Jake is a 21-year-old Tennessee Walker Paint gelding that has been working for the 4-H Grand Equestrians Therapeutic Riding Program in Howell Michigan for longer than I can remember.
Jake has helped children with disabilities get a little freedom to move their bodies with his motion of walking and trotting. Jake has helped children go from the wheelchair to the walker to getting off a horse and walking back to their parents all by themselves, and has helped nonverbal children speak their first words. Jake allows riders to ride him Western, English, bareback, backwards, sideways, and lying flat on his back. Jake never minds them pulling his mane or touching his ears, and Jake has even shown them his BIG teeth. Jake has gone to the Fowlerville Fair 4-H show and seems to enjoy how the riders decorate him for the drill team with flowers, ribbons, and bows. The riders like to paint him with finger paints; they have put hearts, dots, stars, and hand prints all over his body.
Jake is loved by all his riders and handlers, and deserves to be recognized for the years he has worked and is still working for these children.