Archives: Horses


Chestnut QH mare born in 1996. She stands 14.3hh.

Donated By Kate LeFeuvre, and currently in need of a sponsor

This lovely lady did extensive showing with her previous owner but her forte here is going to be on the lead classes with riders in need of her accessible height and active but not overwhelming gaits. Jet is an excellent listener who tries really hard to get things right the first time, and she is very tuned in to her leaders.

Jet enjoys being fussed over and will stand for hours being brushed and coiffed!  In the ring she is all business though, and tackled learning the leading method and acclimating to the class props with a great deal of gravity and focus.

Jet integrated into select classes over the past spring and summer and everyone was signing up for the Jet fan club.  She made a strong start into the Fall 2016 term, integrating into several new class and rider situations. Unfortunately, mid-way through the term our lovely redhead injured her leg and has had to take some time off to heal. Her buddy Scot has been making sure she still gets lots of attention from her human and horsey friends and Jet is content, though she is always eager to get out and march during her daily had walks!  We’re hoping to see her back in classes for the 2017 Spring term.


Bay and white tobiano Paint mare born in 2006. She stands 13.1 hh.

Donated by Kate Chapman, and Sponsored by the Tonglen Foundation.

Splash has a background as a show horse which makes her well-suited to the CARD program. This little lady did extensive hunter showing on the Trillium circuit with her previous owner which makes her great for riders starting into horsemanship, or riders in need of quick active movement.  Splash has active but smooth gaits, making her a top choice for the riders with low tone or short attention spans because her version of “rock n’ roll” gets muscles and minds working!!

Splash is kind and loves being groomed and fussed with, especially by familiar friends!  She can be a little wary when meeting new people but she warms up quickly.  The barn volunteers who’ve been asked to give her attention definitely noticed when she decided to add them to ‘her’ group of groupies!

Splash’s exceptional grooming manners continue under saddle, where she is attentive and ready to work.  Like Capri, Splash is a bit of a ‘work horse’ and she needed extra time learning that sometimes ‘work’ means chilling out while your rider is doing something  with a side walker.  With her children’s showing background, Splash is very light and respectful to the aids and she will be a good fit for the smaller CARD riders working on honing riding skills.  Under saddle she’s working on learning to relax and breathe because she’s a bit of an over-achiever and always wants to get things right the first time!

Outside, Splash’s best friend is Jesse. In the barn though, her best friend is Scot whom she trusts to let her know scary new things are okay.


Riley is a bit of a ‘dark horse’ in more ways than one! Not much is known about his background before he came to CARD. He is a former lesson horse and prior to that, a racehorse! The staff will be using his lip tattoo to track down his records- stay tuned for updates!

What we do know is that Riley is wonderfully kind and sweet-natured, and that he has been unflappable through all his training: “Oh, you have a part of the building that moves up and down with a big noise and people climb onto me from there? Okay.”

You’d think this rock-solidness would make for a dull or unresponsive Riley, but you’d be wrong. He is an excellent listener and able to respond to subtle cues without getting frazzled by any ‘mistakes’.

Riley has a narrow frame with a smooth but swingy forward and back movement. He is a good match for riders in need of movement input that isn’t overwhelming, and he has been expanding his work into the horsemanship classes which is going well.

Riley isn’t one of the flashier looking CARD horses, and he is still regaining some muscle tone and fitness while dusting the rust off some riding skills, but he has an expansive and generous heart and the staff already consider him a true treasure.

Riley was only able to work with riders using an elastic girth setup all summer, as he went through some saddle fitting challenges due to those gigantic withers!  We are delighted to have him back in full work again, thanks to the generosity and innovation of the folks at Total Saddle Fit, who make adaptive pads to help with hard-to-fit horses. Riley is also thrilled to be back in full work and to be so comfortable! Check out his spiffy pad the next time you’re in the CARD tack room.


Dark bay Percheron/Quarter Horse cross mare born 1999.She stands 16 hh

Donated by Linda Hunt and sponsored by The Baran Family Foundation

Capri passed her trial with flying colours and firmly dug her way into classes and hearts. She is  a go-to horse for the instructors, and the program staff are confident that this dark haired beauty will quickly earn a place amongst CARD’s “Legends”; those horses we still talk about fondly years after retirement and wish we could clone.

