2022 Platinum Performance
Horse Welfare Award Recipients

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2022 Honorable Mention

Official Name: Rolex
Birth Year: 2006 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Quarter


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Horses For Healing, Inc.
Rolex is not the therapy horse that stands patiently for you to decide what emotion you’re currently experiencing, or which brush to use next, or how to navigate the obstacle course that’s been constructed. Rolex is the therapy horse that knows the exact moment to push the comfort zone… to demand your attention and bring you back to the moment … or to hang his tongue to the side and make a funny face at you to make you smile.

I am nominating Rolex for the Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Award because Rolex has experienced the unkindness of this world himself that many of his clients have also seen. He has been neglected, has experienced the pain, and he shows his clients (and myself) a healthy way to acknowledge the trauma that comes with those experiences, while learning resiliency, and embracing that which we can control along our healing journeys.

Rolex was found at a ranch with his ribs showing and barely able to stand because of the poor condition of his feet. He was immediately removed from the neglectful home and when well-enough to travel was brought to his now forever-home in Corrales, NM. Since his arrival in 2016, he has recovered his weight and received appropriate treatment to repair his feet as best as possible. While he still has scars from his experience and has long-term limitations due to his subsequent hoof lameness he continues to live uninhibitedly in the moment. He shows his clients the freedom in letting go of the past by acknowledging it and giving oneself the credit that is due for surviving it. And once one finds the empowerment in that, he shows them how to laugh again, how to be comfortable in their own skin, how to not sweat the small stuff and keep your eyes on the big picture. While Rolex’s daily pursuits may be to coerce his clients to take him on walks down the road, or feed him peppermints, the same sentiment still applies. He demonstrates self-truth and sharing what makes him unique with those around him. He shows gentle persistence while still practicing kindness. His intuition in reading social situations and body language is like nothing I have ever seen; he knows when to nudge or when to stand still, when to walk away and when to follow. He requires mindful and respectful attention but most importantly, he ALWAYS shares joy along the way.

In my four years of work at HFH, I have yet to see a client not leave with a smile on their face after working with Rolex. He has most certainly left his own mark on HFH’s barn and each human he chooses to greet at the gate upon arrival.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I have had the privilege of working with Rolex at Horses For Healing, Inc. (HFH) in my Ashva Yoga (Mat Work + Horsemanship) program for Veterans and their families for the past four years. My first steps through Rolex’s paddock gate were short, but filled with excitement to get to know this funny-standing horse and it has forever changed my life. In working with Rolex in training and in lessons, I am continuously amazed at the effect he has had on me and the clients we work with. My career as a therapeutic riding instructor, wrangler, and ranch manager has brought many horses (and other animals) across my path, but Rolex has always stood out the most. He has the uncanny ability to break any hesitation, sadness, confusion, or frustration with his quirky personality. He is a therapy horse, but he brings a unique thread to the herd and to his clients with his intentional limited attention span, and undeniable clear communication and expression. -- Calle Poindexter