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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:

  • 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 & graded on:

    • ​therapy equipment

    • ramps / mounting blocks

    • walkers / wheelchairs

    • toys / balls

    • sidewalkers

    • loud noises

    • sudden movements

    • unbalanced riding weight

    • applied pressure on all parts of the body

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OUR HERD

consider giving a gift to support your favorite therapy horse

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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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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.  He has a special ability to sense when a person's blood pressure or blood sugars are low and will stop walking when detected.  He loves McDonald's french fries.

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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 a retired Western Pleasure show horse with two crystal blue eyes.  She is a great communicator and will let you know when you need to adjust yourself in the saddle.  She has to wear sunscreen and eye protection in the summer to prevent sunburns and eye problems.

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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 & believes she is the queen of the entire herd.  She has had one foal prior to coming to Strides.  Her current best friend is new girl Penny.  Diva tolerates being dressed up for photos and silly games like a pro. 

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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.

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OZZIE

 

Foaled: 

Breed: Missouri Fox Trotter

Sex: gelding

Color: chestnut paint

Height: 

Came to Strides: March 2022

 

Ozzie was a pack horse in the mountains prior to becoming a therapy horse.  He was the Most Improved horse in 2022.  His trot feels like your sitting on a couch gliding through space.  He is best friends with Black Jack.

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DOMINO

 

Foaled: 

Breed: paint

Sex: mare

Color: black

Height: 

Came to Strides: December 2022

 

Domino was purchased in the winter from a kid's summer camp program in Portland after the had to close their doors.  She is eager to please and nickers every time she is untacked looking for a treat.

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BLACK JACK

 

Foaled: 

Breed: paint

Sex: gelding

Color: black paint

Height: 

Came to Strides: December 2021

 

Black Jack was donated to Strides from a large family of kiddos that prepared this old man for his therapy horse job.  He is A-OK with just about everything.  He is best friends with youngster Ozzie.

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PENNY

 

Foaled: 

Breed: American Miniature Horse

Sex: mare

Color: palomino appy

Height: 10 H

Came to Strides: June 2022

 

Penny has special needs - she has the horse version of diabetes so she is not able to have fruit and other sugars or she will have pain.  She is a sweet, quiet girl who has bonded strongly with Diva.

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JAX

 

Foaled: 

Breed: Draft cross

Sex: gelding

Color: chestnut

Height: 15.2 H

Came to Strides: April 2022

 

This big, old man was a husband horse before arriving at Strides, but don't let that fool you -- he has so much spunk.  Eager to please, but a bull in a China shop, that guy needs a significant warmup prior to his clients' arrival.

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LUCY

 

Foaled: 

Breed: Shetland Pony

Sex: mare

Color: chestnut paint

Height: 10.3 H

Came to Strides: October 2022

 

Lucy is full of sass, but such a good girl.  She loves the children that come to see her.  She had amazing tolerance during her community outing for meet and greets.  We look forward to many years with this wonderful pony.  Like Diva, Lucy is a momma. 

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TREASURE

 

Foaled: 

Breed: Quarter Horse - Arab cross

Sex: mare

Color: chestnut

Height: 

Came to Strides: October 2022

 

Treasure is a rescue situation; Strides is working diligently to increase her weight, rehab her strength, and begin teaching her about how to be a therapy horse.  She is still in the TRIAL HORSE program.  We will know more by June if Treasure will continue on.

DONATE OR SPONSOR

A THERAPY HORSE TODAY

CLICK HERE

OR CALL CYNDIE AT

509-492-8000, OPTION 0

 

OR EMAIL HER AT STRIDES@STRIDESTC.ORG

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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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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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SNIP

Forever in our hearts: Sept 1, 2018

2017 HORSE OF THE YEAR

Snip was rescued from a poor living situation & brought to Strides December 2014.  For four years, this sweet Arabian mare befriended each client and volunteer that had the privilege of meeting her.  She aimed to please.  She would eagerly place her nose into her halter when it was time to go to work.  She loved to be pampered like a princess.  Her favorite treat was a Honeycrisp apple.  

 

CYCLONE

Forever in our hearts: 2019

Cyclone arrived at Strides in 2011.  He retired from the therapy program November 2018.  Sadly, he became sick a couple months later and passed over the rainbow bridge.  Cyclone was a special soul who loved his humans and loved his job.  He would happily turn his head and nicker at each child when they arrived.  He carefully stood still as his rider would balance against him during a grooming session. He also loved to race his friend Gypsy in the pasture or graze peacefully with his best friend Pete.

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FANCY

 

Foaled: 

Breed: Quarter Horse

Sex: mare

Color: bay

Height: 14.3 H

 

Fancy is our Come Back Girl; she has retired from the Strides program twice, but just can't seem to stay retired.  She is a gentle soul who loves to play in her water trough for hours.  She has to watch her diet; too much sugar is not good for her health.

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PETE

 

Registered name: Symphony In Red + 

Parentage: (Bachelor Bey x Especially Santana)

Foaled : 1997

Breed : Saddlebred-Arabian cross

Sex : Gelding

Color : Chestnut

Height : 15.2 H

Came to Strides:  Summer 2015

 

Pete LOVES to perform for a crowd.  His favorite Strides event is the end of the year Rider Showcase.  Pete's best friend is Cyclone.  He was an extraordinary horse with multiple Championships to his credit in both Open and Amateur divisions with only 3 years in the ring, earning National accolades his first year out and Legion of Honor in 2 years.

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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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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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HURLEY

 

Foaled: 

Breed: Quarter Horse, registered

Sex: gelding

Color: black

Height: 

Came to Strides: March 2021

 

Accident prone Hurley is trained in cowboy dressage.  He looks nearly identical to Sunshine.

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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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TUFF

Foaled : 

Breed : paint

Sex : Gelding

Color : black

Height : 14.2 hands

Came to Strides: with Hope 

 

Tuff was a kind, beautiful sole that had degenerative blindness in both eyes and suspected neurological condition.  Before his neurological symptoms progressed, however, he loved to be ridden and was voiced trained for safety.  He enjoyed life and his friends for many years at Strides.

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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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