Stepping Out for America's Horses

Stepping Out
for America's Horses
February 15-June 15, 2022

Presented By
Robb Report

Slam Hanover is "stepping out" for GAIT Therapeutic Riding Center! He is a Standardbred horse and ex-harness racer, who won many races in his earlier life. He came to GAIT TRC in 2013 as a semi-retired 17 yr old. His calm personality and comfortable gaits provide a sense of safety and security for his special needs riders. A bay horse with forward action at the walk and trot also makes him a fun horse to ride.

A registered Tiger Horse, Lily is a 11 year old rare breed of gaited appaloosa, whose original owner rehomed her herd after falling ill. Sadly, Lily's new owner did not care properly for her and eventually sold her to a dealer for pennies on the dollar. Lily quickly became ill, under weight and mentally defeated. Lily's original owner reached out to GAIT when she learned that Lily had fallen into harms way. Lily is now our ambassador, helping us educate the public about what can happen to even the best bred horses if they fall into the wrong hands.

True Loyalty
True Loyalty won his last start at Arlington Park the summer of 2020. Unfortunately, he strained a suspensory in the process. Rather than risk additional injury, his owner retired him to Galloping Out, where he was rehabbed and rested for nearly a year. He is currently sound and in training at Indian Hills Farm in Edwardsville, IL, while he awaits his new owner. Learn more about True Loyalty here.

Flour is an older, neglected pony that we rescued this Thanksgiving. When she arrived she seemed depressed and had no zest for life left. She had a severe internal infection and a painful eye that needed treatment. A little girl named Ella, who lives at the rescue with her parents, spent time brushing her and talking quietly to her and Flour seemed to love this. Now that Flour's infection has cleared and her eye is being treated, she is feeling much better and is enjoying giving pony rides and being spoiled. She is ready for adoption and all she needs now is a home and child to call her own!

Pierre came to Giant Steps from a family with a long history of supporting Giant Steps. His human "grandpa" volunteered with our program when Giant Steps was just 10 years old. His owner started volunteering at Giant Steps as soon as she was old enough, and her parents are loyal supporters. So when Pierre's jumping career was coming to an end, it was the natural choice for him to become a therapy horse, and luckily he is perfectly suited for the job. This Selle Francais is an unassuming Frenchman. He loves people and aims to please. Pierre is a true professional. Beautifully trained, he willingly complies with his rider's instructions, even when they are not quite clear. Just like his human family, Pierre teaches generosity.

Rosie was adopted by Gleneayre from a local rescue where she had been found tied to a chain-link fence and near starvation. She came at Gleneayre scared and shy but with love to give and that trust and hope are possible even in difficult situations. As an instrumental part of our Working Student Program, the students have had the opportunity to learn firsthand what is involved with rehabilitating a rescue horse and to experience the rewards.

High school student Tyler bonding with 2-year old miniature horse Cricket, one of 21 special horses partnering with special needs students

Photo @Sara Gallagher
Paige is one of Halleck Creek Ranch's newest equine members and has proven to excel as a kind and gentle therapy horse providing Equine-Assisted Services and Therapeutic Riding to people with disabilities. Paige is shown here wearing a adaptive tack - a bit-less bridle.

Photo @Brenda
How can such a tiny little horse hold so much personality? Meet Kachina who came to HTFAS through the Amish Horse Retirement Initiative in 2008. Unable to stand because of dwarfism, this miniature horse received state of the art medical care to help her gain use of her legs. Now retired from nursing home visits, she has become a sanctuary favorite with humans and other animals alike and is quite the star with tour visitors!

Viva Pentelicus
When we first met Viva in 2012, we knew this horse was special. After 96 races and a bankroll of over $340,000, Viva has participated in many programs, providing space for healing for those who need it, including a probationer- based program in partnership with the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, our Veteran's project, our Stable Kids foster child project and our Stable Responders for first responders and health care providers. At 27, Viva continues to make his story known with all our program participants, our volunteers, and even his former racehorse owner.

