"You don't break these animals you come to an understanding with them" Phil West
Abby is a 20 yr old, 15hh mare, an easy-keeper which is code for “loves to eat and gains weight fast”. She came to GRACE in 2009 as an SPCA rescue and at first was very aggressive to other horses and very active. We called her ‘the Energizer bunny’. While she has mellowed considerably since then, she still doesn’t like her stablemates too close but she loves to nuzzle kids and cats. A bay in colour, her part-Appaloosa breeding gave her virtually no mane or tail so she’s an easy target for every insect around. Nature is not always kind!
Her sturdy build, her smooth gaits, her responsiveness to verbal commands and acceptance of all kinds of equipment and noise in the games done in classes mean she is often the go-to mount for many riders of different abilities.
A mainstay of the GRACE program, we trust she can continue her good work for many years to come.
Written by Eileen O’Connor, GRACE instructor and Abby’s horse ‘parent’, so not biased at all!
One of our biggest in spirit and smaller in size horses is Feeney. She is an 11 year old Haflinger who has been the mighty mouse of G.R.A.C.E as of 2014. Her short stature makes her easy for a rider to get on and off and not be intermediated but her heavy body makes it possible for her to handle heavier riders. Her flowing mane is often decorated and braided, making the children smile. Feeney is also a cart pony and works on our driving night pulling our cart providing an option to be around horses for those that don’t meet the weight restrictions for riding. (There is a weight restriction dependent on the size of the horse and for safety reasons when side walkers are required.) Feeney is fearless and sturdy and, although not as patient, her ability to do two jobs makes her an important part of the team.
Chestnut Quarter Horse gelding
Born April 12th, 1998
Arrived at G.R.A.C.E. April 2002
Owned by G.R.A.C.E.
Scotty, who was born April 12, 1998 is one of our oldest horses and definitely one of our most recognized as the longest presently in the program. This gentleman joined the program in 2002 and has been one of our most cherished members of the team having given us a lifetime of riders’ freedom and happiness. His strength and endurance allows him to carry the heavier riders and or to work two classes in a night.
He is balanced and has a gentle soft trot, making it easier for someone to go a little faster. Outside the program, he enjoys trail rides, and playing games in the arena. Scotty never refuses a treat from his treat bucket––mints, apples and carrots are his favorites. This fella also enjoys being groomed and pampered, which he deserves.
A large Paint Pony mare
Born in 2002
Came to G.R.A.C.E. in June 2011
Misty has been a member of the G.R.A.C.E. Team
since 2011 as originally a driving pony with the
intent she would be our cart pony in our driving
class. It was determined however that this program
was hard on her and she was better suited as a
riding pony only. She proved that this was her
Smaller in size, she is not so scary for nervous
lighter riders, and her slow gentle step makes her
easy to maintain balance.
A paint pony, this lady is often admired for her
special appearance too.
Black Beauty, or Black, or Beauty, is a striking
Standardbred mare who has been appropriately
named after the horse in the novel. She is admired
from afar for her incredible looks.
Luckily for the program, Black has the personality
to match. Being the newest and youngest horse in
our program having joined in 2017, she is no
“newby” in therapeutic riding. Black was
previously introduced to this kind of work at
another therapeutic riding centre. She is slowly
being integrated into G.R.A.C.E., and is happy to
We appreciate the gentle spirit Black offers us and
have no doubts she will be with us a long time.