Reggie, from Amy’s Wish with Wings

2019 Therapy Horse of the Year finalist, Reggie, from Amy’s Wish with Wings

“Reggie is a special pony with a heart the size of his belly, huge! He shows up each day ready to work for our special needs children and is a rock star when it comes to showing at the Chisholm Challenge Horse Show and Special Olympics. Given his round size, short gait, and large heart he slowly over time helps our students progress in a fun and healthy way.

Reggie has assisted in hundreds of lessons this year alone and helped improve the balance, core strength, and walking abilities in our students. Reggie is happy-go-lucky and we are so happy we have him! As a therapy center we rely on our horses and ponies to be consistent and someone we can count on because there is nothing worse than canceling a lesson. Reggie has been our rock this year. It is a challenge finding and maintaining a reliable therapy horse as most of our horses are older in age. Since Reggie has come to our barn, he has been there for us.

Lastly, Reggie inspires hope in us all. Hope that being a good person can get the pretty girl in the end. Given his physical features, he is not the best looking in our herd, but has the most beautiful girlfriend, Serendipity, his pasture mate! Reggie is loved by all who come to our barn and Reggie loves our children with special needs.” 

It is with sadness that we share the news of Reggie’s recent passing from colic complications. 

Mac, from Hearts and Horses

2019 Therapy Horse of the Year finalist, Mac, from Hearts and Horses

“Mac is a 19-year-old Paint gelding who came to Hearts And Horses in 2013 after retiring from a successful show career, which included taking his young 7-year-old rider to the Official American Paint Horse Association World Championships. Since then, Mac has been nothing short of an incredible addition to our herd.

Mac works in our therapeutic riding, Veterans, and at-risk-youth programs. He is patient and obedient, easy going and unflappable. He loves to be ridden and is kind to all who work with him. For many riders he is the first horse on which they learn to ride. Mac was the last mount for one of our Veterans who rode with us for over 15 years. Mac brought such joy to this veteran each week that when he passed, the family asked to hold his memorial service at Hearts & Horses. Mac stood quietly at the back of the crowd as Taps was played and offered the family a shoulder to cry on after the service.

Twice a week, Mac partners with a young man who suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of being hit by a drunk driver. Mac’s patience has allowed this rider to build strength, confidence and independence. It’s easy to see the impact Mac has had on this young man’s life as they trot around the arena together. Mac has changed countless lives at Hearts and Horses and continues to do so with each new rider he meets.” 

Teeny, from Healing Strides Psychotherapy 

2019 Therapy Horse of the Year finalist, Teeny, from Healing Strides Psychotherapy

“Teeny is a 29-year-old Shetland pony. She has been providing therapy for children with disabilities for nine years. Teeny is an integral part of our program because of the special skills she possesses. She works with our smallest riders, most of whom have autism and are non-verbal…or at least they were when they met Teeny.

Over the years we have lost count of the number of children who uttered their first word while riding Teeny. From a simple “go” or “walk” or the first “mom” “dad” or “ I love you” spoken, Teeny has been the catalyst.

And despite the spooky things Teeny has on occasion encountered on our trails while working, whether a bear, a swarm of hornets, or an elk, Teeny has kept her riders safe and quietly awaited instruction from her handler. There is no equine, let alone a pony, that I’ve worked with in my 35 years of horsing that I trust more with the tiniest and most vulnerable riders. The love, trust and respect that we have for her is unable to be matched by words.”

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