EQUUS Foundation Guardian Equine Ambassadors

Guardians are organizations on the Equine Welfare Network that demonstrate a commitment to public transparency by their willingness to make comprehensive data about their programs, horse care practices, and governance available for public scrutiny.

Each EQUUS Foundation Guardian has the opportunity to feature an equine that represents their mission to serve as the charity's Guardian Equine Ambassador. Learn more about the EQUUS Foundation's Guardian program here.

Green Chimneys (Middle Atlantic)

About Albus

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We selected Albus as our Equine Ambassador because he arrived at Green Chimneys needing to overcome some obstacles; he had never seen a camel and he had to adapt to a busy campus with a diverse body of students. The students and staff introduced him to a variety of animals and took him for long walks accompanied by other members of the horse herd. Albus soon learned that Green Chimneys is a fun place to live, and has since become a valuable therapeutic partner to our students. Learn more about Green Chimneys here .

New Mexico Horse Rescue at Walkin N Circles Ranch (Mountain)

About Armando

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In 2021, we received an emergency call to help rescue two young colts found near us. One colt could no longer stand on his own, and we feared he wouldn’t live through the night despite all our attempts to help him. His devoted buddy kept vigil over him, giving us hope for a good outcome. We named the sick colt’s friend Armando which means a strong protector or soldier. Both horses are now healthy and thriving. While Armando’s friend has since been adopted, we selected Armando to serve as our permanent ranch ambassador not only due to his intelligence and willingness to learn but also because of his intense devotion to a friend in need. Now fully trained under saddle, Armando helps other horses in training with his calmness and steadfastness when paired with other nervous horses during training sessions. We believe Armando emulates the qualities of our organization through his tenacity, devotion and bravery. Learn more about New Mexico Horse Rescue at Walkin N Circles Ranch here .

Rising Starr Horse Rescue (New England)

About Army

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Army is a 37-inch miniature horse. Army went through 3 other rescues before coming to Rising Starr. He was only 3 years old. Never given a real chance. With love and patience Army is now our ambassador not only at the rescue but at schools, social events, military bases, nursing homes, memory units, and wherever he is needed to share the plight of America's at-risk horses and bring a smile to anyone who meets him.. He educates the public on the reality and responsibility of horse ownership. He is a therapy horse to those in need. Most of all he shows the world compassion and forgiveness, kindness and understanding. Learn more about Rising Starr Horse Rescue here .

Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue, Inc. (Middle Atlantic)

About Ashley

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Ashley's story is truly inspiring! Her resilience in overcoming adversity and embracing life as an Equine Ambassador is a testament to her strength and character. The loss of Ashley's eye has not hindered her ability to make a difference in our clients' lives. By sharing her journey of forgiveness and determination, she not only empowers others but also serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration. Her involvement in equine assisted programs, outreach to elementary schools, and participation in events like Think Differently and National Night Out underscores her commitment to making a positive impact in the lives of others. Ashley's role as a symbol of rescue and rehabilitation highlights the transformative power of compassion and second chances. Through her work, she not only helps clients discover their own resilience but also fosters a sense of possibility and empowerment. Learn more about Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue, Inc. here .

The Equus Effect (New England)

About Babe

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Babe is a 15.3 hand, 24 year-old Brabant. She is a European Belgian – one of the strongest breeds in the world. She’s a bay roan, with a striking salt and pepper mane and tail. Before joining us at The Equus Effect, she pulled a wagon with her partner Joe, another Brabant who was a bay, and who was definitely ‘the boss’. When we first met the pair, they were in a pasture next to our place, just grazing year round, staying in a run-in shed when the weather was bad and simply dazzling us with their size and strength. After Joe died — one bad day with colic — Babe was alone. The owner was considering putting her down rather than giving her away, so we offered to buy her. To everyone’s relief, she said yes. As a mare moving into a herd of three geldings, we figured we’d keep her separate, but after two nights of a divided pasture, the gate seemed to open by itself ... and there they were! The once submissive mare was now the boss — no questions asked. We introduced her to our program by keeping her a bit apart from our other horses, just for safety and not to overwhelm her with too many new things at once. Now however, she is an extraordinary member of this herd of working horses. She is particularly good with folks who are dealing with loss, as she knows all about that after her 20 years with Joe. She leans in and holds the space for those who need it, and seems to recognize that while we can’t change what has happened, we can certainly offer a kind eye and listening heart. Hers is very, very big and she clearly loves this job. Aren’t we all lucky to have found each other? We think so … every day! Learn more about The Equus Effect here .

