Our Horses

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Our horses are the foundation team members of Envision programs.

Envision horses are specially chosen for their temperament, life experiences, soundness, conformation and movement as well as their desire and ability to be a dependable partner in their interactions with clients. Each horse receives extensive training to prepare them for their role in equine assisted therapeutic activities. Our trained volunteers know how to best assist and care for the horses so they can thrive in their roles as therapeutic partners. We are always looking for good and dependable horses for our programs.

 

Monte

Monte

Monte is owned by Chris Kirk, who generously allows us to work with this amazing horse. Monte Carlo is a Trakehner with a brilliant previous career in dressage and jumping. He is a beautiful mover with correct gaits and a caretaker temperament. Monte has many years of experience with therapeutic riding. He loves attention and gives great horse hugs.

Lullaby

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Lullaby, an Arabian, was born and bred in Oregon and came to Arizona in 1999. She is a 23 year old Chestnut mare about 14.3H. She was a former show and endurance horse and is used in both our equine assisted therapy and therapeutic riding programs. She is owned by the Bull Family who graciously allow us to work with this lovely horse.

Rebel

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Rebel, a 30″ tall miniature horse,  was born in 1997.  At 197 pounds,  he is our little ambassador as he attends different venues to promote our program.  He is perfect for our participants who may at first be intimidated by the larger horses and is also nationally certified as a Pet Partner®, visiting nursing homes for animal assisted therapies.  Rebel has participated in two Tournament of Roses Parades, the Fiesta Bowl and Parada del Sol Parades in a driving miniature horse drill team. His story is also featured in “Chicken Soup for the Horse Lovers Soul II”.

Bullet

Bullet

 

 

 

Bullet is owned by Chris Kirk, who generously allows us to work with this lovely horse. A buckskin quarterhorse, Bullet is well-mannered and a solid mount for riding.  His specialties for Envision are equine assisted learning and equine assisted psychotherapy.  His ability to read people and engage or disengage in response to their true emotional state is phenomenal./one_fourth_last]

Prince – In Memorium

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Prince was owned by Chris Kirk, who generously allowed us to work with this gentlemanly horse. One of his best friends offered to share one of their moments with us. Prince’s ability and willingness to connect with people no matter their circumstances helped many clients.  We honor him, and thank Chris for sharing this special horse with us.  Prince crossed the rainbow bridge at the age of 41 this winter, and is sorely missed.

Tinker Toy

tinkerTinker Toy is a miniature horse who is particularly fond of children.  The feeling is mutual.  A good friend of Tinker Toy shared this photo.

Rillo

My birth certificate reads: Golden Campbell, born March 24, 1984 in Amarillo, Texas. Since “Goldy” is a girl’s name and “Campbell” is a soup, I go by “RILLO” (pronounced ‘RIO’ – the two L’s are silent) after the last syllable of my birthplace city.

For my first twelve years, I was a movie star! My owner, Ben Johnson (an actor who performed with John Wayne and other cowboy stars) took me across the southwest, traveling from movie set to movie set. I think I was on the remake of ‘Bonanza’, but I’m not sure. I was busy!

In 1996, Ben retired and sent me to his nephew in Arizona to find a good home for me … and, boy, did I get lucky! Vicki and Roger adopted me right away!

Along with being part of Vicki and Roger’s family, I’ve recently acquired two other families as well. I live with the Kirk ‘herd’ and also get to participate in the ENVISION program. While my hearing and my sight may not be as good as they used to be, I’m still very responsive to a voice and a touch. I’ve received a lot of love these past 19 years and it’s nice to give love back in return … even if I don’t get a carrot. A hug and a pat on the neck is more than enough.

Wanted

Horse trained to ride and drive.  Able to comfortably carry an adult male up to 210 -220 pounds. Sound at walk, trot and canter both leads, with smooth transitions and well socialized. Excellent ground manners a must.

Wanted

Horse trained to ride, vaulting experience helpful.  Able to comfortably carry an adult up to 180 pounds.  Sound at walk, trot and canter on both leads, with smooth transitions and well socialized. Excellent ground manners a must.

Wanted

Portable 30 foot round pen or corral.  When we go to visit community events, we have a nice corral for Rebel, Tinker Toy, or Sweet Kisses to relax in at liberty.  We would like to have a portable corral that full-size horses can use.  This would enable us to help many more people who need us.

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About Horses

Horses evolved as social grazers of the plains, group survivalists moving and grazing together most all of the time. During their 60-million-year evolution, horses came to require near-constant forage, friends and locomotion to maintain health.

In natural settings, horses walk and graze with other horses two thirds of the time. They take a step and graze, then another step or two grazing and moving along, always observing their surroundings, grazing while in touch with other members of the herd unless playing, occasionally dozing or sleeping, but only under the secure and established watch of others.  Horses are a quiet species. They prefer calm, and learn most efficiently in tranquil, familiar settings. Horses must know and be comfortable and secure in their environment to be able to learn. As to dominance, the science reveals that free-ranging horses form social hierarchies that are complex and rarely linear. Under natural open range conditions with adequate resources, horses seldom have the equivalent of an alpha individual because the roles of leadership and defense are more critical than domination.  Leadership is shared and alternated and variable and context dependent in established harems in natural settings. Dominance is not prevalent. When present, it facilitates group protection and stability.  Survival is herd based, rather than individual based. The lead mare leads the horses to water and grazing and resting places. She drinks first to make sure the water is safe. Horses seek competent leadership and are willing to accept competent leadership from humans.

As with people, strong social bonds develop between individual horses and groups of horses. This herd nature results in intense social pair and herd bonds. Horses need other horses. Horses require other horses for security, comfort, and behavioral health. Horses need friends throughout their entire life, first their teaching mother, and then their teaching herd. They are physiologically dependent on shared social grooming and sensual contact. Today’s domestic horse needs horse friends and human friends. Horses need friends so greatly and constantly, that horses allow humans to substitute as friends. This is possible because man shares a sociality with domestic horses. We speak their gesture language, and horses speak ours. We share a language of movement, and language described as kinetic empathy.

Over thousands of years, perhaps tens of thousands of years, the horse herds gradually merged with human societies. A shared language described by contemporary scientists as kinetic empathy, a language of movement, and similar compatible social structures facilitated the merging of the two species. The Mongol word for horse is takh, meaning spirit.

-Dr. Sid Gustafson, University of Guelph, equine veterinarian, veterinary behaviorist, and novelist.

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