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Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Awards

Nickname: Happy
Birth Year: 1978. Gender: Gelding. Breed: Appaloosa.
Affiliated with High & Mighty Therapeutic Riding and Driving Center .

Happy is a horse in our therapeutic program. He was one of the fist horses we used in program when we just opened our doors in 2009. He quickly became the backbone of the program as we could trust him with anyone.

Happy turned 40 this year. And although his role in program is diminished from what it used to be, he is still quite beloved by all. As a matter of fact, he was voted horse of the week by last week's campers. He loves to stand still while they groom him, kiss him and generally fawn all over him. When they voted him horse of the week, I realized they must see what I see...an intelligent, kind and sweet old soul.

I have very beloved memories of Happy being used in volunteer trainings. My daughter, who was seven years old at the time, was the 'participant' the volunteers would practice side-walking and emergency dismounts with. She would joyously show off her emerging riding skills while he carefully trotted around with her.

When the farm is quiet, Happy has run of the farm. Nothing makes me happier than to look up from whatever I am working on and see Happy walk by my window, looking for the perfect spot to graze. Or when he walks into the barn looking for meal number 3 or 4 of the day. Somehow he makes a perfect circle around his muzzle with his feed, which he like to eat off the floor. He also still loves the ladies. Whenever a mare joins the herd you can see him staring wistfully at them. Right now his best friend is a beautiful mare mustang named Belle.

Happy makes me smile and also brings tears of joy and reward to my eyes. We have a participant who was a dressage rider until she suffered from a debilitating stroke. Because of mobility issues she is in our therapeutic driving program. But she can stand. Happy will stand quietly next to her while she stands next to him with assistance and grooms him. She recently told me that being here has given her back a piece of her life that she thought was lost.

So this nomination is my thank you to Happy. For carrying my daughter carefully, for making me laugh, and for bringing so many children and adults joy.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Happy is a horse at High & Mighty Therapeutic Riding and Driving Center. I am an employee but met Happy when I was a volunteer. -- Dianne Ortmann