Eligibility Requirements for Mentor Accreditation
The Mentor Accreditation is awarded annually to an organization that meets the following EQUUS Foundation highest standards for business and equine welfare practices, having already met the requirements for Member participation on the Equine Welfare Network and the attainment of the EQUUS Foundation Guardian designation, and has been the recipient of an EQUUS Foundation grant for a minimum of two consecutive years. A site visit, a self-assessment using the EQUUS Foundation site assessment tool, and/or a recommendation from an existing EQUUS Foundation Mentor may be required.
Please review the eligibility for Member participation here
Please review the eligibility for Guardian participation here
I. Business Practices
• The organization files the full version of the IRS Form 990 and the organization's most recently filed IRS Form 990 must be no more than two (2) years old.
• The organization has operated as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity for at least five full operating years.
• The Mentor Accreditation will be denied if the organization does not have an operating budget of at least $10,000.
• The Mentor Accreditation may be denied if the organization has a liquidity ratio of less than three (3) months and/or does not have sufficient cash reserves to offset net losses in any given year.
• The Mentor Accreditation may be denied if the organization's program expense ratio is less than 65%.
• The Mentor Accreditation will be denied if the Board Chair, Board Treasurer, and/or a majority of the Board is compensated.
• The Mentor Accreditation will be denied if any staff serve as voting members of the Board; staff may serve as non-voting members of the Board.
• The Mentor Accreditation will be denied if all or a majority of the Board have family and/or business relationships.
• The organization must carry General Liability Insurance encompassing Property and/or Renter's Insurance and Directors & Officers Liability Insurance.
• The organization must have a practice in place whereby prospective staff, independent contractors serving in staff functions, and volunteers complete a written application or agreement.
• The organization must have a practice in place to ensure that the organization has sufficient knowledge of the background of prospective staff, independent contractors and volunteers that may impact the safety of your clients and your horses, such as whether prospective staff/independent contractors serving in the capacity as staff and volunteers have been convicted of a sexual offense or convicted for animal cruelty or neglect. Such practices must comply with local, state, and federal mandates.
II. Equine Welfare Practices
• The organization must conduct programs involving at least five equines.
• The organization must not conduct breeding at any facility owned by the organization.
• The organization must quarantine an equine on arrival to ensure the equine is free of contagious diseases for a minimum of 7 days for horses arriving from a facility with minimal perceived risk or 21 days for horses arriving from a facility of unknown risk.
• The organization must operate in compliance with the AAEP's Biosecurity Guidelines, the UC Davis Biosecurity Guidelines and/or the biosecurity guidelines of the organization's veterinarian, including but not limited to ensuring that sick, affected, and/or quarantined equines do not have contact with other equines.
• To protect equines from the transmission of disease, the organization must have a practice in place where 1) equines have assigned bridles and bits and 2) if bridles and bits are shared, this tack is cleaned after every use.
• The Mentor Accreditation may be denied if the organization does not have its veterinarian conduct a physical exam on the equine's arrival and as needed at least annually thereafter.
• The Mentor Accreditation may be denied if the organization does not assess an equine by using the Henneke Body Conditioning Score or another body conditioning score on the equine's arrival and as needed at least annually thereafter.
• The organization must have a practice in place and the financial means to accept financial responsibility for equines in the current care of the organization that need to be retired or are no longer able to contribute to the mission of the organization if all alternatives have been explored to find the equine an appropriate placement and space is not available for the equine to remain at the organization.
• For organizations that re-home equines for any reason, the organization must have a mechanism in place to track the whereabouts of equines when they are no longer under organization's care. In addition to this mechanism, it is strongly recommended that the organization's re-homing agreement include one of the two following statements:
a - should the adopter elect to sell, transfer, release or otherwise place the equine into the possession of another person or organization, any future adopter must agree to the terms of the organization's agreement either by requiring that the agreement between the adopter and your organization be incorporated as an addendum to any future agreement or by requiring that any future adopter re-sign an agreement with your organization;
b - the equine CANNOT be sold, adopted, transferred, auctioned, released, given away, or otherwise placed into the possession of another individual or organization under any circumstances and the equine must be returned to the organization should the adopter no longer wish to, or cannot, care for the equine.
• The Mentor Accreditation may be denied if the organization does not have a practice in place to check and/or monitor the fence lines daily or weekly depending on the total acreage dedicated specifically to equines and the number of hours per day on average that equines are turned out.
• The Mentor Accreditation may be denied if the organization does not have immediate and onsite access to equine transportation in the event of an emergency.
• The Mentor Accreditation may be denied if the organization does not maintain or have immediate access onsite or offsite to at least two weeks of hay, feed, shavings, and medications in the event of an emergency at its facility or facilities where the organization's equines are cared for and sheltered.
• An organization that conducts programs where riding is or will be a key component must consider the weight-carrying and workload limitations for each equine to include but not limited to evaluating the limitations at least annually and maintaining a written record for each equine that documents the results of each evaluation of weight-carrying and workload limitations.
• The organization must have a practice in place to euthanize an equine upon the recommendation of the veterinarian that the equine is a threat/danger to itself, other equines, other animals or people after all other remedies have been explored, excluding if, upon the recommendation of the veterinarian, the only remaining remedy is isolation from other equines, animals, and people, and that the safety of other equines, animals and people can be guaranteed.