Our Horses

Seventeen horses currently participate as co-therapists in Equi-Rhythm programs. Seven of these are owned or leased by Equi-Rhythm and the others belong to individuals who keep their horses at Joder Arabian Ranch who have generously offered the use of their horses at no cost to the program. The following are the horses for whom Equi-Rhythm is responsible.

BEAU

In June 2005, Anna Wood agreed to allow Equi-Rhythm to “borrow” Beaudachius, af-fectionately called Beau, for summer horse camp. Born in 1985, Beau is a chestnut Polish Arabian. Anna fell in love with Beau who became her junior young rider horse and, with Julie Barringer-Richers’ tutorship, turned Beau into an accomplished second-level dressage horse. He placed third at the Canadian National Championships and was Reserve Champion at the Denver Stock Show in hunter pleasure. When Beau was retired from showing dressage, he became a schooling horse for young riders at Bell Park Arabians. The Wood family has since permanently donated Beau to Equi-Rhythm.

CAITLIN'S DREAM

Dream is a palomino quarter horse mare from Bozeman, Montana, born in 2005. Dream is out of a large, reliable registered quarter horse mare (used for hunting and family riding) by a registered (palomino) stallion. She is out of the same mare as Lily (see below). Her previous owner never started her, but said he "just got on her back in the paddock" and she was fine. Dream was donated to the Equi-Rhythm program as a young horse with a great deal of potential to become a good therapy horse because of her unflappable attitude and willingness to learn. She was renamed upon arriving at Joder Ranch to honor Caitlin Epple, an exemplary young woman who led the 4H club at Joder's before her tragic death in a traffic accident at the age of 18. (See Caitlin Epple Scholarship Fund for more information about Caitlin and the scholarship established in her memory.) Dream is currently undergoing training at the ranch.

EEYORE

"Uncle" Eeyore was owned by Bill and Dona Larsen of Casper, Wyoming, until he was donated to Equi-Rhythm at the ripe old age of 24 in 2008. Bill raised Eeyore from a colt, picked up on him at rodeos around the western half of the U.S., and used him as a working ranch horse. Dona then rode him in opening rodeo ceremonies, carrying flags at breakneck speeds, galloping around and around the rodeo arenas. By the time Eeyore reached his early teens, the Larsens started turning him out in their winter pastures from October through March to rest in the off season. The winter pastures are big: over 14,000 acres. They check on the horses, if they can find them, a few times per month. One year Eeyore came in with a broken hip that had somewhat healed. Both Bill and Dona were devastated. They decided to let him continue to help out at the ranch by raising all of their youngsters in the winter pasture. The young horses look up to an older horse, learning to follow in the right footsteps (even if they are a little uneven!). Thus he earned the nickname "Uncle" Eeyore. At Joder Ranch, Eeyore is continuing his avuncular duties, but now his charges are the youngsters in the Equi-Rhythm program.

LILY

Born in 2002, Lily is a minimal paint quarter horse mare. She is a dark bay with a large, wide blaze that touches her eyes. She has a very sturdy, classic quarter horse type build. Lily is out of a large, reliable registered quarter horse mare (used for hunting and family riding) and is by a registered paint stallion. She is out of the same mare as Caitlin's Dream. Prior to being donated to Equi-Rhythm, she was started and given 60 days of Buck Brannaman-style natural horse training a few years ago. She was accepted into the RMER program for her potential to be a solid and reliable therapy horse and is currently in training at the ranch.

TUCKER

Greentree T. Tucker was born at Greentree Morgan Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, on April 21, 1987. A beautiful bay gelding, Tucker is a teacher, full of joy. Charlotte Hanks, his young former owner, said of Tucker that he is the “top dog, proud, loves to play and work everyday. He has always been a kid’s school horse and dressage horse his whole life and he loves trail riding. He has always been owned by a girl. He loves to show off and is gorgeous and knows it. He is never afraid to correct you. When Tucker was a very small colt he was bitten on the nose by a rattlesnake. His nose swelled up so much he could no longer breathe. The vet had to drop what he was doing to rush to Tucker’s rescue to perform a tracheotomy. If it was not for this vet, Tucker would not have survived.” Tucker was donated with lots of love to Equi-Rhythm by Charlotte because she thinks the ranch is where he is the happiest. According to Charlotte, “He loves to teach kids and eat carrots and apples and although he is aging, he still has lots of bucks left in him. When you have a chance, please visit our friend, Tucker, and slip him a carrot or two.”

Why Horses?

