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Safety and Education

The Spirit Keeper Equine Sanctuary Founders and the Board of Directors are dedicated to the safety and well-being of our horses, our volunteers, our supporters, and all animals and humans in general. We believe the best way to accomplish this is to provide educational services to the humans and animals in our community. We offer training services for horses with special training needs or who have had previous training difficulties. We also have programs in Starting the Untrained Horse, Ground-Handling, and Work In-Hand. Humans are expected to participate as much as possible in their horse's training. We offer equitation lessons on a case by case basis. Our Director, Lori Torrini, also provides advice and training consultations for canines and other species. Contact us if you have dog training or behavior questions, or need guidance with a new puppy and we will put you in touch with her. If you have another species of animal (i.e. cat, snake, pig, something else) contact us and if we can't help you we are happy to provide you with resources and referrals to someone who can. 

Educational classes may be arranged with us for groups of 6 or more people. Private instruction for a single individual may be arranged at the rate of $50 per hour. Cost of the group classes vary, contact us for more information. Payment is required in advance and there are no refunds for cancellations. Examples of classes include the following:

  • Basic Equine Behavior and Handling
  • Starting the Untrained Horse
  • Ground Handling and Work In-Hand
  • Equine and Companion Animal Emergency Preparedness
  • Livestock and Companion Animal Disaster Response
  • Equine Behavior and Handling for Emergency Responders
  • CERT - Community Emergency Response Training for Pets and Livestock
  • Equine Care and Management
  • Senior Horse Care and Nutrition
  • Horse Training (contact us for specifics)
  • Riding Lessons and Equitation for Riders with their own horses (we do not provide lesson horses)

Other resources for all types of animals including humans available at

Behavior Education LLC is active training dogs, snakes, horses, and other species as well as conducting snake behavior studies. Current studies involving snakes include a cohabitation study, behaviors of Morelia bredli in captivity, training trials, and preference trials including things such as substrate, hide, heating, and enclosure type preferences. Behavior Education LLC also handles our educational outreach programs. They have snakes, dogs, and depending on the venue, horses available for outreach; the cost is $50 per hour which goes directly to the care of the sanctuary horses. 


Horses are easily startled by sudden movement, noises, and new items added to their environment. In general they react by moving away in the form of running, bolting, leaping forward, jumping sideways, rearing, and backing up. If unable to escape when startled or afraid they may kick, strike out, push with their body, or bite. Please review the following list of a few safety basics.

• Use caution when working around horses: THINK FIRST, THEN ACT!

• Talk to and/or touch horses when moving or working around them.

• Do not run, yell, make sudden movements, or startle horses.

• Be patient around horses, using praise and reward often.

• When tying a horse use a quick release knot, panic strap, or safety clip.

• Only tie horses to solid, stationary objects that cannot be moved.

• If a horse spooks while tied or while being led get out of the way and let the horse go.

• Always use a halter, neck collar, or lead rope to tie a horse.

• Never wrap or tie anything attached to a horse around yourself or someone else.

• Always be aware of your environment and how a horse may react to it.

• Maintain a safe distance between horses being led, tied, or ridden near each other. 

• Check equipment for proper fit and function.

• Put equipment away properly when finished using it.

• Wear long pants, gloves, and boots with ankle support and heal when around horses.

• Wear protective head-gear (helmet) when riding any horse or when working near fractious horses.

• Wear eye protection when working in windy conditions or around dangerous substances.

• Observe the horse’s overall condition and behavior, report anything unusual to staff. 

• Notify instructor, trainer, or staff if there is any problem.

• Whenever in doubt about something/anything ALWAYS ask!