Ridgebury Farm and Stables COVID-19 Policies
Our Covid-19 policies and plans are based on guidelines issued by the CDC, state, and local government. We will adhere to any changes in the local, state or federal guidelines and we reserve the right to change our Covid-19 policies and plans at any time based on emerging data.
Screening Policies and Personal Care
We are continually monitoring the current recommendations and guidelines offered by the CDC and CT State Government as well as the Town of Ridgefield. The safety of our staff, clients, and volunteers is our top priority during this difficult time.
Please review our current policies below:
A Benefit & Risk Assessment will be required for all participants in our EAT (Equine Assisted Therapy) and HT (Hippotherapy) programs. This survey will be emailed directly to the participant or guardian and is completed virtually. The survey is confidential and only shared with necessary staff.
Updated paperwork, including the Covid-19 Acknowledgement form, will be required to participate in any therapy or riding program. These forms will be emailed directly to the participant or guardian and completed with a digital signature.
If you have exhibited or have been in contact with someone who has presented with symptoms or illness within the previous seven days, including but not limited to: cough, sneezing, fever, chest congestion or additional signs or symptoms related to COVID-19 play it safe, stay home and notify us so we can reschedule your session. If you arrive on-site and are exhibiting signs of cold/virus/illness, you will be asked to go home.
Individuals who travel out of the state or the country to current confirmed “hot spots” may be asked to wait two weeks before returning to the farm.
Masks are REQUIRED for clients, volunteers and staff in all sessions (EAT, HT, Lessons) where 6 feet of social distancing can not be maintained in order to offer those services effectively and safely.
Please see our Mask Modification Policy for additional info.
Sanitize your hands upon arrival at the facility (prior to session starting); and before you leave. The facility will make every effort to provide hand sanitizer and other cleaning materials.
Parents, guardians and family members of clients who are not participating in sessions, may be asked to wait in designated areas or their vehicles if proper social distancing cannot be achieved.
Please do not touch any of the animals, gates or fences outside of the area your session or activity is being held.
Only use equipment and activity areas that have been reserved or set out in advance.
All sessions and activities will be scheduled with at least 15 minutes between clients to allow for separate arrival/departures, as well as necessary sanitizing.
Mask Modification Policy
Masks are REQUIRED for clients, volunteers and staff in all sessions where 6’ social distancing can not be maintained in order to offer those services effectively safely. This policy is to maintain the health and safety of our clients, volunteers and staff.
If an individual is unable to wear a face mask, we request a doctor’s note explaining the exemption for that specific individual. In this case, we have provided the following reasonable modifications to our face mask policy (any or all may apply):
Individuals may wear a scarf, loose face covering (gaiter-style), or full face shield instead of a face mask.
Scheduled “socially-distant mask breaks” during sessions to allow for those who can wear a mask for a short amount of time; or
Mask modifications or exemptions apply to the individual only. Family members, volunteer teams and staff members are not included in the modification or exemption unless they have their own individual note/exemption.
Covid-19 Exposure at or Related to our Facility.
In the event that Covid-19 exposure is traced to, or related to, someone working or attending a session at our facility, the following will be put in place:
Mandatory hiatus based on current quarantine/isolation guidelines from our facility from the start date of symptom onset or positive Covid-19 test.
Negative test results for anyone individually receiving positive test results prior to returning for services (including for any family member in the same household as a client, volunteer or staff member).
A directly affected individual (client, volunteer or staff member) who requires a Covid-19 test.
Exposure to a family member who lives in the same household exhibiting symptoms and/or exposure to someone who shows symptoms or tests positive for Covid-19, but does not live in the same household.
Due to the nature of our organization (animals requiring 24/7/365 care) and the size of our team, these instances will likely lead to cancellation of some or all of the programming at our facility for the duration of two weeks (or longer), especially in the event of a primary staff member being exposed.
Social Distancing and Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies.
Our instructors, therapists, equine specialists, staff and volunteers need to be in very close proximity to our participants in order to offer these unique services and programs. In many cases – as it is with mounted work (riding) and some groundwork activities (such as picking hooves) – we are often in direct physical contact with our clients for up to 60-minutes at any one time. In addition, we are trained and required to be in physical contact or provide life-saving interventions (i.e. CPR), in the case of an emergency while at our facility.
While it may appear as though we are an “outdoor activity” that can fall easily within the lines of what is allowed and possible at this time, we are rarely 6 feet away from our clients and each other. We are doing our very best to flex, evolve and innovate so that we can continue to offer quality services and programs; and stay healthy while sharing this wonderful farm with all of you.
Covid-19 has been stressful for all of us. However, we believe that our facility, team and horses provide a valuable and unique service that is even more necessary during this trying time. Our goal is to continue to provide this service uninterrupted to all of our clients. While we know it's difficult and many who are vaccinated do not want to wear a mask, we must continue to ask you to do so for the safety of the many inmuno-compromised people that frequent or work on the farm. Thank you for your compassion on this matter.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
The Ridgebury Farm Team