Capri initially made firm friends in Paddock 2, where she and Scooter have become an ‘item’. If you look at her closely, you will see a resemblance to our Daisy; that Percheron blood showing through in the coat and markings.  This year, Capri and Scooter both made the move to Paddock 1b, where they continue to be an item, and where, surprisingly, Capri has let Scooter be the herd leader!

Her background as a lesson and show horse make her a great choice for riders working on horsemanship, while her solid frame and smooth gaits make her well suited to the taller riders in need of a partner to help them work on their balance. In class, Capri is starting to become a mentor to new volunteer leaders, so good at her own job, she can help them learn theirs.

Capri has wonderful manners for grooming and tacking and enjoys her TLC, however, she is a work-oriented girl and once the tack goes on, she dislikes hanging out in her stall: she wants to get down to business and she lets you know it by pacing and bumping her stall door!

Capri is talented and kind and we look forward to working with her for years to come.


Bay Quarter Horse x mare, born in 1997. She stands 14.3 hh

Donated by Maureen Sinopoli and Sponsored by an anonymous Friend, Linda Hart, and the National Bank of Canada.

Chelsea completed her training in the summer of 2015. She has met and exceeded our hopes that she would be a successor to Flurry and a help mate to Oreo and Scooter who are both kept busy in classes because of their narrow frames and smooth gaits!

Chelsea comes most recently from a private home but before that did some time as a lesson horse. She’s a little reserved and introverted but very sweet and willing. She’s been integrating well into Paddock 2 where she’s gained some confidence from pushing around the ever-so-tolerant Oreo!  This past summer saw Jet get added to Chelsea’s posse-to-be-pushed-around, but Jet doesn’t mind and Chelsea makes everyone laugh with her attempts to be stern.

Chelsea’s gentle personality and her smaller build makes her wonderful to help riders get past those ‘new rider jitters’ but when it comes time to get down to serious business Chelsea is always a willing partner. She has been excelling in on the lead classes where her trust in her leader makes her a wonderful partner to her small riders.

Our newest CARD girl is regaining her sporting skills and last winter she began easing into some beginner horsemanship classes , where she has been an excellent partner to her riders.  She is now a go-to horse for riders learning to walk and trot off the lead.

Although in on the lead classes Chelsea has somewhat turtle-like tendencies, in off lead classes and when working with her trainer, she has energy and march to her walk, while her trot is steady and rhythmic. Our gentle little girl has definitely come into her own, and we are delighted with her progress!


Donated by Susan Fripp. Currently sponsored by Robert Sive.

Knabstrupper gelding with black and white leopard markings, born in 1996.

Pongo comes to us from an established lesson and showing background where he also did some therapeutic riding lessons. A favourite of his former barn, Pongo was a go-to horse for instructors there and is becoming so here at CARD.

A kind and people-oriented boy, Pongo knows his ‘people’ and is particularly fond of his buddy Scot. He knows that if his paddock mates get too rowdy Scot will come and protect him! It’s quite amusing to watch Pongo quickly veer toward the gate and ‘hide’ behind Scot when the big boys have him feeling a little rattled.

While Pongo wasn’t initially much for his fellow equines, Casey has wormed his way into Pongo’s spotted heart and they often share hay piles together outside. Pongo also loves that he can still spend time with Elaine, who was his buddy at his former barn.

Pongo’s broad back and active gaits make him a wonderful partner in both children and adult classes.


Dark Bay QH gelding born in 1996. He stands 16hh.

Donated to the program by Melissa Thorndyke and sponsored by the Osin Foundation

In any situation, Rio has an affectionate and laid-back personality, perfect for riders who need a quiet friend and smooth pace to help facilitate their balance and confidence.

Rio’s background as a show and lesson horse makes him well-suited to the CARD program. His narrow stature and smooth gaits make him a top choice for the children and small adult classes, and his natural empathy for his riders makes him a good partner to riders working hard to master motor control.

This gorgeous and kind gelding flew through his training period, easily adjusting to all the new props and activities which are part of the CARD program. Throughout his training, Rio found all of our class props to be quite uninspiring though he thoroughly inspected the nubbly balls, spiky rings and flower bunches with his mouth in case they were food in disguise!

