Dunny was a beautiful dun-colored male gelding and at 30 years of age was one of the oldest of the herd. Dunny was a rescue horse and was one of the three original S.A.DL.E.S.’s therapy horses. Although we know little about his early years before arriving at S.A.D.L.E.S., we do know he suffered severe trauma and abuse. Despite his history, or maybe because of it, he always showed great empathy in his connections and interactions with others. He has a very open spirit, was the first one to greet new horses to the herd and is everybody’s friend. The Dunny we grew to know was a kind and gentle soul who was much attuned to others, both horses and humans.
Rey is a large bay colored gelding with a while mark on his forehead and a little white snip on his nose. Also known as Big Rey, he is the largest of the herd, measuring 16 ½ hands. His role in the herd is that of the Alpha male. As the dominant leader of the herd, his job is to keep the herd inline, safe, and protected from danger. Rey has worked with children all his life; his home prior to S.A.D.L.E.S. was the Boys Ranch, where he showed his personality and characteristics for working with kids. It has since become his job and he has proved to be a patient teacher. He is very loyal and takes care of everyone on his back. This gentle giant earns the respect, love, and admiration of everyone he touches.
Cannon is a dark bay gelding with a black mane and tail; he is easily identified by the letter C on his forehead and his stocky build (aka The Tank). He was born in Oklahoma in May 2006 and arrived at S.A.D.L.E.S. in April 2009 along with his younger sister, Ginger. Both Cannon and Ginger have three out of four sets of grandparents listed in the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. He was named by Cher’s father, who was a WWII and Korean War veteran. Oddly enough, Cannon is often the first horse that the veterans are drawn to. Cannon has a laid back yet very confident attitude. He is intelligent, curious, playful, and often a comedian—well-known for stealing snacks or sneaking other items from your back pocket and untying his lead rope from the rail. He can also be very determined, or “stubborn” as some would say, challenging you to be the leader and work for what you want. He requires you to know what you want and to communicate it clearly, and in turn he will give you his utmost respect and cooperation.
Ginger, named for her ginger red coat, arrived at S.A.D.L.E.S. in April 2009 along with her older brother Cannon. Born in Oklahoma in April 2007, she was only a 10 month old unbroken filly when she arrived at SA.D.L.E.S. with her older brother. She was quite the surprise to staff as Charlie had intended to bring only Cannon back, but Ginger stole his heart so he arrived back at S.A.D.L.E.S. with two horses instead of one, much to the delight of staff. She has a white forehead blaze encircling her left eye and has white socks/stockings on all four legs. Her original ginger red color is turning to a more strawberry roan color as she ages. Although she shares a lot of traits with her brother, compared to the “Tank”, her build is quite dainty.
Ginger is curious, bright, eager to learn, and has a sweet disposition. She is also energetic with a lot of “giddy-up.” Her moxie and playful attitude often draw in those who are in the mood to have some fun. If described in human terms, one might say she is a typical teenager. She often likes to be the center of attention. She is very chatty if she has something to say and might become frustrated if she can’t communicate with you. Although she is normally very outgoing, she can be a “chicken little” when faced with something unusual or out of the ordinary. She wants and needs direction from her human friends and is eager to please.
Coffee can be easily identified by her dark coffee colored coat. She is the matriarch of the herd, leading them to food and water, controlling their movement, and looking out for the general well-being of the herd. She was born in Feb. 2003 and arrived at S.A.D.L.E.S. as a retired reiner. Coffee is one of the most vocal horses at S.A.D.L.E.S., and she is also known for having the softest muzzle. She is patient with people, very reliable, and has a soft disposition. Although she is comfortable in her role with the herd, she can sometimes be uncertain of her role with people. She needs to make a connection and have strong leadership in order to effectively work together and achieve goals. Once she makes the connection, Coffee is magic.
QT, born in March 2001, is a professional reining horse who is retired from shows and competition. Her coat is a sorrel color and she has a white blaze on her forehead. When she first arrived at S.A.D.L.E.S. in April 2011, she was a little temperamental and still in the competitive show-horse mode. Since then, she has relaxed and settled in to enjoy the good life at S.A.D.L.E.S. Her competitive spirit and professionalism still shows, not only when working with people, but especially when practicing in the arena with her owner, Meg.
Quite the diva, she is often described as a girly-girl. Although generally introverted, she can be quite a talker when she wants attention. She’s a thinker who tries to read your mind and anticipate what is expected. She is very serious about her job and is a caretaker. She wants to make you happy.
Casey is easily identified by her beautiful red coat and is the only S.A.D.L.E.S. horse with no markings. She was born Feb. 1999 and arrived at S.A.D.L.E.S. as an unbroken 2 year old filly. Casey has been described as a big tomboy, a clown, and seems to think she’s also a competitive eater. She’s quite the comedian, guaranteed to make you laugh if you give her a chance. She is most famous for pulling her upper lip up and showing her pearly whites to all who can see, as if to say, “Do I have alfalfa in my teeth guys?”
Casey is emotional and very sensitive to people and serves as a giant mirror to the emotions of the people she works with. She wants to make a connection with her rider; and once you do she sticks to you like Velcro.
Patriot arrived at the barn a little after 8pm on February 7th 2017 in a trailer with his half-sister, Liberty, very much anxious to see what life had in store for him. At 9 months old, he still has the adorable foal look to him with his wispy tail and tiny features, and eyes that seemed too big for his cute face. Untouched by any human contact until then, Patriot was quick to learn the ways of a domesticated young horse and quick to love as well, capturing the hearts of any who walked into the barn. As a close relative of our mascot, Patriot Pride Bars, and what seemed to be a reincarnation, he was named Patriot. Patriot is recognized solely on his little star on his forehead and his one sock on his back left leg. Now 3 years old at the end of April, Patriot has become a stellar therapy horse in training and a reliable partner to work and ride with. As the youngest horses in the herd, both Patriot and his sister, Liberty, are at the bottom of the herd dynamics.
Liberty, named for her free spirit, is easily told apart by her bright chestnut hide, flaxen mane and tail, her wavy blaze, and her famous “giraffe markings”, also known as lacing on her hindquarters. When the trailer rolled up to the barn that February night, Liberty was less confident than her older brother, preferring to stay close to his rump or in the corner of the stall. Liberty is very sweet, sociable, and quite the fireball. Unlike her brother, Liberty is always looking around and very curious with the world and everything that goes on around her. Nearing her 3rd birthday at the beginning of May, Liberty has learned to yearn for that Equine-Human connection and has become a very willing partner.
Noche is the only horse in the S.A.D.L.E.S. barn that is not a Quarter horse. A Missouri Fox Trotter at the young age of 21, Noche is a deep dark brown with the top half of her right ear missing from an unfortunate accident with another animal before she made it to our barn. Before becoming a therapy horse, Noche worked for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office as a posse horse, carrying a stoic history of standing her ground but becoming a part of a herd is something she is learning and embracing, which makes her a great therapy horse.