Special Equestrians (Middle Atlantic)
Photo @Dana Fielding

About Bear

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Bear is one of the most popular and reliable horses in the Special Equestrians herd. Registered as Wagontrain MHH, this special Haflinger was inducted into Equus Foundation’s Horse Stars Hall of Fame in early 2024. For more than two decades, Bear has played a critical role in every program Special Equestrians offers. From beginner to advanced lessons to hippotherapy sessions and community outreach, he has touched the lives of thousands of individuals with cerebral palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, brain injury, PTSD and more, all with his ears pricked forward hoping for a treat. As our evaluation horse, Bear has seen nearly all the riders in our mounted therapeutic riding programs during his time at Special Equestrians. He is consistently dependable, doing his work with a sense of purpose and pride. Bear is extremely conscious of the rider he is carrying. For our most fragile riders, instructors and therapists trust him to walk slowly and quietly, especially from the mounting ramp. Bear also participates in our on- and off-site group programs and has worked with 25 community partners over the years, including area schools and nursing homes. Even as a senior, he remains active and engaged with all who cross his path. All told, this dependable workhorse has participated in over 10,000 lessons! Learn more about Special Equestrians here .

Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center (Pacific)

About Brunhilda

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Brunhilda is 25 years old and has been at Little Bit for eight years. She is the oldest active member of our herd and still going strong. Along with her small size, she is very safe, dependable, and versatile, making her a perfect fit for young riders in both our Therapy and Adaptive Riding programs, helping patients and riders to achieve their individual riding and therapy goals. She connects well with her riders, instills confidence and trust, is patient with new riders needing assistance, and loves working with riders who are learning to ride independently to help develop their skills. Brunhilda serves children and adults with a huge range of disabilities and helps to make their dreams come true! Little Bit hosts two annual horse shows for our participants, and in the past two years, Brunhilda has assisted one young rider in bringing home blue ribbons in USDF tests. In 2019, Brunhilda was named Region 9 Equine of the Year by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International. We invite you to see Brunhilda in-action, working with Therapy patient Scarlett, by watching Scarlett and Lily’s video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIAUArjmwa0&t=11s. Learn more about Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center here .

Prancing Horse, Inc. (South Atlantic)
Photo @Amanda Shay

About Buck

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The story of Buck - Equine Ambassador at Prancing Horse One newer resident to Prancing Horse challenged us in a way that other horses had not. His name is Buck and he caught everyone’s attention when he arrived on Valentine’s Day 2023. It was our barn manager, Julia Davis, who knew of Buck and thought he might have a chance at our farm. She later confessed that she wasn’t sure Buck would survive the two hour transport due to his condition. Buck arrived with ribs showing under his winter coat. With a body scale of 2/9, he weighed in at 794 lbs., and had survived in a field with inconsistent forage, occasional water and, when finances permitted, he received cow feed. His owner had experienced financial hardship which made it impossible to perform routine maintenance or adequately provide the simple basics of shelter, water and a nutritional diet. At Prancing Horse, Buck quickly found himself center stage and under the wings of staff, volunteers, participants and parents, as everyone silently cheered his progress. Because Buck has very few teeth, he was put on a soaked feed diet with two 5-gallon buckets in the morning and two in the evening (and one additional for lunch if he ate all of his breakfast) plus orchard grass. His return to health was overseen by Julia, and our weekend feeder, Jordan Buchan, so our staff truly provided care 24/7. Within one month, Buck had gained close to 100 lbs. and today weighs in at 1,127. Buck has a strong following by those in our therapeutic horsemanship and veteran programs. Buck’s story resonates with many who have had or do have personal or physical challenges. One young cancer survivor, Timothy, has proclaimed his love for Buck. Many of the Wounded Warrior and Operation Red Wing participants are finding their way with the help of Buck. Buck has truly found his purpose in life and, at age 26, is where he is meant to be. While we experienced both heart break and successes in 2023, the story of Buck and his rehabilitation may be our biggest win of all. We championed him as he moved forward and cannot manage what his life would be like if he had not come to join our herd at Prancing Horse Farm. Learn more about Prancing Horse, Inc. here .

