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


Chief

I’m a sweet bay quarter horse and a favorite of many riders (or at least that’s what everyone says). Even though I had my left eye removed years ago from an infection, it doesn’t slow me down. (They say I have a ‘kind eye,’ so I guess they’re talking about my right one!) I like going on trail riders around the property and teaching independent riders to trot.
For 2020, I’ve been sponsored by Paul and Jeannie Jett–Thanks!!


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 under the huge tree in my pasture with my best friend, Will.
For 2020, I’ve been sponsored by Paul and Jeannie Jett–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.
For 2020, I’ve been sponsored by the ETWHA Ladies Auxiliary – 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 BOTH 2020 and 2021, I’ve been sponsored by the members of the Crossroads Dressage and Combined Training Society–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 two days a week. I’m only a horse so I’m not sure what that means, but I do know I have a great life: I get to be a therapy horse at Ridin’ High two days/week and a trail horse for my owners on the other days!
For 2020, I’ve been sponsored by Josh, Gail and their daughter Tori. Thanks!!


Ghost (“Harley the Friendly Ghost”)

I joined the program recently, thanks to generous donations by Anita Valentine, Vickie Mellon, and Farmer’s Bureau (and facilitation by Gail Justice). I’m very well-trained with a stellar temperament and especially suitable for ‘able-bodied’ riders who are working on horsemanship skills–but I’m versatile and can accommodate riders with physical challenges, too.
For the rest of 2020, I’ve been sponsored by George & Anita Valentine in honor of their grandson, Harlan Ray Valentine

Will

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.
For 2020, I’ve been sponsored by the ETWHA Ladies Auxiliary – Thanks!!


Midnight

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 groundwork lessons (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?) I’m also a traveling pony–I go to a real elementary school every week as part of the Pony Partners Program and the kids read to me (so I’m getting smarter all the time, too).
For 2020, I’ve been sponsored by Lonnie and Linda Bird-Thanks!!


Smudge

Smudge was a beloved icon at Ridin’ High and was retired at Ridin’ High in appreciation of all the years she served as a faithful therapy horse. Even in ‘retirement,’ she helped with the Pony Partners (Literacy) Program, traveling with Midnight to a local elementary school each week. Smudge was well-loved and surrounded by friends when she ‘crossed the rainbow bridge’ at age 31. She had a great impact on the lives of many people and we feel her legacy lives on in the hearts of many. We’d love to hear those stories in person or on our Facebook page.
Most Recent Sponsor – George & Anita Valentine in honor of their grandson, Harlan Ray Valentine


Help Our Horses

To sponsor (or partially sponsor) one of our horses, contact our office by email (ridinhighinc@yahoo.com) or phone (423-585-0331).  Horse sponsorships are $800/year, which includes hay, grain, horseshoeing, 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 for 2021! 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 are also starting 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. Additionally, some of our horses required special medications, feed, 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. Consider joining us on this endeavor!