If you’re lucky you may catch him reviewing flag training when he works with 4 at a time moving like a helicopter rotor high overhead! In the classes, we expect Rio will excel at being a therapy schoolmaster.

Rio enjoys having a group of horsey and human friends, and is always willing to make new friends so long as they bring mints! He is the current king of Paddock 1A and surprised everyone by easily overcoming Maggie’s aspirations to the crown. She is quite enamored of our darkly handsome boy!

Affectionate and always up for a bubble bath and some pampering, Rio is a wonderful addition to CARD.


Black Canadian gelding born in 2002 who looks bigger than his 16.1 hands.

On loan to CARD by his owner, Scot Stewart

Do you speak French? Muskoka does!! Bred, raised and trained until the age of 3 in Quebec, Muskoka made the long journey to Ontario in the middle of a snowstorm! All of Muskoka’s original voice commands were learned in French, and his dad, Scot, has kept many of them up while also teaching Muskoka English voices aids.

Muskoka comes from a trail riding background with a base in natural horsemanship and has slowly been integrating into CARD life. Originally very roly-poly in shape when he came to CARD, Muskoka has been steadily increasing his fitness and he can now participate in a trot class without puffing like a steam engine by the end.

Muskoka has a wide base and lateral rotational movement, but with a loooooong step, similar to Casey’s swing. His body type make him a very versatile therapy mount, and his incredible movement input remains consistent, even when he’s walking slowly. This is unique because many horses’ have a change in their movement when working at slower paces.

Muskoka has been excelling in on the lead classes with both children and adults, where his patient and steady personality, along with his energizing but relaxing movement benefit riders with low tone or high sensory-input needs. This past year, he’s been joining the Friends of CARD and some off the lead trot classes, due to his steady progress in fitness and understanding his job.  Muskoka is a very cooperative ‘dude’ but he definitely knows who his special people are and can often be heard giving a low and throaty whicker when they pass by.

Muskoka is one of the quieter members of the Paddock 3 Posse and generally the voice of reason; he won’t start trouble but he won’t put up with his buddies causing it either! He enjoys hanging out with Marshall and Casey.


Bay Holsteiner gelding born in 2000. He stands 16.1hh.

Donated to the program by Kristen Baran. He is sponsored by the Baran Family Foundation

Casey comes to CARD after an illustrious career in the Hunter Show ring. He was born in Germany and has travelled all over Canada and the USA. His broad back and strong forward/ backward movement are ideal for riders with range of motion and sensory issues. This gorgeous and kind gelding flew through his training period, easily adjusting to all the new props and activities which are part of the CARD program.

Casey took a little longer to get used to being turned out with other boys, and it took Marshall a few weeks to teach him the rules of the Paddock 3 Posse. Casey is now enjoying full days of turnout with his ‘posse’ and can usually be found shadowing Pongo or playing with Muskoka and Marshall.

Throughout his training, Casey found all of our class props to be quite amusing and he enjoyed thoroughly investigating them all with his mouth in case they were food in disguise!

Affectionate and always up for a bubble bath and some pampering, Casey is a wonderful new addition to CARD.


Bay quarter horse cross gelding, born in 2005. He stands 15hh.

Purchased for the program and sponsored by the IODE Bridlewood Chapter

Privately owned before coming to CARD, Scooter has a narrow build and smooth forward and backward movement. He is excellent at adjusting the speed of his walk, making him an ideal candidate for riders with varying sensory input needs. Scooter’s gentle and affectionate personality and smaller build help him excel in children and small adult classes.

Scooter left his harem in Paddock 2 behind to take over ruling the big boys in Paddock 1B and while he enjoys his newly elevated place in the hierarchy, we did see some longing glances at his former bestie, Capri, during the first week he moved. Fortunately, within a few weeks, Capri also made the move to Paddock 1B, and Scooter’s romantic heart is complete once more!

With a natural flair for the dramatic, Scooter gives his all to everything he does; the staff makes sure that the ‘all’ he brings to class is positive and respectful because our newly crowned king got a little full of himself when stately Colonel and Riley both began to bow to his whims!

Fortunately, he loves being loved and a little correction followed by some affection are the keys to his saucy heart!