Meet our Equine Staff
Mt. Holly Farm
Bear is a very handsome 16hh bay DraftX born in 2005. Prior to arriving at our Mt. Holly farm in 2021, Bear had done a little bit of everything from Eventing, Hunter Paces, Trail Riding and even taking his riders through the McDonald’s and Dunkin’ drive thrus! He is a favorite for his gentle and “I can do that” personality along with his great size. Bear will continue his training while serving therapy and therapeutic riding clients. His favorite thing to do is trail ride where he can explore and transfer his braveness to his rider.
Buddy is a red roan, 15.3 hh Quarter Horse gelding foaled in 2006. Before coming to SHF, Buddy competed on the C hunter circuit. His show name ‘My Best Pal’ fits Buddy perfectly: He is one of the sweetest, kindest geldings, loves attention, and always tries his best. He joined our program in 2021 and is already a barn and therapy favorite. Buddy is best friends with Huck but really gets along with everyone.
Calvin is a handsome bay OTTB who joined the Conover Farm team in February of 2019. Standing at 16.1 hh, Calvin is very athletic and loves to work. In his previous career, he was a Polo pony for 15 years before retiring to the simpler life on the farm and his sweet personality won over the hearts of the staff and volunteers very quickly. Calvin is great for therapeutic riding and recreational riding and loves going out on the trail. Calvin is on a generous lease to the farm.
Aka Cappi, named Captain hook for his cool hook-shaped marking on his face. Cappi is a fun-loving, chipper, little fellow who is always ready for the job. Standing at 13.1hh, this chummy gelding is a liver chestnut Shetland pony cross, foaled in 2001 and is owned by Delane Clark who generously allows him to be used for the programs at SHF. Captain Hook has a doppelganger among our horses at the Mecklenburg location.
Chase is a thoroughbred gelding born in 2009 who has already successfully completed his first career on the racetrack. After retiring from his racing career, Chase joined our equine staff in 2019 and has proved himself to to be a great therapy horse, not phased by any therapy tools or toys that come his way. Chase’s purchase was made possible by the generous grant provided by the Carolina Panthers Charities.
Mt. Holly Farm
Cisco is an 18 year old quarter pony. Standing at 13.2 hh Cisco excels in both therapy sessions and lessons. He truly has a heart of gold! Cisco was a Pony Club mount before coming to Shining Hope Farms and loves to jump and trail ride. Cisco was generously donated to SHF by Julie Winfield.
Mt. Holly Farm
Everyone can’t help but love Dunkin. Just imagine a roly-poly horse eating a box of donuts and getting his belly scratched. That about sums it up. This laid-back American Foundation Quarter Horse came from the ranges of Colorado and has a ranch brand to show for it. But he’s much happier at his current job – herding cattle takes too much work! Dunkin was born in 2001, 15.0hh dun gelding who is usually easy to spot with his mo-hawk mane & zebra-striped legs.
Mt. Holly Farm
Epic aka Epic Splash is a 2007 grey Welsh Pony cross. This athletic pony is a natural at being a therapy pony. With beautiful three-dimensional movement and a great mind set he happily carries our clients through their therapy sessions. Epic loves cuddling with his riders and loves getting groomed and eating treats. In his former career, Epic was a very talented hunter pony and still occasionally loves to jump around small courses. Epic loves trail riding and playing in the water. He also enjoys rolling and is known for finding the dirtiest spot in the pasture to roll in especially after a thorough bath! He is definitely a barn favorite. Epic is on a generous donated lease from the Smith Family to Shining Hope Farms.
Mt. Holly Farm
Fritz is a handsome blonde Haflinger gelding, standing at 14 hands high. He is one of the most popular ponies at SHF for his humorous personality and cute looks. This guy not only works in the SHF programs, but also can be seen regularly at horse shows competing in dressage, sidesaddle, and jumping. He enjoys being doted on by his owner, Madison Hood-Bowker. But Fritz does his best work in our hippotherapy program. He loves serving the kids, especially those that are highly involved. Compared to his training, to him, hippotherapy is not work and he is happy to plod around all day.
Gambler is a chestnut Hanoverian warmblood gelding born in 2008. He is one of the newer additions to our program and was graciously donated to our program by Kathy Davis. He is currently the tallest equine in our program standing at 16.3hh. In his previous career, Gambler successfully competed in the hunters. Now he is enjoying his quieter lifestyle and loves hanging out with his buddies in the pasture.
Shining Hope Farms’ famous gentle giant is the heaviest equine at Shining Hope Farms. The Percheron/Quarter Horse gelding carries beginner adult riders safely and smoothly in riding lessons. With his even pace and his rhythmic gates, he builds confidence in timid riders. Gideon loves getting groomed, usually falling asleep in the crossties, but especially enjoys long trail rides. Gideon was partially donated by Wendy Cracovia.
