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THERAPY HORSES

THE LIFE BLOOD OF OUR MISSION

"My therapist says 'Neigh'."

It takes a very special animal to become a therapy horse...

  • Our horses are donated, rescued, purchased, & leased

  • They provide over 700 therapeutic sessions each year

  • They provide free services to veterans & first responders

Meet the horses, scroll down or click here. 

"I want to donate my horse."

  • Please review the 6 qualities that we look for in a therapy horse: CLICK HERE.

  • Fill out our HORSE DONATION FORM.

  • Owner / donor must agree to a 90-day TRIAL PERIOD.  The horse will be boarded at our facility while its suitability for our programs is evaluated.  During this trial period, the horse will be exposed to therapy equipment, mounting blocks, walkers, wheelchairs, toys, balls, sidewalkers, leaders, loud noises, sudden movements, unbalanced riding weight, and applied pressure on all parts of the body.  The horse's body language and reactions will be noted and graded.

 

OUR HERD

consider giving a gift to support your favorite therapy horse

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SUNSHINE

Foaled : apprx 1997

Breed : Tennessee Walker

Sex : Mare

Color : Black

Height : 14.3 H

Came to Strides: 2012

 

Sunshine would love nothing more than to babysit all the little humans.  Her other favorite thing is scratching her belly in the warm summer grass while she grazes laying down.  She is a big mover which provides a lot of input to clients.  She is also the boss of the entire Strides herd.  Sunshine had one baby when she was younger named Oreo.

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HOPE

Foaled : apprx 1990

Breed : Morgan

Sex : Mare

Color : Chestnut

Height : 15 H

Came to Strides: December 2014

 

Hope is an invaluable member of the Strides herd.  She drops her head, gets bright-eyed and nickers softly when she sees her extra little 2yo and 3yo riders come towards her.  She is the sweetest soul.  Hope was rescued from slaughter.

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Red Opie

 

Foaled: 2010

Breed: Appaloosa-Arab cross

Sex: gelding

Color: red roan

Height: 

Came to Strides: 2019

 

Opie acclimated to our programs very quickly.  He has become a huge asset and so well loved.

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GYPSY

 

Foaled: 2006

Breed: Quarter Horse

Sex: mare

Color: chestnut paint

Height: 14.1 H

Came to Strides: August 2016

 

Gypsy was purchased from a lovely family that had rescued her and rehabbed her back to health after Gypsy had been starved to near-death.  She is a sweet, sensitive soul who demonstrates what it takes to learn to trust again.  Gypsy knows how to tip-toe very slowly when working with her tiny riders.

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Lily

 

Foaled: 2010

Breed: Paint-Arab cross

Sex: mare

Color: gray "white" paint

Height: 14 H

Came to Strides: 2019

 

Little Lily knows all kinds of fun tricks.  This pint-sized beauty enjoys her pasture time with the tiny Diva.

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CHAMP

 

Foaled: 2008

Breed: Quarter Horse

Sex: Gelding

Color: bay

Height: 14 H

Came to Strides: October 2017

 

Champ is enjoying his work in the therapy and adaptive riding programs.

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PAINTED LILY

 

Foaled: 2004

Breed: American Painted Horse

Sex: mare

Color: chestnut overo

Height: 15 H

Came to Strides: 2020

 

Lily is best friends with Sunshine.  She is a retired Western Pleasure show horse with two crystal blue eyes.

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DIVA

 

Foaled: 2008

Breed: American Miniature Horse

Sex: mare

Color: bay

Height: 10 H

Came to Strides: March 2018

 

Diva lives up to  her name.  With 90-days training, Diva has officially joined as a therapy horse.  She has had one foal prior to coming to Strides.  She is Sparky's pasture buddy.

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Trial Horse Program

 

 

Each year, as horses retire from our program, new horses must be identified and trained to participate in the program. Strides has a 90-day trial horse program. Over the 90-day trial, a horse is assessed by the instructors, therapists, and equine staff to see if she/he will perform well for participant needs. The trial horse program was established to ensure that the horses who come into the program are a good fit for our participants. Horses must have characteristics such as a patient disposition, willingness to work hard, and a calm temperament.

 

A COMMONLY ASKED QUESTION:

      "WHAT DOES STRIDES LOOK FOR IN A THERAPY HORSE?"

