Classical "Cookie" is a 11 year old Welsh pony cross who came to JoyRide in August 2018 and belongs to Elle. She quickly became the cornerstone of the lesson program. Cookie is a typical "stinky pony" with plenty of tricks up her sleeve, most of which involve eating or knocking over things for fun. Cookie is exceptionally talented at standing still, which makes her perfect for beginner lessons and for riders who are fearful or have some unexpected behaviors. Believe it or not, Cookie can really move (though she keeps it a secret), and is also quite talented at jumping and loves a good adventure.
Gabriel joined the JoyRide team of lesson horses December 2018, and so Elle often calls him her Christmas horse. Gabriel, who is 11 years old, was born and raised in the Triangle region and is an expert in Parelli style natural horsemanship, especially join-up groundwork. He is 3/4 quarter horse and 1/4 draft horse. A training project to begin with, Gabriel has blossomed into the most steady and wonderfully happy lesson horse ever. He is an expert teacher of straightness and how it relates to forward motion. While Gabe is not a fan of hard work, he loves hanging out with people and particularly loves children and beginner riders.
Rosie is a wonderful 21 year old American paint horse with a ton of training and expert knowledge to teach our riders. She is owned by Ms. Patti, who is letting us borrow her for the lesson program. Rosie is very sensitive, sweet, and shy, and has a lot to teach about the more subtle cues of riding. Her strawberry roan paint color is very striking and she has one blue eye and one eye that is both blue and brown.
Riggs is a 21 year old Tennessee walking horse and has been with us since March 2021. Riggs has gained a lot of weight and training (by Chrissie!) in the last 4 months and is adapting super well to the lesson horse life. He sometimes thinks a trail might be more fun and heads that way... he is super quirky and we are enjoying getting to know him and watching him blossom.
Millie is a 10 year old Haflinger mare. She is still learning the job and has a lot of enthusiasm and intelligence, so she has been teaching our riders about horse training and how to adapt their riding to a different stage of training. Millie is well known for her vocal abilities and sings us all lots of songs.
Tadpole is a 17 year old quarter horse who belongs to Kathy Wakeman. She is multi-talented, excelling in everything from competitive dressage to athletic jumping to trail rides to beginner lessons on lead. She has quite a motor and a touch more enthusiasm for working than is really required, and likes to make funny faces after eating a treat. We are very lucky to have her continue in the lesson program -- she teaches our riders a whole lot!
Rio is a 24 year old paint horse owned by instructor Chrissie Schalkoff. Rio is for advanced riders only because she tries her best to always do what is being asked, even if the rider did not mean to ask it! Rio loves to canter and jump and has no idea that she is 24. She also shows off a couple times a year with Chrissie walk trot and canter with no tack.
Princess Paisley is a draft appaloosa cross owned by Rebecca Todd Bell. She helps out with camps and occasional lessons. Paisley used to be a vaulting horse, but found that going in circles wasn't as fun as going on trail rides and learning lateral movements. Paisley is currently at Intro-Training level Dressage and learning all the time! As the biggest horse in the barn, she is an excellent mount for adults all the way down to the tiniest kid.
We can't leave out Penny, Sunny, and Ari from our list of horses. These horses are exclusively in lessons with their owners. They are all wonderful in their own ways!