JoJo is a Norwegian Fjord who has been a team member at Healing Strides for over 15 years. JoJo is a favorite horse for many of our riders because she has a patient disposition. So many of our client want so badly to learn to ride a horse, like the little boy in the photo, but their anxieties and fears are a challenge to overcome. When they find the courage to ride a horse, they become empowered, and an unbreakable bond is formed. Simply put, JoJo is that horse - trustworthy and consistent.

Nugget and Alice
Nugget is surprising. He’s young-- only 8 and yet he is one of the most versatile equines in our herd. His day may start with a 10 year old and end with our oldest participant -- Alice who is 96. He works in every program on property and serves a wide range of needs. There is no participant Nugget cannot reach. Nugget makes everyone smile -- especially Alice!

Stitch and Jack, one of our participants in the veteran’s program, bonded right away. Stitch taught Jack the importance of play, stepping outside of his comfort zone and what it means to belong to a herd. Jack's wife wrote after his passing in December 2021, "Jack was the builder of all trades, the lover of all animals, especially Stitch and the Herd Foundation."

Smokey, with participant, Sydney
Smokey is a retired Omaha Mounted Patrol horse who traded in his fast-paced life for gentler reins with our participants, such as Sydney. Partnering with Smokey has helped Sydney to become stronger both mentally and physically. Riding him always brightens her day.

Lil' Richard
Lil' Richard is particularly special for us as his namesake was a volunteer at our rescue who passed away. When Lil' Richard was born at the Rescue last year, he needed immediate veterinary care and had to fight for his life. Thanks to donors, today he is healthy, happy, and plenty sassy. His resiliency and strength are an inspiration to volunteers and visitors to the rescue.

Thomas, our 14 year-old Norwegian Fjord, is shown here with combat veteran Ian, who rides and drives him. Thomas has been a valuable member of our herd for 11 years and is well loved for his big personality!

Kind, generous and true, Petra is one of 21 horses who bring joy and ease to many at High Hopes. Petra, donated as a 4 year old, has been with us for over 20 years. Unique in her longevity, consistency, reliability and disposition, she is a gift to all those she meets.

Zebedee, a 17 year old Gypsy Vanner, a breed known for strength, intelligence, and a friendly and engaging temperament, is full of the spirit of love. When someone wounded comes to us and determined not to engage with us, we take them to Zeb and within minutes, they connect to him and are smiling. Zebedee is full of fun with a high play drive. Sometimes the goal is to avoid being pulled to stand on the pedestal with him or to go straight without going sideways over the flower boxes. Zebedee is such a blessing to all of us.

Chosen Moon
Chosen Moon came to us after suffering from a right front condylar fracture on track. He is currently recovering from surgery during which two screws were placed in his bone. He is the perfect example of our mission of ensuring horses get the second chance they so deserve. With Moon's forgiveness and laid-back personality, we are excited to see what future we can help provide for him!

Milagro and Jamie
Meet Milagro, who was born at Hope's Legacy Equine Rescue on April 23, 2021. His mother was rounded up with eight other horses on a West Virginia mountaintop. Unlike his mother, who was feral and unhandled during her years before coming to us, Milagro is experiencing gentle encouragement and training from day one. He will make some lucky adopter an outstanding equine partner in the near future.

Felony first came to us as part of a cruelty case at just one month old. He and his Dam were both emaciated, had been attacked by dogs, and Felony was on death's door. Felony thrives among the children at our center and loves to follow them around. A few years ago, Felony got an eye infection that resulted in his having to have his eye removed to make him comfortable. Even with his disability, he is ridden by some young learners and will always be a part of the Horse Feathers family.

Hugo the Shetland Pony and Horse SenseAbility's founder Polly visit schools and local social service organizations as a registered Pet Partners team. In addition to his special skills for therapy work, Hugo is house-trained (!) so he's able to visit children inside or outside. Interacting with Hugo helps children de-stress and regulate their behavior. In one case, a non-verbal youngster even said the word “horse” after meeting Hugo for the first time!

