Do you know a horse who oinks like a pig, sticks his tongue out as children walk by, and shakes his head “no” when you ask him a question?
Lovelane Special Needs Horseback Riding Program does! His name is Spike. He is everyone’s favorite Fjord. Spike has been a therapy horse at Lovelane for 10 years. He has done 4,457 therapeutic riding lessons during his time here.
Spike, who got his name because of his unique mane (a trait of his Norwegian breed), loves his job. As soon as the tack is placed outside his stall, Spike is at the stall door, ready to head into the ring. He is always ready to work!
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Lovelane students have a wide variety of special needs, including seizures. Spike is able to sense when a student is going to have a seizure. He will stop and stand very still to keep the rider safe; this also notifies the instructor that the seizure is forthcoming.
In addition to having an innate connection with our students, Spike is the class clown. He will do anything to make his children laugh, including knocking over barrels and playing with stuffed toys like a dog. He has become even more recognizable because his breed was used in the movie Frozen. He has his own Frozen costume that he wears in some of his lessons! —Eliza W.