Florida Research Institute for Equine Nurturing, Development & Safety, Inc. aka F.R.I.E.N.D.S., Inc. (South Atlantic)

About Bud

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On 7/6/2015 we welcomed "Bud" into our sanctuary. Bud is a beautiful Draft/Cross that came from a very sad situation. One of the local barns had lost 21 of the 23 horses boarded there due to tainted grain. The bags came from the mill, but USDA testing found there was "ionophore-toxicity-monensin" in the horse feed. It is used as an antibiotic in cattle feed, but it is toxic/deadly for horses. At that time we got a call from the woman that owned Bud, and she asked us to take Bud because she couldn't afford to keep him after paying all of the Vet bills to try and save him. We spoke to our Vet who had been caring for the affected horses and he felt Bud had a chance. He was a bigger horse and he felt he may not have gotten as much of the tainted grain. However, Buds heart was weak from the toxins, and he would never be able to be ridden again. He had also developed a blind eye, however it did not hinder him in any way. When Bud first came he was not interested in anything, not people or feed. He had lost a lot of weight before he came to us but we knew that with a little time, we would be able to fix that. Here we are nine years later, he is 22 years old, and he runs the place. He loves little kids to older folks. He is truly a gentle giant. He likes to hang out where the people are, partly because he can scope out the snacks, but also because he loves all the attention he gets. He will gladly walk around with you, he has a kind, gentle spirit that wins the hearts of everyone. He is lovingly called "Hoover" because he tries to suck up all the treats he can. His health is good, he looks great, and most importantly he feels great. He is a wonderful ambassador because he is the perfect example of horses living in sanctuary that can't be ridden. Learn more about Florida Research Institute for Equine Nurturing, Development & Safety, Inc. aka F.R.I.E.N.D.S., Inc. here .

Sprout Therapeutic Riding and Education Center (South Atlantic)

About Buggie

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When we first met Buggie (a 15.2 Connemara/Arabian cross), he was an unlikely retiree in a field of older horses. Out of work due to the closure of another local therapeutic riding program, Buggie stood out to the retirement farm manager. She knew he had more to offer and called Sprout. We tried him in the field amidst galavanting horses and took him on the spot - his gentle and calm disposition was unrattled by his galloping herd and even though he was out of work, he quickly showed us his strong education as a riding horse. Buggie came to Sprout in 2013 and has served faithfully as a "Horse of Hope" since then. Now, at age 25, Buggie has taught thousands of lessons to our riders - especially teens and young adults. His calm nature radiates to everyone in his presence, both in and out of the saddle. He stands quietly for riders to mount using our motorized lift, has acclimated to the use of a Hippolib saddle that includes back and lap support, he loves trail rides, dressage lessons and popping over the occasional cross rail. Compassionate and kind, Buggie’s gentle spirit quiets a rider’s soul and his willing disposition gives riders wings! This year he underwent an intensive eye surgery and treatment for persistent corneal ulcers and stayed upbeat regardless of the amount of medication and stall rest. He showed tremendous patience and trust in his caretakers and has now returned to work to continue to serve his riders - now with goggles on! We think Buggie showcases the generous, kind and courageous spirit of our herd - which makes him the ultimate ambassador for Sprout! Learn more about Sprout Therapeutic Riding and Education Center here .

CHAPS Equine Assisted Services (Mountain)

About Bunk

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Bunk came to us a ranch horse, but in a few short weeks became a therapy horse. He has a keen sensitivity, is able to connect with people easily, and provides the exact feedback a person needs in the moment. Bunk had never worked in a mental health setting before, but took to it like a fish to water. He is quiet, kind, respectful and ready to work. He meets us at the gate and goes eagerly into the activity. Bunk also carries a rider and pulls a cart for participants with disabilities. This flashy young horse has found his calling and we are incredibly grateful he found his home with us. He is nothing short of amazing. Learn more about CHAPS Equine Assisted Services here .

Chesapeake Therapeutic Riding (South Atlantic)

About Buttons

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Buttons, CTR's Equine Ambassador, is a Shetland Pony who has brought smiles, learning, and laughter to the hearts of thousands of people in and around Harford County, MD. She is a very small Shetland, so she cannot be ridden, but she is travel-sized so we have enjoyed taking her to library visits, senior centers, resource festivals, schools, and veterans' homes for almost 10 years. Through her story, and her gentle demeanor, she has helped CTR teach people of all ages and abilities how ponies and horses (like her) can help people on their journeys to recovery and healing. Learn more about Chesapeake Therapeutic Riding here .

