Founded in 2008, the Centaur Association of Hippotherapy and Equestrian Sports is located in the Ushi rural community of Aragatsotn marz (province), about 35 km from Yerevan. Centaur is the first and only center of its kind in Armenia, where 6 horses, 33 dogs, 4 cats, and a turtle live. All of the center’s animals were rescued from the street, negligent owners, or the slaughterhouse, and now live in a happy and safe environment. First, people help to restore the animals’ mental and physical health, and then the animals help people in the same matter.


Hasmik considers Centaur her home. Nine years ago, she left her comfortable city life for the tremendous troubles and difficulties of rural life — receiving the animals’ love and the satisfaction of doing good in exchange.


The center buys hay for the horses from the villagers. Every day, almost 6,000 AMD (US$13) is spent to feed the horses at Centaur.


For several years, Aram, 9, has been spending his Sundays at Centaur. He receives appropriate therapeutic care, with the help of horses and dogs.


There are a lot of chores to do at the center. Fyodor tries to relax after a hard day’s work.


To feed the center’s 33 dogs, about 20 kg of meat with rice is cooked daily.


Abby, 4, has been living at Centaur for three years. After the death of her elderly owner, unfortunately, no other guardian for Abby was found. Centaur also offers the opportunity to adopt dogs, even if the potential owners are abroad. If the guardian is unable to keep the dog at home, she or he can come to the center at any time and play with his or her small friend. The complete care of one dog costs $19 a month.


Anna has been splitting Centaur’s chores with Hasmik for almost six years. She has a job in Yerevan, but she’s able to balance life at Centaur with her work in Yerevan, most of the income of which she directs to maintain the center. Anna takes on a lot of heavy jobs, works equal to any man, and never complains about her work. As with all the members, she cares for the center lovingly.


Gor, 4, after the therapy accompanies Febus to the stable. Gor has a speech impediment.


Golden has cataracts that is already too late too late for surgery. Unfortunately, in Armenia, there is no possibility of absolute sterile post-operative conditions, as there is no appropriate clinic.


Hasmik and the center’s other volunteers keep an eye on the animals that roam free so they don’t leave the grounds, which are not fenced. This is one of the center’s main problems. A few months ago, four of the dogs faced serious problems when they came in contact with the arsenic sprinkled to protect the trees and wheat on the neighbouring land. Only two of the dogs could be saved.


Hasmik combs Febus’s mane. Febus is one of Centaur’s six horses, who mainly assumes the responsibility of the therapy with children. Not every horse is capable of therapy, but Febus does it with great care.


At Centaur, almost all the dogs live in harmony with the cats.


There are no days off at Centaur. The animals require daily care: feed and give them water, clean the animals and their surrounding indoor and outdoor spaces, buy and prepare food, and many other chores.


Fyodor is geting Febus ready for therapy with children. For over a year, Fyodor has been travelling around the world with his girlfriend, Ulyana. Their chosen country, where they have spent the most time, is Armenia. Since May 2017, they have been guests at Centaur and have already become full members of the center.


The children from the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) wait impatiently for Centaur’s Mickey Mouse dog.


The center also organizes outgoing therapies and children’s centers. It currently collaborates with FAR’s Children’s Support Center. Once a week, the children at this center are able to pet and play with the three dogs who visit them.


Hasmik gets Shlyakhtich ready for a ride with children. At Centaur, it is also possible to organize a pleasant activity for the kids: to interact with dogs, cats, and horses — free from the noise and polluted air of the city.


Centaur’s united family.


Cerebral palsy, autism, scoliosis, Down and other syndromes, intellectual disability… this is the incomplete list of problems that can be solved with the help of horses.

Contact with dogs develops responsibility, willingness for mutual assistance, and socialization, and encourages the improvement of fine motor skills.

Centaur implements the Proud Parent program, whereby people can select an animal from the shelter and sponsor him for a year, becoming the animal’s “adoptive parent.”

The therapy at Centaur is mostly free. The center’s main activities are aimed at helping children from low-income families in rural communities, who usually don’t receive any other therapy.

How to help

Keeping such a large number of animals and such a center, in general, is not easy, since the center doesn’t have permanent sponsors or state support.

There are several problems to be solved, the most important of which are
(a) the daily food intake and medical expenses of the therapeutic animals
(b) the repair of the road leading to the center and fencing the territory. Currently, it is completely open, and the dogs can easily get out of the area.

You can help the Centaur Association with the following account number:

Beneficiary's Account: 2050622016401001
Centaur Association of Hippotherapy and Equestrian Sports