Meet Our Beloved Horses
Our horses are literally G.R.A.C.E.’s “horse power”. Looking after them while ensuring that they are properly trained is our priority. It takes very special horses like these to be someone’s eyes, ears and legs while carrying riders of all sizes, needs and abilities.
Such is the case with our six horses: Abby, Feeney, Scottie, Black Beauty, Misty and Romeo. This is why our veterinarian and barn staff make sure that our equine team is kept in top physical shape at all times.
Costs associated with their care can run in excess of $30,000 per year. Hay and bedding alone are in the order of $18,000. In addition, G.R.A.C.E. is always on the lookout for exceptional horses to add to its fabulous line-up.
All of our horses take their job seriously and work very hard for their care. They deserve nothing but the best in return. And this is why they need your support. Won’t you please consider picking your favourite (or favourites) and let them know you care?
Abby is one of our bigger horses and is often used for heavier riders. Her patience and willingness to help this category of rider often make her the choice of those who also favour a quiet ride.
A bay in colour from her part-Appaloosa breeding, Abby came to G.R.A.C.E. in 2009 as an SPCA rescue. She’s a 20-year-old, 15hh-size mare who loves to eat but gains weight fast. Good news is, she’s also very active. We even call her the “Energizer Bunny”.
Her sturdy build, smooth gaits, responsiveness to verbal commands and acceptance of all kinds of equipment and noise in the games played in classes mean that she is often the go-to mount for many riders of different levels.
A mainstay of the G.R.A.C.E. program, we trust Abby will continue her good work for many years to come.
Feeney is one of our biggest in spirit and smallest in size horses. She’s an 11-year-old Haflinger who, though tiny in stature is mighty in strength and endurance. She’s even been nicknamed the “Mighty Mouse” of G.R.A.C.E. since 2014. Her short stature makes her easy for a rider to get on and off and not be intimidated, while her stocky 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 Driving Nights, pulling our cart—the job she loves most—which provides an option for those that don’t meet the weight restrictions for riding. This is because each horse has a rider weight restriction depending on the size of the horse.
Mighty Mouse Feeney is fearless and sturdy. Her ability to do two jobs makes her a key member of the equine team.
Scottie is the longest horse working in our program since he joined G.R.A.C.E. in 2002. Born in 1998, he is also one of our oldest horses. As such, he’s been known and loved by several generations of riders who have, over the years, been coming to G.R.A.C.E.
His strength and endurance allow him to carry heavier riders and he can work two classes in a night when needed. Scottie is well balanced and has a soft trot, making it easier for a rider to go a little faster. Outside the program, he enjoys trail rides and playing games in the arena. He particularly enjoys being groomed and pampered which, of course, he rightly deserves, and will never refuse goodies from his treat bucket: mints, apples and carrots being his favourite.
As a cherished member of the team, Scottie has given many riders a lifetime of freedom, improved health and happiness.
Also known as “Black” or “Beauty”, we have here a striking Standard-bred mare appropriately named after the celebrated horse in Anna Sewell’s book. Black Beauty is admired from afar for her incredible looks. Lucky for the program, she has a personality to match.
Being the youngest horse in our program who joined G.R.A.C.E. in 2017, Black Beauty is no newcomer to therapeutic riding, having previously worked at another center. As one of our bigger horses, she can comfortably carry larger riders, which she does willingly and with great care.
She is also trained in cart driving and knows how to pull heavy weights as well. Much appreciated for her gentle spirit, Black Beauty will likely be with us a long time, especially given her ability to handle several different tasks.
Misty has been a member of the G.R.A.C.E. team since 2011. Smaller in size, Misty has a way of being reassuring to potentially nervous, lighter riders.
Known as a delicate stepper, her caring personality and dainty build often make her an appealing option for first-time riders with whom she is particularly experienced. Her slow, gentle step makes it easy for new riders to maintain balance.
A paint pony, this lady is often admired for her distinctive appearance. So much so, that her natural spotted coat often generates interesting conversations, some times with young riders looking for shapes, which often leads to extra smiles.
A telling measure of success, as we see it.
As our newest kid on the block, Romeo joined G.R.A.C.E. in December of 2020. Romeo is of the Gypsy Vanner breed. These horses are known for their calmness and patience. With his superstar hair, feathers and rocking moustache, Romeo quickly became referred to as G.R.A.C.E.’s “poster boy”.
Born in 2007, Romeo has been a therapy horse for most of his life and is extensively trained as such. His big heart and gentle manners make him perfect for our program. His strength and steadiness mean that he is also a highly flexible worker. Not only can he carry heavy riders but could also pull one in a cart. Romeo knows and does it all!
His name seems to suit him admirably, by the way, as anyone who meets him is smitten by his dashing looks. “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?”
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Our horses are the most important part of our G.R.A.C.E. Program. Their training and their patience are essential in keeping our riders safe while having fun. These horses are required to be kept at optimum health and wellness to ensure our program runs at its best. They work very hard for their care and deserve nothing less.