Call West
Second Chance Thoroughbreds Inc. (Middle Atlantic)
Photo @Lydia Ann Photography

About Call West

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West is a 9 y/o gelding by Street Sense out of Goaltending. West was bred by Godolphin, sold for $70,000 as a yearling. West went on to 78 races with a record of 6-13-14 and earnings of $128,093. West is TB Makeover RRP eligible, just racing in January of this year.   West has been ridden a couple of times and has proven to be very nice under saddle with a great canter.  West does have large osselets on both front legs, that are a blemish and do not affect his athletic abilities.   West is good about grooming and picking up his feet, he has no vices.  West is a lovely horse and likes to be fussed over.   West is our ambassador as he epitomizes the heart of the thoroughbred, he is brave, noble and willing to do whatever is asked of him. Learn more about Second Chance Thoroughbreds Inc. here .

Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center (New England)

About Carrot

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Carrot is a true ambassador for equine-assisted services. A 21 year old Haflinger, Carrot has worked in two different EAS programs--one in Vermont and most recently in Maine at Riding To The Top. He is a solid all around citizen--steady in the ring and on the trails with a people personality. He works in all aspects of our programs including ground/grooming lessons, mounted work and carriage driving. He has been at RTT less than a year, but has quickly become everyone's favorite and a true Equine Ambassador not only for RTT, but for the EAS industry. Learn more about Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center here .

Maryland Therapeutic Riding, Inc. (South Atlantic)

About Chrissy

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Chrissy is the essence of everything an adaptive riding horse should be. She is our veteran 22-year-old Buckskin Quarter horse mare. For the past 15 years, we have witnessed this mare transform the lives of hundreds of individuals. Chrissy has been a part of every program here on the farm including our adaptive riding program, occupational, physical, and speech therapy services, and equine assisted psychotherapy. Chrissy is our herd member that is used for our most involved participants. She is the horse that teaches our most timid volunteers how to groom and lead. She is the horse that will NEVER lose a relay race game. She brings a smile to every person that walks in the barn with her silly faces and demanding neck scratches. She is protective of her people and fiercely devoted to the success of others. She is confident, curious, takes her job seriously, but isn’t afraid to have some fun when she’s “off the clock.” Many of us who have been part of the MTR family for over a decade don’t know the farm without Chrissy. She’s as much a part of this place as the land itself. Chrissy is a remarkable treasure to the industry, and we are forever grateful she chose Maryland Therapeutic Riding as her home. Learn more about Maryland Therapeutic Riding, Inc. here .

Dewdrop's Heart
Saving Horses, Inc (Pacific)

About Dewdrop's Heart

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Dewdrop's Heart AKA "Dewey", has a heart shaped star on her forehead. Dewey was raced from ages 2-4yrs, then dumped on a feedlot at the end of her racing career. Saving Horses, Inc., rescued her from the Bowie, TX feedlot, and transported her to our facility in CA. Dewey was emotionally traumatised by her life on the track. Additionally she had sustained physical injuries. 4 years later she still lacks trust of humans, yet she tries so hard, and has come a long way. In spite of this she has a good work ethic and enjoys her hand walks by volunteers and rides by our trainer. Dewey is an example of courage, patience and perseverance. She has beaten the odds. She is a reminder to all to never give up, and has helped in the counseling of those with addiction. It is because of horses like Dewey that we do what we do. Learn more about Saving Horses, Inc here .

High & Mighty Therapeutic Riding and Driving Center (Middle Atlantic)
Photo @Cindy Smith

About Diego

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Diego is the backbone of our program. He is quiet and kind. He will tolerate any type of rider, from a person who uses a wheelchair, to our more independent riders learning to canter. He is worth his weight in gold to us. Learn more about High & Mighty Therapeutic Riding and Driving Center here .

DK Miss America (Dawn)
Sunshine Horses Inc. (Middle Atlantic)

About DK Miss America (Dawn)

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DK Miss America is a very special equine Standardbred ambassador at Sunshine Horses. She represents the mild mannerisms of this breed. Dawn was saved from slaughter many years ago, actually pulled off the truck. The woman that saved her was named Dawn, hence the name Sunshine Horses chose for this mare. She had been adopted but then returned through no fault of her own. Because of her kind, patient nature the organization uses her for horse/human bonding with visitors and volunteers. She loves the attention. Recently, Dawn was diagnosed with glaucoma and requires daily medication and an ultraviolet protection mask to prevent further damage. The enclosed photo shows her with her mask as she interacts with one of our younger volunteers. Learn more about Sunshine Horses Inc. here .

