“Pinenuts is a 33-year-old Appaloosa/Quarter Horse that has taught thousands of children over the years to ride, gain balance and confidence, and most importantly, he’s taught them about love.

He truly is a community horse—a bright light in a rural area where drugs and abuse are sadly common, and there’s little mental health infrastructure. Everyone loves him. His age is catching up with him and he’s slowing down, but his heart still beats strong enough to love every child that ever walks up to him. He always greets everyone with his version of a horse hug and a long look that conveys the utmost peace.

Due to his age, he’s no longer used for lessons. His last lesson was a tearful day for many children—big and small—and he was the recipient of many hugs, words of love, funny stories, and goodbyes. People drove from more than 100 miles away to get photos with Pinenuts. He’s just touched so many lives. And he also saved mine.

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I raised him from a young colt and it was pure therapy teaching him. More correctly, he was the one that taught me. He helped me through hard times surviving an abusive home life. He’s the first horse I trained 100 percent myself, and it’s been amazing watching him share his gifts with so many others. There are many in this small rural area of Southeast Utah who believe he’s the greatest horse of all time.

I don’t know how many days he has left (I hope many more!) but I do know that he’s been a true friend to me and many others.” —Desi C.

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