Humans and equines have a partnership that goes back millennia. From Stone Age cave paintings to Roman chariot racing and world travel, our stories are deeply intertwined.
As it has all along, connecting with horses and donkeys demands attention, self-awareness, trust, empathy, confidence, and a willingness to listen to the feedback they provide.
These powerful prey animals have evolved to notice and respond to even the slightest changes in their environment. A racing breath or change in posture within the herd could mean the difference between life and death in the wild. That heightened sensitivity applies equally to the people that equines encounter.
Horses and donkeys live in the present moment, responding to new conditions with honesty and non-judgment; how they feel corresponds to their behavior. Getting to know our equine partners and learning how they move and communicate can teach us valuable lessons about ourselves and our relationship to the world around us.
Whether it’s in the ring, on the trails, or in the paddocks, our horses are encouraged to be themselves. Living in herds year-round, for example, allows them to interact on their own terms, and brings out their unique personalities. Just as they intuit our own feelings and motivations, in time we can intuit theirs.
In short, equines hold a mirror to our own tendencies and nudge us in the direction of personal growth. The increased self-awareness, confidence, coordination and other benefits that arise from spending time with equines can help us face the challenges of life with greater confidence and grace.
MEET OUR HORSES
Horses are the foundation of our work and essential to our success. We seek good mannered, sound, safe and well-cared for horses. Our herd is a mix of breeds, ages and backgrounds. When possible, we work with horses that might otherwise be jobless or in need of a new career. Every horse is retrained by our staff before becoming part of our Therapeutic, EAL or horsemanship programs.
Shardon has been a stoic, caring teacher for most of his 26 years. He is a gorgeous copper Dutch Arabian with flashy moves and loves to show off his float-like trot. In his younger years, Shardon was a successful dressage competitor. These days, he loves teaching kids and hanging with his best buddy, Finn.
Deborah is 25 years old and the beloved Therapeutic Equine Therapy horse since its inception a decade ago. She is an Australian bred Halflinger from Wadek-U-Lesa Farm in Quebec, Canada. The Halflinger breed originated in Tyrol, Austria in the 1800s from the crossing of a ½ Arab stallion and a refined Tyrollean mare. They were originally used as all-around farm horses.Today’s Halflinger has evolved into an excellent pleasure horse. They are calm, good natured, sure footed, and willing to work. Deborah demonstrates all of these qualities and more! She is deeply loved by our riders, volunteers, and staff. She is a star!
This sweet guy is a chestnut Quarterhorse. He is 17 years old. Spice was formerly a jumping horse. While retired from his jumping career, he is an outstanding therapy horse. He even has shown talent in basic dressage movements. He is a sensitive, intuitive, and overall great guy! He has lots of get-up-and-go and is known for his “bouncy seat.”
Callie is kind, gentle and very refined. This sweet girl loves to spend time with kids and enjoys getting lots of attention. She is a hard worker and active in all of the programs at the Misty Meadows.
Pumba is the cutest blue eyed paint cross. He loves attention and going out on trails. Pumba is steady and safe for all levels of riders and takes part in all our programs, one of his favorite activities is working with students learning mounted archery and doing pony rides for little kids. Pumba always comes up to say hi to visitors in a very polite and friendly way. He loves being part of the herd but sometimes we have to limit his grass consumption for health reasons.
Finn is a 14.3 hand Appaloosa gelding. He has a puppy dog demeanor, strawberry roan freckles and rosy colored cheeks. Finn is quick to please under the saddle, a superb trail mount and enjoys cuddling. He has taken a special liking to being part of our mounted archery program; his easy transitions and smooth gaits make him a fan favorite! He is a very dependable guy who is always the first to greet you at the gate.
Jasper is an 8 year old Quarter Horse gelding. He is a solid bay with a perfect white star on his forehead. Jasper is 15.2 hands with a stocky build making him suitable for all size riders. He came from a western training background, so he has a great jog and lope. Jasper is a crucial part of our therapeutic and horsemanship programs. He has a very laid back personality and is has the sweetest puppy-dog eyes!
Noble is a grey Draft cross gelding . He is 15.1 hands but very stocky with a big personality to match. Noble recently came out of retirement and joined us in everything from therapeutic riding to drill team. Noble takes pride in watching over our heard, especially at night. He is respected by our other horses and is most definitely the leader when turned out in a group. He is a sweet loving guy who enjoys having a very important job here at Misty.