Ridin’ High activities and therapies are centered around interaction with our therapy horses. Therapy horses have to be sound, tolerant, people-oriented, healthy, and quiet. They also have to be able to carry ‘unbalanced’ riders and tolerate having sidewalkers and leaders in addition to the rider. The requirements are stringent and only about 1 in 20 horses qualifies for this important job!

All of the horses at Ridin’ High have been through extensive testing and training to ensure that they will be a great fit for our riders. Upon retirement, they are placed in carefully selected and screened lifetime homes.

In return for their contribution to the lives of our riders, our horses are extremely well-loved and taken care of at a high level. They receive individualized nutrition plans, healthcare/dental, regular vet/farrier work, MagnaWave Therapy and even massage therapy! When not in use, they spend their days in pastures with their horse friends. Best of all, they are loved and appreciated by the riders, staff, and volunteers. To sponsor or donate a horse, please contact us.

Meet the Herd


Ginger

I’m a chestnut Welsh pony…and I’m telling you, don’t believe the myth that ‘chestnut mares’ are too independent! OK, I definitely have a strong personality, but I’ve also been at Ridin’ High as a therapy horse longer than almost anyone else here…which I think proves that I’m an incredibly versatile and useful therapy horse. In fact, at a ‘solid’ (as we girls like to say) 14 hands, I can carry a lot of riders. When I’m not working, you can usually find me hanging out with my horse friends.
For 2023, I’ve been sponsored by the Jett Family–THANKS!


Nutmeg

Everyone says that my pleasant temperament is perfect for therapy work (I’m humble and unassuming, so I can’t comment on that). However, I do know that I’m being used as a ‘confidence builder’ for many riders and that nothing really fazes me. I don’t trot (I am a walking horse, after all!) but riders like my smooth running walk and splashy colors.
In 2022, I was sponsored by Cindy Brombach; for 2023 I have a half sponsorship by Lisa & Randy Rigg–THANKS!


Barney

I’m a Percheron draft horse, but please don’t be intimidated by my size. I’m known as the ‘gentle giant’ around here and try hard to live up to that name. Truth be told, I’m a tad bit lazy and actually prefer to use as little energy as possible in lessons. However, the Ridin’ High instructors have recently discovered that I’m pretty good at trotting outside on trails…so I think my secret’s out!
For 2023, I’ve been sponsored by Cathy Scott–THANKS!!


Jackson

Have you ever heard the saying, “therapy horses are born, not made?” Well, that’s certainly true for me. I’m equally comfortable being used by independent riders as well as for those who need a leader and sidewalkers. I’m technically on a ‘free lease’ to Ridin’ High from my owner. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but do know that I have a great life at Ridin’ High and am a well-loved favorite.
I’m looking for a 2023 Sponsor!


Fable

Even though I’m a fancy pony with great movement, looks, and talent (or so everyone says) I also have a wonderful temperament for therapeutic work. When I’m not working carrying ‘little people’ around, you can generally find me hanging out with Ginger, my best friend.
(Note: Special thanks to Maggie and Jan for their generosity in helping us obtain this incredible pony.)

For 2023, I’ve been sponsored by Barbara Ashton–THANKS!


Comet

I got to retire! I’m back at my owners’ beautiful farm in Middle Tennessee, living the good life. I enjoyed being at Ridin’ High and appreciate everything the staff, my sponsor, and owner did to help me be comfortable and happy. Thanks!


Khaleesi

I’ve recently joined the program on long-term lease, thanks to the generosity of Kayla (my owner). Even though I’m only 7 years old, I have the perfect therapy horse temperament–at least, that’s what everyone says! I’ve got to say that I’m great at calmly helping beginning riders learn to walk and trot on their own; I can also be used for riders with more physical limitations. Best of all, I’m well-behaved and take everything in stride.

For 2023, I’ve been sponsored by Ruth Messerschmidt Carpenter and Lucinda Carpenter Rinzel–THANKS!


Fancy

Believe it or not, I’m a Tennessee Walking Horse who doesn’t gait–I trot. Before coming here, I was used for lessons for children, trail riding, and have even been in a parade or two. I’m on ‘free lease’ from a very busy family, who felt that my skill set and temperament would be great for Ridin’ High riders…and they were right! I’ve made the transition to being a therapy horse and am now used for several lessons each week.

For 2023 I’ve been sponsored by George & Anita Valentine in honor of their grandson, Harlan Ray Valentine–THANKS!


Zorro

I have a background as a competitive show horse in the Quarter Horse world, but am now working hard at being a great therapy horse! Everyone likes my calm manner and good looks. I’m equally good at being in ‘led’ lessons and doing more advanced work.

For 2023, I’ve been sponsored by Stan Cofelt–THANKS!

Star

I’m the perfect size (14:3 hh), breed (Morgan) and build (stocky) to be a therapy horse. I also have quite a bit of advanced training, so am a great fit for more independent riders. I have a forward walk, steady trot, and can also canter and jump–so that gives riders a fun riding experience and a chance to advance their skills. Of course, I’m a pretty attractive mare, too, if I do say so myself!
In 2023, I’ve been sponsored by the Jett Family and Cindy–THANKS!!

Help Our Horses

To sponsor (or partially sponsor) one of our horses, contact our office by email ([email protected]) or phone (423-585-0331).  Horse sponsorships are $1200/year, which includes hay, grain, hoof trimming, routine vet work, and care.  Partial sponsorships (for $400, $600, or $800) are also available. We also accept donations of hay, grain, and horse care items. We are looking for horse sponsors! Horses can be sponsored by individuals, businesses, clubs, or organizations. They can also be sponsored anonymously in ‘honor’ or memory of a loved one.

We have also established a ‘veterinarian / medication / supplemental feed’ fund to pay for non-routine costs, such as special medications and treatments to help maintain our horses’ soundness and comfort. For example, some of our horses required special medications, feed, shoeing, and supplements. If you’re interested in donating to this fund, indicate it on your check…for online donations, indicate this fund in your comments. Thanks!

Our horses are extremely important to us and we follow horse industry (and PATH) standards in providing their care. We have earned the “Guardian” status by Equus Foundation, which indicates we follow best practices in caring for our horses. Only six centers in the southeast have achieved this distinction. Consider joining us to help us continue to provide excellent care for our horses!