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. The requirements are stringent and only about 1 in 10 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, 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
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 under the huge tree in my pasture with my best friend, Will.
For 2021, I’ve been sponsored in memory of Gary Mullins (selected by Cam, one of our riders and Gary’s grandson)-THANKS!
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.
For 2021, I’ve been sponsored by Paul and Jeannie Jett–THANKS!
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 2021, I’ve been sponsored by the members of the Crossroads Dressage and Combined Training Society–THANKS!
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, Gail. 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.
For 2021, I’ve been sponsored by Paul & Jeannie Jett / Josh Baxter-THANKS!
I’m an imported Dutch Warmblood–and admittedly a pretty fancy (but humble) horse. My former career involved competing in top-level hunter shows around the country, but I also love the attention and accolades I get here at Ridin’ High as a newly-minted ‘groundwork’ therapy horse. Everyone agrees that I’m a people-oriented character with tons of personality. I’ve been enjoying being part of the happy chaos here, hanging out with my new best buddy, Midnight, and being used by a variety of participants.
For 2021, I’ve been sponsored by Barbara Ashton…including my shoeing costs and a few extra items! THANKS!
If you’ve been following therapy programs for a while, you know that my breed (Gypsy Vanners) are very popular as therapy horses due to their quiet temperaments and ‘sturdy’ body type. (I’m pretty sure we’re used because of our good looks, too.) Right now I’m mainly used for independent riders, and the Ridin’ High staff is training me for more advanced work. I’m also pretty great at being painted…the staff says that it’s my ‘superpower.’
For 2021, I’ve been sponsored by Pelle Bunch – THANKS!
Everyone says that I’m about the quietest, sweetest pony you’ll ever meet. Before I came to Ridin’ High I was used as a ‘meet and greet’ pony at events for persons with disabilities, so I already had a great resume as a therapy pony. I’m incredibly reliable for the Pony Partners Program, groundwork activities (including the fact that I can be led from a wheelchair), and riding lessons for smaller riders. (Now, you and I might have a difference of opinion about how soon after you say “trot” that I should actually move into it, but differences of opinion make life interesting, right?) Regardless, I’m a Ridin’ High favorite!
For 2021, I’ve been sponsored by Lonnie and Linda Bird-THANKS!
I’ve recently joined the program on long-term lease, thanks to the generosity of Kayla (my owner). Even though I’m only 6 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 2021, I’ve been sponsored by Pelle Bunch – THANKS!
I’m a relatively new arrival at Ridin’ High. Before coming here, I was used for lessons for children, trail riding, and have even being 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 2021, I’ve been sponsored by George & Anita Valentine in honor of their grandson, Harlan Ray Valentine–THANKS!
Help Our Horses
To sponsor (or partially sponsor) one of our horses, contact our office by email (email@example.com) or phone (423-585-0331). Horse sponsorships are $800/year, which includes hay, grain, hoof trimming, routine vet work, and care. Partial sponsorships (for $200, $400, $600) 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!