Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center
We are nominating Calico to receive the Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Award because he provides invaluable services to our community and deserves to be recognized for it! Calico was born in the state of Utah. As a youngster, he found a home at a dressage barn where he received wonderful care and training. As Calico got older and started to move up the dressage levels with his owner, it became obvious that Calico was not interested in Dressage past First Level.
His owner was worried that Calico was physically uncomfortable and that was why he was not able to continue to competitively improve. Calico received the very best vet, farrier, and bodywork care. Nothing seemed to help Calico improve at his job. Eventually, Calico’s owner decided Calico might be happier doing a different job. That is when Calico entered the Little Bit Herd.
Calico is a stunning 10 year old, 15.1 hand, skewbald Gypsian with soft eyes and a calm mind. Calico is part of our Therapy and Adaptive program. His versatile skills and sound mind make him a strong partner for a wide variety of our riders and patients.
Calico’s steady, rhythmic, and consistent gait make him a perfect match for adult and pediatric therapy patients working to strengthen and create new neuropathways. Currently, Calico regularly works with three adult Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients. These patients have seen increased improvement towards their goals because of Calico’s type of movement. Many times, we see adult patients who believe their whole body or specific parts of their body are ineffective and cannot create physical change. Calico is sensitive to the aids and safe with his responses to the aids. He gives patients biofeedback that creates both physical improvement as well as cognitive and mental health improvements. He will yield to small leg and seat aids. Calico works with a patient who has a self-proclaimed “dead leg.” The patient is able to use the weaker leg to ask Calico to step over! This feedback is both exciting, confidence building and incredibly useful in therapy. Calico treats both adults and children in therapy and carries both adults and children in adaptive riding lessons.
In adaptive lessons, Calico is a trustworthy, safe, and valuable mount. Because of Calico’s biofeedback to the seat and leg, Calico excels at teaching riders to correctly use body aids. He is known to correctly and safely respond to leg and seat aids, even from the smallest of children. Calico is very loving and playful. Some of his favorite activities are playing with toys like balls and hula hoops, trotting over poles, and walking outside around the track and paddock loop.
Calico can benefit from many of the Platinum Performance products. Little Bit is committed to providing the best nutrition and care possible to our herd of almost 30 horses. Calico has some environmental allergies that make him a very itchy boy. Platinum Skin & Allergy is already a part of Calico’s daily diet. Calico would also benefit from Platinum Performance CJ to maintain joint health and comfortability and Platinum Balance to support digestion and absorption. Calico and the Little Bit team are excited for this opportunity to provide Calcio with this wonderful nutrition to keep him healthy and happy.
Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I am the equine assistant and nutritional advisor at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Redmond, WA. I came to know Calico when he was brought in as a trial horse in early 2021. Calico’s stunning looks and boy band personality had everyone enthralled from the moment he stepped off the trailer. Calico was not suited for high level Dressage, but he was made to work with our clients. Calico has formed relationships and bonds with our staff, volunteers and clients that are immeasurably special and valuable.
Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center is a large, PATH-certified Therapeutic Riding Center established in 1976. We provide Hippotherapy, Adaptive Riding Lessons, and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy/Learning to our clients. Through the healing powers of equine facilitated therapies, our community and our horses transform the bodies, minds, and spirits of people with disabilities. -- Tess Millar