2020 Platinum Performance
Horse Welfare Awards

Nickname: Lyric
Birth Year: 2002. Gender: Mare. Breed: Welsh Cob Pony.
Affiliated with National Center For Equine Facilitated Therapy (NCEFT)

Lyric’s Background

Lyric was bred by a Welsh breeder named Pat Holmes in Marysville, California and born on February 28, 2002. Her registered name is Ceridwen’s Final Lyric. Pat started her foals and, when they were a bit older, frequently brought them to Woodside, California where she ran a lesson program at Wunderlich Park. Pat bred nice ponies with calm temperaments, strong work ethic, and lots of stamina. Sadly, Pat passed away in 2005 and her ponies all needed to be sold.

Lyric was purchased by a family in Woodside for their 12 year-old daughter who was active in Woodside Pony Club. Lyric needed some extra care as she had been neglected over the previous 6-12 months. She was out of shape, underweight, her coat was dull and shaggy, and her hooves needed attention as they had grown very long. The family attended to her needs and put her in a regular riding program. Lyric thrived! Pony Club games and three-day eventing were the mare’s favorites. The pony had a lot of energy, but proved to be a solid and confident mount who loved to work. She taught her rider a great deal and the pair went on to have a very fun and successful time in Pony Club and eventing in California.

When the daughter went off to college, her younger sister stepped in and took over riding and caring for Lyric. Though not a competitive rider, she enjoyed trail riding and so did Lyric. Once the second daughter reached high school, she was not able to give Lyric the attention she needed. The parents worried about the pony because they felt Lyric, like many horses, really needed a job. As Barn Manager for NCEFT, I asked if they would be willing to let us try her for our program. They loved the idea and Lyric came to NCEFT on trial in September of 2016.

Lyric’s Life as a Therapy Pony

When Lyric arrived at NCEFT, we began teaching her how to be a therapy pony. We let her adjust to her new surroundings, then started getting her used to the balls, rings, and other toys our physical, occupational, and speech therapists use in sessions. She took to this quickly. The next step was to teach Lyric to go in long lines (ground driving). The first time we put the lines on her we were able to easily maneuver her in the arena. It was clear she had been broken to drive, which we learned the breeder often did with her ponies. Lyric was amazing in long lines and we quickly were able to try her in a mock therapy session. It was only two short weeks from the time she arrived at NCEFT until she was in her first therapy session with a patient! That is a very short period of time to train a horse for the very special job we ask them to do, and the partnership with Lyric and NCEFT began.

Four years later, Lyric continues to be one of our most solid and consistent equine partners. Her natural movement and solid build is ideal for equine-assisted therapy. She helps treat approximately 20 patients per week including physical, occupational, and speech therapy patients, as well as adaptive riding clients.

Lyric’s Health History

Well bred and built to work, Lyric is a very solid pony with good conformation. At age 18, she has some arthritis, but her ongoing health challenge has been her skin. Since purchased by the Woodside family, she has suffered from year-round itchy skin and seasonal skin allergies. Regular grooming and lots of scratches are Lyric’s favorite things. Her skin can be calmed with regular medicated bathing, but the problem persists. Antihistamines help with periodic flare ups, but she has developed eosinophilic granulomas. These chronic hives are small and hard. They don’t hurt or inhibit her ability to be ridden, but she would benefit from Platinum Skin and Allergy to help maintain her normal histamine levels.

Lyric is a very valuable equine co-worker and she is loved by the many patients she helps treat. We strive to give our horses the best care possible, and would love the opportunity to supplement her diet with Platinum Skin and Allergy to give her some relief to this chronic challenge.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
The description below was written by Marty Raynor, NCEFT's Barn & Facilities Manager. Lyric is used in NCEFT's equine-assisted therapy programs and adaptive riding programs.

This application is being submitted by the Development Team at NCEFT. Thank you very much for your consideration! -- Cherie Hammer

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