2018 Therapy Horse of the Year Winner, Willie.

“Willie is an all-around kind of horse: therapy horse during the week, carriage pulling, rodeo trick-riding horse on weekends. Undeniably the most beautiful horse in the barn, Willie’s stature is such that he carries wounded warriors with ease. His temperament is such that even our most timid, physically challenged riders do well on him. He even falls asleep in class!

Several years ago, a veteran came to us gravely injured in service, resulting in an amputated left arm. Following several tours overseas, she was bitter, hurting, and angry. She could not relate to her family, and often got into altercations when she went out in public. She was paired up with Willie, and it was an instant, tangible connection. The change was immediately noticeable to her family as well. And after that visit, her husband gratefully said, “Thank you for giving me my wife back.”

This veteran continues to ride Willie in our Veteran Drill Team and is a spokesperson for our organization. She often credits Willie with saving her life. She now enjoys time in public with her family and is feeling better than ever. Willie has touched many lives over the years‚ proving he understands his job. He tells us daily that he’s ready to charge to the rescue of the hurting, the broken, and those who need a heart to beat alongside their own.”

Willie was nominated by Kelli Pharo of the McCormick Research Institute. Learn more about their services at http://mccormick.us/.

Do you know of a special horse who has made a big difference in someone’s life—perhaps even your own? Nominate them for Hope in the Saddle’s 2019 Therapy Horse of the Year!

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