroft Staff member
  • Prior to the mounted and/or unmounted activities, inform the instructor of any changes in the participant’s medical condition
  • Prior to the mounted and/or unmounted activities, inform the instructor of any experiences which would affect the participant’s behavior, safety or functions while at Thorncroft
  • Inform the instructor and admission office of any schedule changes or conflicts which would affect the participant’s attendance
  • Absolutely no smoking/vaping or drinking alcohol anywhere on the premises


  • Closely supervise participants, siblings of participants or visitors while on the premises
  • Remain at Thorncroft during participant activities, unless otherwise deemed appropriate by Thorncroft staff
  • Ask permission from the instructor to take photographs or video, especially with lights or a flash
  • Not approach or feed any animals unless been given explicit permission by the Thorncroft Instructor
  • Use appropriate voices and avoid sudden movements, particularly near the horses
  • Abide by Thorncroft’s strict NO SMOKING policy which includes Vape and other devices


Staff, volunteers, students, or other guests are expected to behave in a way that is safe, healthy, and conducive to a high-quality learning environment. Some examples of inappropriate conduct would include but are not limited to…

  • Causing physical injury to another person.
  • Making threatening remarks.
  • Displaying aggressive or hostile behavior that creates a reasonable fear of injury to another person or subjects another individual to emotional distress.
  • Intentionally damaging employer property or property of another employee.
  • Committing acts motivated by, or related to, sexual harassment or domestic violence.
I acknowledge and agree to TEC’s Basic Rules for participants and guests.


It is Thorncroft’s goal to ensure that participation in our programming is beneficial, appropriate and safe for all parties involved. With the variety of programs Thorncroft has to offer, program staff will within reason work to offer a meaningful avenue for continued involvement at TEC. However, at times it may be necessary to amend a participant’s participation or discharge a participant from Thorncroft services. Thorncroft reserves the right to discharge participants from the program in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Thorncroft specific policies and rules.

Thorncroft Program Staff will conduct regular revaluations of students scheduled at intervals that are appropriately set for the students current needs and relevant medical History. Thorncroft Program Staff will also reevaluate a participant's participation when significant medical changes, behavioral concerns or changes in the availability of appropriate resources (Horses, volunteers, instructors) occur. The evaluation team will then make a recommendation for this participant moving forward which may include, change in program eligibility, temporary suspension of participation, or discharge from the program.

Additionally repeated absences as well as lessons payments being 90 days or more past due, may also result in discharge from the program. Please see payment and attendance policies for more information regarding participant expectations.

I have read and acknowledged the TEC Participant Discharge Policy above.


Describe abilities/difficulties in these areas (be specific and detailed as this will provide Thorncroft staff with helpful information to develop session goals): Physical Function (e.g. mobility skills such as assistance required, equipment needed, transfers, walking, wheelchair use, stair climbing)
Cognitive Abilities/Social Function (e.g. leisure interests; relationships/family structure; support systems; companion animals; fears/concerns; behavior challenges/strategies; work/school; communication abilities; reading/writing abilities)
Goals (e.g. reason you are applying for participation and what you would like to accomplish)
Is there anything else Thorncroft Staff should know to make participation in our programming successful, meaningful and impactful?