Archives: Horses


Dark Bay Quarter Horse cross gelding, born in 2006. He stands 15.2hh.

Arrived at CARD in September 2018

Donated by Tara Blair and currently in need of a sponsorship.

Bobby is a very genial and people-oriented boy, who spent his earliest years as a racing Quarter Horse. After retiring from racing, he moved into private ownership, finding his way to the family that brought him to CARD.

At CARD, Bobby buddied up with the other “newbie” Picasso, and occasionally they let Peli join their little group.  Bobby also buddied up with Scot for his therapy training and Fran for his mounted exercise. A loving soul with a strong work ethic, Bobby wants to get things right.

Bobby will be starting in children and young adult classes on the lead as he eases into his therapy role.  We look forward to introducing people to this patient and handsome guy.


Piebald (black and white) Overo Paint/Draft cross gelding born in 2002. He stands 15hh.

Donated By Ann Clifford, and currently in need of a sponsorship.

The CARD herd is remaining colourful!

Our newest herd member is used to being fussed over, and enjoyed many liberty games and exercises with his donor. A thinker and puzzle-solver by nature, Picasso approached each phase of his CARD training with a serious and focused demeanor, using his natural curiosity to figure things out.

Outside, Picasso became firm friends with Peli, and then took Bobby under his wing a few weeks later.  True to his two-toned colouring, Picasso is happiest when paired up- which he does most days by splitting his time between his besties: Peli and Bobby.  When working, he ‘pairs up’ with his handler, looking to them for guidance and validation.

A giver by nature, Picasso puts 110% into all his handlers ask of him.  With his kind and steady nature and his amazing movement and patience, we are hoping he’s a successor to the mighty Jesse, whom he greatly resembles in appearance!


Flea bitten gray, Selle Francais gelding, born in 2000. He stands 15.3hh.

Arrived at CARD in March 2018

Donated by Max Torokvei, Westhaven Farm.  Currently in need of a sponsor.

Peli’s full name is “Peligroso”, which makes us laugh, as it’s Spanish for “dangerous”–and sweet Peli is soooooo not like his name!  He is a big cuddle-bug and loves attention and care from his special friends.

Peli spent his younger days as a jumper, both in Ontario and in Europe!  Unfortunately, an injury meant a career change was in order, and after he was all healed up, he transitioned to the role of official horsey baby-sitter and go-to riding horse for farm visitors.

Peli’s varied life experience meant that he was totally ready for the variety of activities a CARD horse does in classes every week. Like Casey and DiNiro before him, it was the saddest day of Peli’s life when he realized none of the arena props were edible… poor Peli!  He was delighted to find out that treats were part of learning all about the hydraulic block, and, ever the optimist, he checks the mounting deck thoroughly each time he visits in case a treat should randomly appear.

Peli will integrate into on the lead classes, with a focus on either younger riders or those working on their riding skills.  We foresee a strong niche in the sensory and sport classes due to his incredible rotational movement and his outstandingly kind and generous personality.

Outside, it took Peli a while to find his group.  He met a few of the paddock groups before finally settling in with Muskoka and Marshall. Paddock 3 is now a trio of buff, sturdy and uber-handsome geldings, and well…. they know it!


Bay Thoroughbred gelding born in 2000. He stands 16.2 hh.

Arrived at CARD December 2017

Donated to the program by Alexis Black and in need of a sponsor

If DiNiro were human (and green), he’d be the Jolly Green Giant. Amiable, easy-going and steady in his work, DiNiro is a large and kind member of the herd.  He’s the type of horse who’d be portrayed in movies by Jimmy Stewart- honest, willing, hard working and reliable.

With a big, swinging walk and rhythmic trot, we anticipate DiNiro will be an able partner to the adult riders working on physical rehabilitation and basic riding skills, and for younger riders needing strong sensory input.

With his extensive showing and lesson background, DiNiro whizzed through his trial period and enjoyed learning his new ‘job’.  Outside, he enjoyed meeting up with his old buddy Rio, and has become firm friends with Riley, who, after some initial jostling for top position, now happily shares a hay pile and mutual scratching sessions with his buddy.


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

Donated By Kate LeFeuvre, and sponsored by Linda Hart

Arrived at CARD in April 2016

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 well into classes and is carving out a niche as a partner to wiggly or very vocal riders.


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

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

Arrived at CARD in December 2015

The smallest CARD horse, 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.  Our petite princess 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 and Jet, 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 can 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 Capri. In the barn though, her best friend is Scot whom she trusts to let her know scary new things are okay.


Dark bay Thoroughbred gelding born 2003. He stands 16.2 hh

Purchased in memory of Gubby Armour, a former CARD rider. Currently sponsored by The Osin Family Foundation

Arrived at CARD in October 2015

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.  If we are reading his tattoo correctly, Riley was born in Maryland and known as “Lord Kelly”. He raced 5 times and won $750.00.

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 initially only able to work with riders using an elastic girth setup, 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

Arrived at CARD in March 2015

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 has 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.


Donated by Susan Fripp. Currently sponsored by Robert Sive.

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

Arrived at CARD in November 2014

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 the same 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 of Paddock 2 would have him feeling a little rattled.

While Pongo

Pongo has moved to Paddock 3, where he has buddied up with DiNiro and Riley. He’ll even share his hay pile with them from time to time!  Pongo 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

Arrived at CARD in April 2014

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 loner of Paddock 3, where he watches over the happenings of his fellows. He has greatly enjoyed being reunited with DiNiro, one of his friends from a former barn!!

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