Duncan is a French breed of draft horse, a Brabant. His owner has very generously free-leased him to us for our bigger riders. He is a comfy “couch” to ride and his steady personality and Teddy Bear looks, make him a student favorite. Duncan has been a part of our program for two years and has become a most valuable team member.
Wally has been a herd member for 4 years. He is a tank and can carry good sized-riders. He is also very steady. He won’t bat an eyelash at a thunder storm. He is also versatile. He makes our independent riders work, making him a good teacher for intermediate level students. He will also walk along nicely for our lead line students.
Tito is our little guy and is often chosen for riders who need a lot of physical support (it’s easier to reach them with Tito, who is lower to the ground). Like our other herd members, he is very tolerant of riders who are noisy or unbalanced. He is our newest herd member, only being here since the spring of 2018. He has the cutest face and everyone falls in love when they meet him.
Zeppoli is one of our tallest horses, standing 16.3 hands. That being said, he is a trooper and is often chosen to work with difficult students. He will tolerate noisy, wiggly riders and steadily do his job. With a more advanced rider on board, he will give them an energetic ride. He has some achy joints so we are very careful but he also loves to jump and we occasionally give him that opportunity.
Rooster is the youngster of our herd at 9 years of age. He has a cute face and a mischievous personality. If you leave anything on the rail near him, he will pick it up and chew it or toss it around – nothing is safe! He can also untie himself and goes wandering around the ring if not monitored. He does a good job with beginner riders but also likes to canter and jump.
Freedom started his life as a racehorse, then went to a private owner who trained him in dressage and jumping. He came to Great Strides in the fall of 2017 as a free-lease where he became a star in short order. He will take the smallest rider and trot her around the ring quiet as can be. (Freedom is 17.1 hands and his smallest rider is 6. It’s quite a picture.) He is inquisitive and loves people. He’ll be happy to show you his tongue if you ask!
Dusty is the “old man” of the herd at 30+ years. He has been a lesson horse, teaching many beginners to walk, trot and canter, for the past twelve years. He is now semi-retired, doing a small number of lessons to our smallest walk-only students. He has been a patient and trusted part of our program for many years!