Trixie is a 22-year-old paint pony. She is the smallest in our herd and she happily carries our smaller, and more compromised fragile riders. She never misses a step and always makes her rider her number one priority. Do not let her 13-hand size fool you, she rules the pasture and all other horses on the farm!

Watson is our 'Gentle Giant'. With his intimidating size, he towers over his clients while at the same time empowering them with confidence and giving them a feeling of safety, patience and compassion.

Jacky (Jacky’s Misty Twist – Reg. AQHA), turning 33 years old in June, has been a huge part of our programs since 2010 when she arrived after working as a brood mare and ranch horse. Although retired now from riding lessons, Jacky continues to help folks with Alzheimer's, shown here, victims of trauma, veterans, special needs individuals or children on the autism spectrum in our unmounted programs. Jacky's wisdom, patience, kindness and generous heart has touched literally hundreds of people over the past decade.

Sok Sok
Sok Sok (Soks) is a Multiple Stakes Winning, 17 year old Thoroughbred gelding who won nearly $500k during a very successful and lengthy racing career. Despite achieving great racing success, Soks wound up in the wrong hands where he suffered years of neglect. In 2019, we rescued Soks at an Iowa livestock auction frequented by kill-buyers. He was lame, emaciated, and still a stallion. Following a lengthy period of rehabilitation, castration, socialization, and loads of TLC, Soks now has a well-deserved permanent home with us where he is very much loved and doted upon by all.

Freedom is our 7 year old, 18.2 hand, Clydesdale gelding who is the star of our program. Originally acquired to be part of our veterans program, Freedom brings peace and joy to all our participants.

Venus is a 2019 grade filly and a great ambassador because she shows the power of what we do. Horses that have been abused, abandoned and neglected and are surrendered to us get a new lease on a loving life through great health care, retraining and adoption. The heart-shaped blasé on Venus' face forever tells the story that she is loved, like all the horses that come through our doors. Venus was part of a large neglect case in the summer of 2021 and arrived at the Center pretty emaciated and stunted. Since arriving at the Center, she has put on some much-needed weight and is now looking much healthier. Venus is currently learning all the basics (leading, handling, backing, yielding to pressure, etc.) she also is being taught to drive. She will make someone a lovely partner someday soon! Learn more about Venus here.

Smokey is a great member of our team offering our clients an opportunity to learn from a patient, slow and kind horse. He is an 8 year old Mustang/Quarter Horse cross who teaches confidence in balance, leadership, empathy, and kindness to all who he spends time with - from our four year old clients to our 90 year old dementia clients.

Lolli, a seventeen-year-old Bashkir Curly, has been part of the Little Bit herd since 2015. Lolli had a previous career as a show pony and now she helps children and adults with disabilities to lead healthier, happier, more independent lives through equine-assisted services including Therapy and Adaptive Riding. In 2021, a community vote named Lolli as Little Bit's Horse of Year. Lolli is a reliable, fun, and hardworking member of the Little Bit team.

Our one-eyed pony, Chubs, is a favorite. He is quite a character and likes to have a good time! His cheeky personality keeps our riders engaged. Chubs is steadfast and reliable which makes him a critical member of our therapeutic riding program.

Bojangles partnering with Jimmy, a PATH Intl. Equine Services for Heroes program participant, and his wife Pat
In his previous career, therapy horse Bojangles participated in Civil War reenactments. His quiet, stoic demeanor stood him in good stead as artillery fire rang out around him on historic battlefields. Now, Bo assists military veterans with us as they move past the sound of battle in their own minds. For veterans dealing with the everyday challenges of PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and other service-related conditions, Bo's calm presence provides a chance to heal.

"People Helping Horses Heal People" New resident, Danebury, a 2013 New York State Bred Thoroughbred, offers Dr. Julie Clas some love after meeting for the first time.

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