The Strides Therapeutic Horsemanship Center's four-legged "therapists" are some of our hardest working staff members. Our horses come to Strides a variety of ways.  A handful are donated, many are rescued, some are purchased and a few are leased. It takes a very special animal to become a therapy horse.

 

What does Strides look for in a therapy horse is one of the most commonly asked questions.  Horses are the lifeblood of the equine-assisted industry.  Without great horses, Strides would cease to be.  Because of their important role, we are very selective in determining which horses are accepted.  If you are interested in having your horse join our program, please read through the following information and then fill out the HORSE DONATION FORM.

Preferred Age:  The ideal age range of a therapy horse for our program would be 7 to 17 years old.

Gender: Geldings preferred, mares accepted; no stallions, no exceptions.

Height: Under 17 hands though horses should be under 15 hands for hippotherapy.

Soundness:  Must have a  free moving stride with no physical issues that would cause the animal to be uncomfortable (with or without a rider) at the walk, trot, and canter.  Must be sound and comfortable without the need of expensive  corrective shoes, feeds, supplements, or medications.

Condition and Conformation: Must be in good physical condition. (Horses that come from a pasture life with limited handling, or have had several years off are generally not good candidates for our program.)

Personality/Temperament:  It takes a very special horse to be a therapy horse.  These horses are tolerant of their environment and of their riders.  They enjoy attention, have great ground manners, and are able to handle having people on all sides of them while being ridden.  Because our clients actions are not 100% predictable, great therapy horses tolerate the occasional shout or spastic movement.  These horses are by nature, very quiet and forgiving. Must not bite, buck, rear, kick, pace, crib or wind-suck.

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

Trial Period: Owner/donor must agree to a 90-day trial period where their horse is boarded at our facility while its suitability for therapeutic riding and hippotherapy is thoroughly 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.  Also taken into consideration will be:

1.  Does the horse accept and comply with what is being asked?

2. Does the horse demonstrate a patient and tolerant attitude? 

3. How quickly does the horse improve upon any negative reactions?

2019 Goal: $75,000

 

OUR HERD

 

If you feel inspired to help sponsor one of our therapy horses, fill out the HORSE SPONSORSHIP FORM.

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.

 

MY CARE IS 0% SPONSORED. 

HELP ME REACH 100%! 

ANDRAE

Foaled : 1997

Breed : Arabian

Sex : Gelding

Color : Bay

Height : 14.1 H

Came to Strides: 2019

Andrae had a long career as a pleasure, trail horse before his long time owner decided he had earned a retirement.  He was a perfect fit to join Strides.

 

MY CARE IS 0% SPONSORED. 

HELP ME REACH 100%! 

HOPE

2016 HORSE OF THE YEAR

Foaled : apprx 1997

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.

Thanks to my sponsors Mr & Mrs Goodnight, MY CARE IS 100% SPONSORED.

Join my sponsors & help my herd reach 100%, too! 

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.

MY CARE IS 0% SPONSORED. 

HELP ME REACH 100%! 

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.

MY CARE IS 0% SPONSORED. 

HELP ME REACH 100%! 

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.

 

MY CARE IS 0% SPONSORED. 

HELP ME REACH 100%! 

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.

MY CARE IS 0% SPONSORED. 

HELP ME REACH 100%! 

CHAMP

 

Foaled: 2008

Breed: Quarter Horse

Sex: Gelding

Color: bay

Height: 14 H

Came to Strides: October 2017

 

Champ was donated to Strides in the fall of 2017.  After extensive conditioning and ground work, Champ has begun work as a therapy horse.

MY CARE IS 0% SPONSORED. 

HELP ME REACH 100%! 

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.

MY CARE IS 0% SPONSORED. 

HELP ME REACH 100%! 

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.

MY CARE IS 0% SPONSORED. 

HELP ME REACH 100%! 

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.

MY CARE IS 0% SPONSORED. 

HELP ME REACH 100%! 

TUFF

 

Foaled: 2010

Breed: Quarter Horse

Sex: gelding

Color: black paint

Height: 15.1 H

Came to Strides: December 2014

 

Tuff was rescued from slaughter the same day as Hope.  He came to us a young horse with progressive blindness in both eyes.  He is not currently used in our therapy programs.  He has learned how to trust his handlers and free lunge in the round pen with voice commands / sounds.  He loves to be a kid when he is grazing with his friends.  You will often see him playing with his tongue or wagging his feed pan for entertainment when not in the pasture.

MY CARE IS 0% SPONSORED. 

HELP ME REACH 100%! 

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.

OUR CARE IS 0% SPONSORED. 

HELP ME REACH 100%! 

Currently we have 3 horses in the Trial Program: Lily, Flash, & Opie

RETIRED: WE ARE THANKFUL FOR THEIR YEARS OF SERVICE

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.

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.

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.

 

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. 

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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© Strides Therapeutic Horsemanship Center | Website Design: Pieta Elegante | Cinematography: Pieta Elegante