This Old Horse, Inc. (West North Central)
Photo @Toni Thomas Photography

About Dude

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Dude is a 31-year old Haflinger who was the first blind horse to come to This Old Horse. He was part of a cart team. His team mate helped him navigate his familiar surroundings after Dude lost his sight to uveitis. His partner died, then Dude's owner. The surviving family members surrendered Dude to us and he taught us what we needed to know about loving and caring for a blind horse. Because of him, we have successfully welcomed and cared more than 40 blind horses to the This Old Horse family. Dude is our ambassador who taught us to 'see' the potential and power of horses who can function perfectly well--if the organization has the vision to make it happen. Learn more about This Old Horse, Inc. here .

Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc. (Middle Atlantic)
Photo @SEL Photography

About Eliza

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Eliza is many things. Patient, kind, assertive, hard working, persistent, and resilient. Much like the many veterans, children and adults with disabilities, at risk youth, and incarcerated women that she works with at Endeavor. Whether you are a new rider cautious about a novel activity, an advanced rider working on trotting skills, or an adult working through your personal challenges on the ground with the horse and a therapist - she is trusted partner. Eliza is one of our more senior equine partners. Prior to coming to the Endeavor Farm, she was a three day event pony and a lesson pony. Always game for a new adventure, Eliza took to her new career at Endeavor with gusto. She also lives her best life with one eye. She has learned to adapt and does not let this challenge keep her from any of her favorite people or activities. She is a role model for the many participants, volunteers, and staff that she works with at the farm. Since her time at Endeavor, she has provided over 500 lessons and equine assisted therapy sessions. All with a loose relaxed lip, perked happy ears, and a swish of her tail to say let's go! Thank you, Eliza, for bringing your wisdom and caring soul to each person you meet. We love you! Learn more about Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc. here .

Elkhorn Warrior
Horse and Hound Rescue Foundation (West South Central)

About Elkhorn Warrior

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Elkhorn Warrior is a striking gray gelding. He came to us rather untrusting and unwilling to accept much human connection. He is now a willing, friendly guy looking for attention and treats. We are bringing him along slowly, but he is showing so much talent. We are sure he is going to be a superstar! Learn more about Horse and Hound Rescue Foundation here .

Rainbow Meadows Equine Rescue and Retirement, Inc. (West North Central)

About Emanon

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Emanon was part of a large number of "kill pen" horses, bailed by well-meaning individuals, from a facility in Colorado. Those who provided bail had NO ABILITY to offer homes, just money. He, along with over 70 others, were given to a Kansas facility claiming to "rehabilitate" horses but instead they were either sold or sent on to another auction. Emanon was the "last horse standing" once a number of others found homes with rescues across Kansas, Colorado and Missouri. As a result, Rainbow Meadows stepped up to ensure he was safe. He has responded well to slow and quiet training. He is now curious and friendly. Emanon carries the saddle quietly but is highly apprehensive when being ridden. Rainbow Meadows is continuing to work on his confidence to help him overcome his concern with a rider. Learn more about Rainbow Meadows Equine Rescue and Retirement, Inc. here .

All About Equine Animal Rescue (Pacific)

About Finnegan

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Finn is a 2014 grade gelding that was born at AAE after his mom was rescued from an auction be another rescue. He was very sick as a young foal, but had a strong will to survive. He became a volunteer favorite before he was adopted as a yearling. He was a character from day one. His antics were not appreciated by his adopter. Flirting with her three mares causing them to excape their paddocks to get to his, scaling a five foot fence to chase the trailer down the road, and simply being the footloose and fancy free kid he was. Sadly for him, he was returned to AAE. Team AAE was happy to have him back, and he's been one of our Ambassadors since. He's one of our most laid back, trustworthy, and dependable horses that many of our new volunteers can count on to show them the way. Finn is one in a million, and he has a forever home here where he'll be loved to eternity. Learn more about All About Equine Animal Rescue here .

White Bird Appaloosa Horse Rescue (South Atlantic)

About Freckles

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This dapper gentleman, with his good friend Sophie, is Freckles a red roan Pony of the Americas gelding. Social and upbeat, you just want to plant one on that little fuzzy face. We don't know exactly how old he is, but think he predates the invention of the wheel and some dinosaurs. Freckles was a hardship surrender by an owner who could no longer care for him. He has low vision, Cushing's syndrome and arthritis, and requires medication for these disorders. He bears these infirmities with the usual Appaloosa stoicism, but for this reason he is unlikely to find an adoptive home, and will remain at the rescue to live out his life in safety and dignity. However, he is a firm favorite with all the volunteers, and particularly the younger ones, because he is a Master Instructor of children in Horse Handling 101. He is a much loved member of the White Bird community, and we are honored to offer him as our Equine Ambassador. Learn more about White Bird Appaloosa Horse Rescue here .

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