A Word with Mr. Charles
Excerpts from "The Selection of Horses and Ponies for Therapeutic Riding"
"First we must decide on which attributes we believe will be suitable for a horse or pony that we trust with our wonderful children with disabilities...
A horse or pony must love people, especially children, and work to be quiet in the presence of sudden moves, large objects (tractors) and loud noises. They must not flinch when encountering the unexpected such as a dog leaping out of the bushes. It is very difficult and often unsuccessful to train a horse or pony who is very skittish to be a rock! Horses and ponies who are older and have seen a lot of life are usually gentler and laid back. You will very seldom find this true of youngsters!
While it is possible to prevent an unsound back, it is very difficult to heal one. The use of "gel pads" between the saddle pad and the saddle for children who weigh over 50 pounds will prevent back unsoundness. Also the saddle must fit and be of the highest quality...
A good large eye is usually a good indicator of a horse's willingness and trustfulness. I have never seen a horse or pony with a really good eye to be otherwise. Make sure that neither eye has problems with vision...
Soundness of Legs
A therapy horse or pony has very light work. I have found that those who will not hold up to hard or even regular work will often hold up to the easy therapeutic work, especially on good ground...
...We have our riders lead their mounts from the pasture gate and groom their horses and ponies to the best of their ability. Our horses and ponies lead from wheel chairs, people with walkers and children in their mother's arms. We have never had a horse or pony pull a lead rope out of a child's hands! The riders carry their own saddles (we use English saddles exclusively because this promotes more balance which is healing for many disabilities). If they need a little help, then we give it to them. We have found that this activity creates a bond between the horse and rider so that the horse is carrying someone they love."
Spring 2015 Session Notes
Please drive slowly when entering SpiritHorse for our riders safety and for Mr. Charles' new puppy's safety.
Reminder to our parents and sidewalkers: Please make sure you and your riders are wearing a closed toe/closed heelshoe when riding or sidewalking at SpiritHorse.
Special Events and News
Huffines Subaru of Denton Shares the Love!
Huffines Subaru of Denton chose SpiritHorse for their Share the Love Event. Over the winter of 2014/2015 Huffines Subaru worked hard to encourage car buyers to donate a portion of the car they bought to SpiritHorse.
"In this, our seventh year, Subaru of America will have donated $50 million, one Subaru at a time.
To date, Subaru of America has helped support nearly 300 animal shelters, grant more than 600 wishes, fund over one million meal deliveries to seniors, and support over 70 national parks through the "Share the Love" event. This year, Subaru of America is partnering with more than 600 local charities nationwide, helping even more of the causes we all care about."
We would like to thank Ray Huffines, Robert Goodwin, Anthony Reich, Raquel Mitchell and the team at Huffines Subaru for all the hard work they put in to making this event a success. Their generosity is appreciated by everyone at SpiritHorse!
Who's Who at SpiritHorse
Spotlight on Eleanor Davis and Jamie Barnhart
Meet Eleanor Davis, Director of Development, Certified Riding Instructor.
Eleanor recently joined SpiritHorse as Director of Development with responsibility for events, fundraising, and corporate sponsorships. She brings a combination of experience from the event and trade show industry, as well as the owner of a horse breeding and training facility. As a Certified Riding Instructor, Eleanor is enjoying her first session working with, and getting to know, her riders, the ponies, and horses. firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet Jamie Barnhart, Director of General Services.
Jamie has a degree in Applied Animal Science from Pima Medical Institute as well as an Accounting degree, both acquired in California. She assists in looking after the medical care of our horses, as well as applying and writing grants for SpiritHorse. She recently moved here from San Diego and SpiritHorse was her first choice of employment. "I wanted to be a part of something that was not only caring for horses, but also making a difference in lives. I could see the healing and love in these kids through pictures on the website and facebook page and knew I wanted to be a part of this ministry. I am so blessed to be at SpiritHorse." email@example.com