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Our Horses

CARD’s herd of therapy horses is our most important asset. Each therapy horse is carefully selected for temperament and movement to offer a specific type of movement (smooth, bumpy, lots of movement or minimum movement) to maximize the benefits of therapy for each disabled rider. CARD’s horses range in size in order to accommodate the range of riders we work with.

Donated by Linda Hunt

Sponsored by the Baran Family Foundation

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

Donated by Linda Hunt. 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 had become an ‘item’. After spending more time with Scooter in Paddock 1B, sweet Capri re-joined the mares group in Paddock 1A, where she dotes on Splash.

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 Kristen Baran

Sponsored by the Baran Family Foundation

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

Donated to the program by Kristen Baran. Sponsored by the Baran Family Foundation

Arrived at CARD in July 2013

Casey comes to CARD after an illustrious career in the Hunter Show ring. He was born in Germany and has traveled 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 enjoyed many days of turnout with his ‘posse’ . This past winter, he made the move to Paddock 1B, where he joined up with Scooter. These two handsome boys are very happy hanging out together!

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 stalwart member of the herd.

Donated by IODE

Sponsored by the IODE

Dun Fjord Cross gelding born in 2002. He stands 15.2hh.

Donated by the IODE. Sponsored by the IODE

Arrived at CARD in November 2009

Marshall quickly dug his way into everyone’s hearts with his endearing antics and his (initial) love of being cuddled. He’s a big boy now and not quite so interested in being warm and fuzzy now that he has the Paddock 3 Posse for friends.

Marshall’s broad base and smooth, steady movement make him ideal for clients with balance or sensory issues and for exploring their environment. His early niche was in the on lead classes, where he took comfort in the presence and direction of his leader. Now that he’s figured this therapy horse thing out, he’s set his sights on solidifying a place in the horsemanship classes, teaching riders to trot and to walk off lead.

Marshall has a secret identity as a Fraggle, with his floppy forelock and boyish hijinks. He is the first horse to start his group running and snorting and usually the last one to settle down. A proud member of the Paddock 3 Posse, Marshall splits his time bossing around Peli and playing with Muskoka.

Scot Stewart

On loan to CARD by his owner

Black Canadian gelding born in 2001 who looks bigger than his 16.1 hands.

On loan to CARD by his owner, Scot Stewart

Arrived at CARD in April 2012

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. Originally very roly-poly in shape when he came to CARD, Muskoka steadily increased 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 makes 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 wonderful movement benefit riders with low tone or high sensory-input needs. In the past two years, he’s joined some off the lead trot classes, due to his steady progress in fitness and understanding of 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 will happily share hay with Peli and Picasso too.

Donated by Max Torokvei, Westhaven Farm

Sponsored by The Osin Foundation

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. Sponsored by The Osin Foundation

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 Ronan 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 has integrated 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 quartet of buff, sturdy and uber-handsome geldings, and well…. they know it!

Donated by Ann Clifford

Sponsored by the Baran Family Foundation

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

Donated By Ann Clifford. Sponsored by the Baran Family Foundation

The CARD herd is remaining colourful!

Our second painted 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 will also hang out with Muskoka when opportunity permits. True to his two-toned colouring, Picasso is happiest when paired up- which he does most days by splitting his time between the various members of the Paddock 3 Posse. 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!

Arrived at CARD in March 2015

 

Donated by Gubby Armour

Sponsored by The Osin Family Foundation

Dark bay Thoroughbred gelding born 2003. He stands 16.2 hh

Purchased in memory of Gubby Armour, a former CARD rider. 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 used 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 was 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 swing-y 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 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 in full work, 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.

Donated by Sharon Willemze

Sponsored by the Baran Family Foundation

Bay Quarter Horse/Percheron/Thoroughbred gelding born in 1996. He stands 15.2 hh.

Donated to the program by Sharon Willemze. Sponsored by the Baran Family Foundation

Arrived at CARD in August 2007

Ronan’s very active movement and willing attitude make him a key player in the children’s classes. His love of being the centre of attention means he’s never overwhelmed by a crowd of people around him. Riders with balance or confidence issues find his friendly nature and slightly goofy personality very reassuring.

Super narrow, Ronan is well suited to riders with tight hips and legs, and those who have a high need for movement input. Though he has a reputation in the barn for being the first horse to spook at things, Ronan is rock solid in class, whether his rider is wiggling madly about or having a very vocal outburst.

While Ronan generally prefers other geldings who enjoy rough and tumble play, he’s learning the value of quiet time outside. Ronan does have a secret: as tough and brave as he is in class, Ronan still finds bath time scary- such a boy!

Purchased for the program

Sponsored by the IODE

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

Purchased for the program and sponsored by the IODE

Arrived at CARD in July 2013

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 enjoyed 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 was complete once more! Winter of 2018 saw some new paddock arrangements though, and Scooter and Casey (our two “Peter Pan, never grow up boys”) are now sharing Paddock 1B quite contentedly.

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 a few years ago!

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

Karen Visentin in loving memory of Harvey Bosomworth and in honour of Georgia King

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

Donated by Kate Chapman.

Sponsored by both the Tonglen Foundation, and in loving memory of Harvey Bosomworth and in honour of Georgia King.

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.