Why does Rocky Mountain Equi-Rhythm ask horses to be part of our program? For many reasons, they are perfectly suited to help us help our clients:

  • Horses provide the opportunity to have a relationship with another living creature.
  • Horses require being “in the moment,” hard work, responsibility, communication skills, and assertiveness.
  • Horses are honest. Their reactions provide a powerful evaluative and intervention tool. Individuals seem to be able to hear a message and apply it to other life situations if it is in the context of their interaction with the horse.
  • Horses have the ability to mirror human body language. Statements such as “the horse doesn’t like me” provide opportunity for individuals to discover that if they change how they interact with the horse, the horse will respond differently towards them.
  • Like humans, horses are social animals. Horses have defined roles/jobs in their herd and have individual characteristics. Horses, like humans, do not all respond the same way to a situation. Horses provide countless opportunities to use metaphors with youth and often parallel what is going on with that individual.
  • Horses create a learning environment that allows direct interaction between adults and youth, where the horse is the teacher and all the rest are students.
  • Horses are awesome creatures both in size and power. From the first interaction, two components are set in place: the youths are removed from a comfortable setting where their problem behavior works for them. They are in a highly structured setting where their safety depends on listening and following rules. This sets the stage for effecting change.
Horses, like many other animals, have telepathic abilities based on the bond they have with other horses and humans. They are powerful spiritual creatures.

 

Our Horses- Continued

Equi-Rhythm is grateful to have the following, privately owned horses, who live at Joder Arabian Ranch, take part in our programs. We thank their owners for allowing their participation.

CHAIRMAN: Owner Caroline Roy

Chairman (Chairs) is a sorrel gelding who was born May 14, 1998, at 7:00 a.m. His dam was Sounding Brass, a chestnut thoroughbred, and his sire is a tri-colored paint Oldenburg gelding (yes, now a gelding) named Wow. According to Caroline (as told to her by his breeder), "Chairman was supposed to be a paint warmblood. His breeder liked to name her horses around current events of the day they were born or something related to their bloodlines or something happening in her life at the time. Chairman was born the day Frank Sinatra died and his nickname was 'Chairman of the Board' (as in 'the Man'). He's always been a huge horse and very kind. He ran through a fence when he was a weanling when a stray dog was chasing him and he ended up with a bone chip on his right hind fetlock. It was removed but the vets didn't give him much hope for being a riding horse. But it looks like he has overcome the odds for now! He was always 'Uncle Chairman' to the younger horses and was a good baby sitter for weanling colts as he liked to play with them. He's never been pampered. He's lived outside all his live with shelter and until he came to Joder's had never had a blanket on. He was broke to ride by a western trainer but he's been ridden English a lot, too, so he's very versatile."

GREY HAWK: Owner Larry Langer

According to Larry, "I found out about Grey Hawk (unregistered Arab, born in 1989) from Randy and Cherryl Winter (of Max Tack). Grey, whose name was Bud Dee at the time, came from Rapid City, SD. Friends of Randy and Cherryl brought him to JAR in November of 1996. I tried him for a month before deciding to keep him. I did not even like him at first, but bought him anyway. He was always good about handling his feet and trailering but has a history of being hard to catch. About 2007 Gray finally figured out he was going to be caught no matter what he did. He has never been a 'hot' horse, but is still body language sensitive and environmentally sensitive. Grey has completed about 200 limited distance miles and 1,530 endurance miles. (Limited distance is 25 or 30 miles and endurance rides begin at 50 miles. There are numerous 5,000-mile endurance horses across the U.S. A woman from Laramie, who got her mare at age 16, just retired her at age 27 with 1,200+ limited distance miles.) Some of Grey's rides were in South Dakota, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Although grey still has very good parameters at the veterinary checks during rides, I will probably just do limited distance with him, beginning in 2010, because of his age. Grey has uviitis. In his case, it's sensitivity to sunlight, so he wears a fly mask most of the time, except during a steady rain or snow."

JASARA: Owner Robert Joder

According to Bob, "Jasara had his beginning in conversations I had with Dr. Butley. The good doctor suggested that I should breed two or three more times to ensure that I would have horses at least for my lifetime. I was reluctant but eventually followed that advice and now find myself with only one horse, Jasara. Jasara was bay when he was born but soon showed his true gray color like his sire, Lucky. The gray gene seems to dominate in Arabian horses so even though Jasara's dam, Misty, was a bay, grey came through. Born in 2009, Jasara is a gelding with a wonderful personality. I have seen him in situations where horses easily spook but he keeps his cool. He is a 'get along' kind of horse. On the down side, Jasara has some structural and neurological problems. With maturity and light use these are correcting themselves. Jasara is the last of the Joder Arabians on the Joder Arabian Ranch."

