Mouse

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A child in a purple shirt and black helmet stands next to a small brown horse in crossties.

"Mouse arrived at Horse Harbor Foundation angry, frightened, and almost completely green. An animal control seizure for severe neglect, her original owner claimed she was a mustang. She doesn't have a BLM freeze brand but came with a fierce wildness that belied her diminutive stature.

We gave Mouse a full year to heal, settle into barn life, and grow comfortable with humans. It was during this time that we noticed how her demeanor would change when our therapeutic riding students were in the aisle. She'd stick her head out of her stall and nuzzle the tops of their heads gently, her eyes softening. When we began her training, we incorporated specific therapeutic riding work into her program and immediately knew Mouse had found her purpose.

[READ MORE: How mustangs saved a veteran's life.]

[READ MORE: For 30 years, mustangs and inmates have been bettering one another.]

She is, without exaggeration, our perfect therapy horse. She's patient and amiable in the crossties as students practice fine motor skills through grooming, while her height makes her unintimidating to newer, smaller students. In the arena she's calm as can be, striding placidly with sidewalkers flanking her on either side and responding instantly as more independent riders learn to use their reins to steer or slow down. She's also our go-to horse when teaching students how to trot, with a gait so smooth it often prompts giggles of glee from her riders.

Without Mouse, our program would not thrive as it has. This once-wild little mustang has found her purpose and changed countless lives in the process." —Allen W.

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