Well I'm just so jealous of all of you :P My therapy ranch is struggling to find lesson horses right now, and while we own 5 horses, one of them is still too unstable to be used for lessons and another is retired because of his severe arthritis. I don't have many pictures, but I want to share so here's what I've got:
I'll start with my absolute favorite. I'll try and keep the pictures to a minimum, but he's the one I photograph the most. His name is Dundee, and he's an Oldenburg gelding. I believe he's something like 26 years old now and he has pretty bad arthritis, but he's so good about it. We use him for our larger kids because he's so well-behaved, he'll follow right behind the leader. And he's so gentle, the kids are always safe around him. He's really tall, I think around 17 hands, but I can't remember exactly. When he's not in a lesson he's a big jerk, he likes to bully the volunteers by backing them against walls, but he'll apologize afterwards and snuggle into your chest to tell you he was only playing around. He gets a lot of treats since he's popular and is always sticking his head over the stall door to get attention. My favorite memory with him is when he got loose after an inexperienced volunteer tried to lead him around. She had a history of spooking the horses because she has a very unsettling attitude, too much hyperness. But when he got loose, he cantered past her, and I just happened to be standing right where he ran by and I calmly say, "Dundee, it's alright. C'mere Dunders." And he slowed and turned to look at me, then just trotted right up to me like "Will you keep me away from the bad girl? :C" Everyone was screaming "Horse loose!" and running around only to run around the corner and see us standing there calmly xD imgur: the simple image sharer imgur: the simple image sharer imgur: the simple image sharer
Now here's my favorite picture I have of these horses, it shows Dundee with his cute goofy smile and my other favorite, Rojo, a Peruvian Paso. Rojo is used for the youngest children since he's so small. He's a little more tricky than Dundee, he'll speed up a lot and pull on the leader during lessons, and unless we're tracking right he'll try to spin. But he's a good boy when he's with me. I know how to deal with him since we've been working together almost exclusively every saturday for nearly 2 years. Rojo spooks at EVERYTHING, so we always have extra volunteers on his lessons. He sneezes a lot too and, since I always lead, I end every lesson drenched in horse snot xD imgur: the simple image sharer
Now, this little miss is BonnieBelle, or Bonnie for short. She's a gorgeous Quarter Horse and everyone loves her, but she can be a great pain sometimes. She likes to nip when you least expect it, and she has this obvious distaste for nearly everyone. She loves the kids though, and is so good at all the lessons, we use her for every variation. She has absolutely no quirks when she's working. She likes getting her butt scratched and playing with the apple in the picture. imgur: the simple image sharer
Now this one is Cimarron, another Quarter Horse, but everyone calls him Cimmy. He's a great horse but he's always had bad arthritis and it got so bad a few months ago that we retired him from the program. He has really fine short hair so he's really easy to groom. He's got super long legs so I never led him in lessons (5'1" here) but he's always been really good. In the second picture he's got a girl named Sophia on his back. She's usually confined to a wheelchair because of her cerebral palsy and on the ground she has this distant stare and just a sad appearance. No animation, she just sort of sits there. On horseback she's been learning to hold herself up and she gets this huge grin on her face. When the people on her lesson start singing to her she'll start laughing so hard that she'll wheeze, and it makes everyone around so happy to see that difference. Her dad's a saint as well. Typical parents will bring a book and only look up every once in a while to encourage their child, but her dad never even sits. He's always standing watching her and you can tell he's so proud of her progress, and he's so encouraging it just makes me want to cry. If any little thing goes wrong he'll run over to the lesson and duck into the arena and ask what he can do and ignore everyone telling him he can rest. You can see him in the picture in a red shirt. imgur: the simple image sharer imgur: the simple image sharer
This horse is named Spade, and he was a part of the family for about a month before his owners decided they wanted to take him back :/ I had been assigned to exercise him every day after lessons because he could walk forever. Such a sweet well-behaved boy, he was bombproof. imgur: the simple image sharer
Now, the last horse isn't working well in lessons yet, but we're working on it. My friend Leah used to ride him with me when I would ride Spade. He's still pretty shy and has an injury on his back so he can randomly get twitches that make him shake the rider a bit, but we're working on it. I still love him and know he has a lot of potential. imgur: the simple image sharer
Sorry about the pictures, I ended up just putting the links since they showed up so big!