MEET THE HORSES
ELSA wouldn’t be the same without our amazing horses who inspire, guide, and teach our participants each and every day. To learn more about this rescued equine team, take a look at some of their bios below.
Breed: Connemara / Age: 20 / Color: Black
Riley landed as a mis-fit at a local barn. Reports were he had previously been a fancy show horse but had fallen on tough times when his human went to college and he was living in a carport with no one riding him. Susan and Riley connected in 2012 when the barn decided to sell him because he didn’t fit in. Riley helped launch ELSA’s programs. He loves his job and all the attention he gets during it! A confident and playful horse, Riley is well rounded and takes care of the humans around him with special attention. To know him is to love him!
Breed: National Show Horse / Age: 12 / Color: Chestnut
Freddy was considered “an unwanted child” by his previous owner. His long story doesn’t fit here, but in brief, he was living in a dark 10x10 stall pretty much 24/7 with no attention and very little time out. They thought he was crazy and dangerous. When we met Freddy, what we saw was a youngster full of potential! Freddy was donated to ELSA in 2017 and since then, he has realized that life can be good. Freddy is already working with wheelchairs and groups during ELSA’s programs. Freddy is a gentle equine soul who is longing for stability and love.
Breed: Thorobred Cross / Age: 15 / Color: Bay
Jimmy Choo is a retired hunter/jumper show horse who was donated to ELSA at the end of 2016. His old trainer said he is lazy and doesn’t like to jump, and he’s a big love bug so we took him! We put Jimmy into rehab and are working through old injuries from being an athlete his entire life. Jimmy already works with individuals with special needs during ELSA’s programs every week. Soon he will carry our bigger riders for therapeutic riding because they will like that he’s “lazy”. Since being here, he enjoys spending time turned out with his paddock buddy, Chase.
Breed: Welsh Cobb / Age: 18 / Color: Seal Brown
Rudy was donated to ELSA at the end of 2015 because he had no job at his previous home. Originally bought for a grandchild who showed no interest, Rudy was first donated to another nonprofit who returned him. Working with Rudy is a real challenge! He is busy as can be and has a hard time settling down. But his “horsenality” makes him fun and a challenge to work with which some participants really enjoy. Rudy is used in ELSA’s therapeutic riding as well as other programs serving individuals with special needs.
Breed: Miniature Horse / Age 22 / Color: White
When we first met Fero, we couldn't believe his overgrown hooves, matted mane and big tummy! Sadly, no one had been caring for Fero since his human passed away. He came to ELSA in February 2019. Fero is trained to pull carts! We have his cart and tack which are in need of repair. Once that's fixed and Fero is in shape and healthy, he will go to work delighting children with special needs and being a hub of interactions during ELSA's ranch camp program. Fero is a bundle of cuteness who's eager for his work!
Breed: Icelandic / Age: 23 / Color: Pinto
Oreo and ELSA teamed up together when Oreo’s human decided he needed a new job. She was deep in her career as a school teacher and had little time to spend with Oreo. Since joining the ELSA team, he has provided therapeutic riding for many youth and young adults with disabilities and equine-assisted activities that teach horse skills, ranch skills and social skills. Oreo is especially good at his job because he is confident, stoic and dependable.
Breed: Quarter Horse / Age: 11 / Color: Paint
We got Chase from Thousand Oaks in 2013 to be #2 horse for ELSA. What we liked about Chase is his easy temperament and that he was so well trained. We knew he’d be a great asset for ELSA and so he went right to work. What we didn’t know was that he was not ready for the work. He was a young, strong and spirited horse who needed to experience life a little. So for several years, Chase trained on the trails to gain a new, more confident outlook his life. He returned to ELSA programs in May 2017. This time, he is ready for the job!
“The grace and beauty of the horse enthralls us today in the same way it enthralled caveman artists if many millennia ago. Horses are living works of art."