Equine assisted therapy provides an unconventional treatment method for those dealing with mental and behavioral health issues. During equine assisted therapy, a licensed therapist and horse professional collaborate to create program goals and treatment plans. Working with the horses requires the patient to use communication, problem solving and creative thinking to help him overcome issues. Organizations running equine assisted therapy programs can find grants to help cover costs.

Find a provider. Different types of organizations offer grants for equine assisted therapy, including industry associations, private foundations and nonprofit organizations. Groups looking for grant money can do a basic Internet search to find grant organizations in that area. Organizations offering equine assisted therapy grants as of 2014 include the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association, the Equus Foundation, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, and the Horses and Humans Research Foundation.

Obtain nonprofit status. Grant applicants must have 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service. Some grant programs are also open to educational institutions and government entities. Applicants must be located in the United States and must have been operating for longer than a year.

Meet other criteria. Some organizations require the applicant to purchase a membership or join a network of equine therapy providers to be eligible for a grant. Other groups require the grant applicant to belong to an industry association such as the American Hippotherapy Association, the Certified Horsemanship Association or the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.

Agree to the stipulations. The grant applicant must agree to use the money for purposes of equine assisted therapy, such as scholarships and financial aid for patients, riding apparel and equipment, and basic horse care for therapy horses. Some grant providers want the money to go to research projects that deal with equine assisted therapy. For example, the Horses and Humans Research Foundation funds research projects that specifically confirm the effectiveness of equine assisted treatment.

Submit an application. Most grant providers ask that candidates submit an application online via the provider’s website. Some require both a paper application and an online application. Generally, applications are due in the spring and grant money is awarded in the fall. Sometimes, as part of the application review the provider may visit the site of the applicant.

Turn in additional documents. Along with basic biographical information about the group, the application must include a document explaining the organization’s need for grant money. If the grant money is going toward a specific project, the applicant must outline the project’s budget, timeline and specifics.