Horse Selection 

Horses are intuitive by nature and respond best to kindness, consistency, and respect. Our horses are carefully chosen based on their natural interest in human interaction, and on their inquisitive, patient, and pleasant dispositions. Every animal has its own personality and preferences, which are taken into consideration when pairing each one up with a participant. The best equines suited for adaptive riding and horsemanship come from all disciplines and breeding, but are ideally aged 18 and under, 16.2 hands and under, and are sound at the walk, trot, and canter. If you think you might have an equine suitable for donation to our program, please email  

Animal Care 

A selectively trained, highly dedicated group of staff and volunteers cleans the paddocks and tends to the animals at least four times a day. Farrier Steve McAlister and The Humble Hoof's Alicia Harlov provide shoeing and barefoot trimming, respectively, every four to six weeks. Commonwealth Equine and Black Pond Veterinary Service offer the animals excellent preventive onsite dental and medical care throughout the year. 

Animal Nutrition & Environment 

Program horses follow a forage-based, anti-inflammatory diet, including balanced supplementation of Vermont Blend and natural vitamin E, to encourage optimal hoof, coat, and gut health. High-quality first and second-cut hay is fed free choice in slow-feed bags to encourage gradual and frequent consumption, which reduces the chance of common equine ailments such as gastric ulcers. All horses have access to their outdoor paddocks around the clock with the brand-new addition of Dutch doors to the original barn. This gives each animal the opportunity for freedom of movement, promotes proper circulation and respiratory health, and grants them the ability to socialize with other members of the barn at their leisure.

Support Our Herd


Bella, a dark brown horse, stands outside Bella is a steady and sweet 15.2-hand, 20-year-old Quarterhorse/Thoroughbred mare who hails from West Barnstable. Prior to her arrival, she enjoyed a career as a child's eventing partner. Bella is unflappable through all sorts of terrain and obstacles, and she's a great addition to our hippotherapy team, too!

Finn, a large brown horse, stands outside a barn on a sunny day

Finn is a dependable and trustworthy 16.2-hand, 20-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding who holds many years of experience with riders of all ages and abilities. Finn is patient to stand for grooming and for hugs, and he is slow and steady in the arena. He loves sprawling out flat in his double in-and-out stall at night for a good snooze!

Jim, a light brown horse with a white blonde mane

Jim is an inquisitive and playful 14-hand, 8-year-old Haflinger gelding who was imported as a yearling from Austria! Jimmy has an athletic build and a long, luxurious flaxen mane and tail. As the youngest equine of the herd, Jimmy is in training for his new role in adaptive riding and hippotherapy.

a large caramel colored horse grazes outside on a sunny day with woods in the background

Max is a dependable and sturdy 14.3-hand, 22-year-old Haflinger gelding who knows his job very well. He is a versatile member of the herd, offering both leadline lessons for beginners, as well as walk, trot, and canter sessions for more experienced riders. Max is our resident “foodie” and is forever an opportunist: he is always looking for a chance to grab a snack!

Spirit, a dark brown horse with a white stripe up its face. Spirit is a docile and forgiving 13-hand, 28-year-old Welsh Cob gelding with a lot of experience taking young riders around their first jump courses. He is wise beyond his years, and extremely patient with new and experienced equestrians alike. Although he has retired from higher jumps, Spirit still loves ground poles and all sorts of obstacles and puzzles.


a sheep grazes outside Finnigan is a 32” 1-year-old wether Finn Sheep with a sweet, sensitive personality. Finnigan enjoys looking for opportunities to graze outside of his paddock...the grass IS always greener on the other side. He enjoys learning the ropes of leading and obstacle navigation by following in his pal Sully’s hoof steps.

Sully, a sheep, looks toward the camera while standing outside Sully is a 36” 1.5-year-old wether Finn Sheep with a voracious appetite for food and affection! He loves hugs, frolicking in his paddock, and going for rides in the car (complete with his specialized sheep diaper). Sully helps beginners learn safe handling and leading skills while offering them many opportunities to snuggle.