Classical "Cookie" is a 10 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 10 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.
Tadpole is a 16 year old quarter horse who belongs to Meredith and Dylan Phillips of New Beginnings Farm. 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 here at JoyRide teaching our riders a whole lot.
Pippin joined the JoyRide herd of lesson horses Sept 2020. A 15 year old Arabian cross, Pippin was a stray pony (have you ever heard of that?) who was picked up by animal control and eventually landed here after changing hands a few times. He is a quiet, sweet soul who has yet to open up to us fully but is trying pretty hard. He is a rockstar on the trails. Many of our riders have already fallen in love with him and he has a lot to teach about the process of giving a horse confidence in a new home.
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.
Millie is a 9 year old Haflinger mare. She is currently recovering from an injury, but will be ready to come back to work early 2021. Millie is green, but extremely willing and intelligent, 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.
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.
Kiefer is a 16 year old quarter horse owned by Amy Ochterski. While he is not a regular lesson horse, he is an excellent substitute when one of ours needs a break. Kiefer loves to eat and loves to make goofy faces after he gets a treat. He also likes to suggest that riders leave the arena and do something more interesting like have a snack. We love his character and his gentle, kind way of taking care of his riders.
We can't leave out Acorn, Penny, Ari, and Sunny from our list of horses. These horses are exclusively in lessons with their owners. They are all wonderful in their own ways!