SASSAFRAS: Owner Virginia Carr

Sassy is a bay mare, born in 1982. According to Ginny, "Sassy came to me as a nine-year-old training level dressage horse. She had been bred in Kentucky and had some sort of bad experiences with men. She was very headshy, and generally not trustful with strangers. We went on to compete at lower level dressage and gradually she became quite a good jumper and fantastic trail horse. Now in complete retirement, she walks as my companion on the trail five days a week. Always spunky, she has adjusted to her new lifestyle and is content. Sassy has become a true walking companion, as she freely walks out with me without the use of a lead rope - better to walk with than many people!"

TARA: Owner Julia Rudy

According to Julie, "Tara (full name Tarastyka) was bred by Magness Arabians in California. Her sire is Fantastyk and her dame is Taren. She was brought to Colorado in 1992 as a two-year-old for the Magness sale and bought by a couple from Evergreen, who trained her in the basics of dressage and hoped to use her for lessons, but her flightiness and spookiness precluded that. I fell in love with her even though she was probably too much horse for me at the time, but she turned out to be perfect for me. She has taught me true horsemanship, something I thought I already knew before she came into my life. I have used Natural Horse training to understand her and to learn how to become her leader. She is quite settled now and we have a great time together. We do some training-level dressage for fitness (not for showing) and mostly ride the beautiful trails at Joder's, where she has been since 1997. She is still reactive at times (especially to strange or sudden noises, sights, and situations) but is well mannered and a lovely girl on the ground. Everyone who handles her says she is very polite and well behaved, but she needs lots of space with regard to other horses as she is still a bit insecure. She loves treats and is my sweet 'princess'".

TOBY: Owner Brianna Haris

According to Brianna, "Toby is my 'Big Red Thoroughbred.' He was born and raised on a racetrack in Kentucky. He never ran in a race, but he sometimes forgets that when he is out on the trail 'walking' home, or jumping fences. He has taught me a lot over the years. I learned how to accept responsibility. In my own riding and in teaching people to ride, if it's not working, it is usually the human's fault. If it's all done perfectly right . . . Toby will move wonderfully. I also learned how to ride a horse that loves to run, and how to relax and enjoy the ride, even when it's faster than intended! 95% of the time Toby is a steady ride . . . while inside. However, he's still a thoroughbred, and that 5% of the 'TB-moments' do occur as a reminder to always be aware while on horseback. Toby has a good work ethic in the arena, as long as life's not just all work and no play. He loves rolling after a ride, and in the summer, snacking on some grass while he drip-dries after being hosed off. He loves treats, especially carrots. Toby does not really like being groomed, but has learned to deal with the necessity of the ordeal. He's good at teaching people how to be gentle, considerate, and aware of horse body language. Toby has a great heart, is quick to forgive, and loves unconditionally."

TOMMY JOE: Owner Robin Maras

Tommy Joe, AKA "Ida's Rebel Joe," is an AQHA quarter horse, born in 1989. Robin Maras purchased the big red horse in 1999 from High Prairie Farm. According to Robin, "Tommy spent his first ten years as a hunter jumper school horse, taking many children around a jump course on his big, strong back. Tommy Joe loves the trail and has spent many hours on the foothills above the Joder Ranch with the several different riders who have leased him over the years. Tommy is a gregarious, people-loving horse. He loves being involved in ranch activities, especially the holiday festival and the Halloween Show. Tommy likes to have a good time but he also has an excellent work ethic in lessons and is always willing to try something new. Several years ago Tommy Joe suffered a severe infection of the right eye that called for surgery at the CSU Veterinary Hospital in Fort Collins. Since then he needs to wear an eye mask (when not being ridden) to protect his eye. This is why you usually see him standing by the gate in his pen, sporting some type of fashionable eye mask, where he's always whinnying for someone to stop by and say 'hi' and maybe give him a cookie".

WINNIE: Owner Alexa Schild

Winnie's former trainer tells the following story about Winnie: "We found Winnie at a Shire breeding farm in Rifle, Colorado. When we got there, three little boys no older than 10 were tromping out of the field with a bucket and a halter. Their mother said that they all go to the field, halter the horse, all climb up on the bucket, and ride Winnie around the field together. Perfect! We rode her, jumped her, had a pre-purchase exam done, and that day took her home to Boulder. She has been so wonderful for the past several years. She loves to jump, and jump big! She stands about 16 hh and is all black with four white socks and a blaze. She was bred in Franktown, out of a TB mare in 1992. She has been the perfect horse for Alexa."