Without great horses, Strides would cease to be.  Because of their important role, we are very selective in determining which horses are accepted.

  • AGE:   7 to 17 years old, geldings & mares

  • HEIGHT:   under 16 hands, preferably under 15 hands and stocky

  • SOUNDNESS:   free-moving, pain-free at a walk, trot & canter without the need of corrective shoes or medications

  • TRAINING:   Must be completely saddle broke and trained.  Strides is not able to accept green or untrained horses.

  • PHYSICAL CONDITION:   good to excellent.  Pasture pets with limited handling are generally poor candidates for our program.

  • TEMPERAMENT:  very tolerant / patient, enjoy attention, have great ground manners, and not claustrophobic.  These horses are by nature, very quiet and forgiving. Must not bite, buck, rear, kick, pace, crib or wind-suck.

RETIRED: WE ARE THANKFUL FOR THEIR YEARS OF SERVICE

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CHESTER

Registered Name: Scotch's Hot Chocolate

Foaled: 2006

Breed: Quarter Horse

Sex: gelding

Color: bay

Height: 16 H

Came to Strides: Jan 13, 2018

Chester was in training to become Mr. Jon's next Pendleton Rodeo horse, but after a car hit him in the pasture one night, that plan changed.  Realizing that Chester would need a less grueling pace of life after helping him recover from his injuries, Mr. Jon sought out Strides.  Chester has been doing quite well in his new job.  He often can be seen playing with his feed pan in the afternoon.

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CINDER

 

Foaled: 2006

Breed: Morgan

Sex: mare

Color: bay

Height: 14.0 H

Came to Strides: December 2015

 

Cinder was rescued from slaughter and was initially thought to be in foal.  Skin and bones upon arrival, Cinder was rehabbed back to health over the past couple years.  She is now in training and learning what it will take to be a Strides therapy horse.

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ONYX

 

Foaled: 2009

Breed: Gypsy Vanner

Sex: mare

Color: black

Height: 14 H

Came to Strides: May 25, 2018

 

Onyx was gifted to Strides from LexLin in Tennessee.  The TriCities rallied to raise funds for Onyx's travels to our home town of Pasco.  Onyx is a sweet girl, eager to join in on the fun.  She is currently in training; we hope to have her ready by next spring / summer.  Her previous job was being a mommy to her cute babies.

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ODIE

Registered name: DRR In Living Color

Foaled : 1998

Breed : Saddlebred-Arabian cross

Sex : Gelding

Color : Bay Overo

Height : 15 H

Came to Strides: born & raised on Jill McCary's ranch.

 

Odie is a bit of a class clown.  As a baby he loved to jump the irrigation pipes in the pasture.  His special trick is long-lining meaning the horse handlers drive Odie from behind which provides more control over the equine-movement.

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SPARKY

 

Registered name: Sparky in His Long Johns 

Foaled : 1995

Breed : American Miniature Horse

Sex : Gelding

Color : Sorrel paint

Height : 10 H

Came to Strides: 2010

 

Sparky is our adorable miniature horse.  That's right.  Horse.  Not pony.  He provides our clients with his services during ground lessons.  Sparky knows how to ride in elevators, go up stairs, and walk in schools.  He was an AMHA Grand Champion Driving.  Sparky was rescued from an abusive home and given to Jill.  He is now leased by Strides.

IN REMEMBRANCE

FLICKA

 

Forever in our hearts: summer 2015

Flicka was a kind soul that was born to be a therapy horse.  She stood patiently waiting while her frightened riders overcame their fears.  Riders learned to trust that Flicka would take care of them during their time with her.  We miss her dearly.

 

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SAM

 

Forever in our hearts: winter 2016

Sam was a one of a kind horse who would stop traffic at the sound of a peppermint wrapper.  He loved to put on a performance as he recalled his glory days as a show horse.  In his later years, Sam enjoyed observing the kids and younger horses as they completed their therapy in the nearby arena.

 

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CHIQUITA

 

Forever in our hearts: Jan 1, 2018

Chiquita called Strides her home for 8 years. In those 8 years she helped so many children conquer fears and achieve great things. She had a heart of gold and enough sass to keep new volunteers on their toes whenever the gate opened. She leaves behind her best friend Sparky who misses her dearly. 

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