Mt. Holly Farm
Hamilton is a rescue pony. Saved from a bad situation and later donated by police officer Gina Cook, he is now eagerly improving the quality of life of many of our clients. Better known as “Hami,” he is one of our most lively ponies at SHF – nothing phases him in the surroundings and he really likes to move! Clients who have trouble focusing or feel at ease with a lot of sensory input, love to ride Hami and his bouncy gaits. Hamilton was born in 2004 and is a 14.2hh palomino POA (Pony of the Americas) gelding. Hamilton also loves to jump and trail ride.
Howard is a 16.1hh paint x draft gelding foaled in 2004. Howard is a PMU foal and was rescued by Dana Dewey of Foothill Equestrian Center. Howard is a beautiful big boy with three floaty gaits and shows promise in the Dressage arena. Howard loves scratches, being groomed and most of all being outside with his horse buddies. In the past, Howard has done extensive de-spooking and braveness training, i.e. riding alongside fire, through obstacle courses, and staying calm around loud noises. Howard enjoys trail riding and loves the water: In the summer you will find him trying to stand and swim in his water trough in the pasture and teaching the other horses to do so as well.
Huck is a 2014 Morgan Quarter Horse Cross. He stands at 14’3 hh and is still in training to become a therapy and lesson horse. Huck was originally trained for ranch work, is very playful, loves attention, and is best friends with Buddy and Teddy. He has great gaits and loves to work. Huck is a fantastic addition to our equine staff and we are excited to see him work in our program.
Leo – aka Leo Lionheart- is a Gypsy Vanner x Quarter Horse born in 2015. Leo’s quietness and boldness have made him an ideal therapy horse despite being the youngest Shining Hope Farms horse. Leo’s perfect heart on his forehead has already made him a barn favorite!
Mt. Holly Farm
Lewis is a 15.3hh registered Paint, foaled on March 22, 2002. Lewis, who was donated to SHF by Maddie Hazelbaker, quickly became central to our programs and continues to impress and serve his many clients. Lewis really does it all- from therapy, beginner lessons, to Cross Country Jumping, and Dressage competitions-Lewis always shows a great attitude and lots of patience with riders and handlers. Lewis loves to swim- in fact he is the reason we had to fence in the meadow adjoining the little pond at the Mecklenburg location. Lewis simply swam through the pond regularly to graze on the other side.
Marshall, also known and loved as ‘Marshmallow,’ is a 1998, 15.3hh bay Appendix Quarter Horse gelding. He is known for his amazing ability to sense the kind of rider he is carrying on his back- slowing it down for the more anxious, or smaller rider and speeding it up for those who are able and wanting to do more. Marshall is always ready to work, forward thinking, and keeps his riders attentive. Marshall is a reliable partner on trails and in the arena, enjoying both riding lessons and Hippotherapy, and loves trail riding and is also a talented jumper.
Mt. Holly Farm
Memphis is a 2016, sorrel Belgian X gelding who joined our program in 2021. Memphis spent most of 2021 working hard to become a therapy horse and we have recently started integrating him into our programs. Memphis is 15’2 hh and sturdy with a fantastic walk and loves to work, which makes him an ideal therapy horse. Memphis’ cute face and cuddly personality instantly made him a barn favorite and we are excited for the future with him.
Moon is a 2003, 14.2 hand Sorrel Mustang gelding who came to Shining Hope Farms in 2019. Moon is a titled mustang, captured and freeze branded in 2004 by the Bureau of Land Management. He is a staple for our veterans as well as for our clients in our therapy program at our Conover Farm.
Ninja is a registered Haflinger gelding that was born in 1995. He was donated by Dana Dewey of Foothills Equestrian Center. He is short (around 13.2hh) and has a very stocky build. Ninja is built like a tank. Sometimes he forgets that and has to be reminded that he must follow rather than lead. We don’t know much of his history, but Ninja has proved to be a steady horse for our riders. He excels in the rec riding program and has proved his worth as a reliable walk/trot horse. He has an incredibly smooth conveyor belt trot that allows his riders to become comfortable trotting. They are then able to learn how to post the trot on a smooth ride rather than getting bounced out of the saddle. Ninja also loves to take his riders on the trails. This is his happy place and he is probably one of the most sure-footed horses on the property. Ninja is also beginning to prove his worth in the therapy programs both in therapeutic riding and hippotherapy. His height is loved by the volunteers and his steadiness is great for the kids. Ninja is also known as our big talker at the farm. He has quite the personality and always has to announce his presence when he enters the barn or say hello when he sees someone coming around.
Odie is one of several senior citizens at our Conover location. He is a black pony who is starting to show some grey, but you would not know his age when it comes to working in the programs. He’s game for lead-line sessions and teaching kids walk, trot, canter, and maybe even a small jump here and there. One of our past clients, at nine years old, coined the name for the little pony. Standing at 13.2hh, Odie is a Morgan/Welsh pony cross gelding born in 1992. He is a great teacher in our recreational/therapeutic programs and even though hippotherapy isn’t his favorite thing he still helps out and his small stature is perfect for it.
Patchy is a pinto pony gelding born in 2011 recently donated by Kendra Pearson-Hilt & her mother. He was purchased for Kendra’s horseback riding lesson program located in Hiddenite, NC and her son learned to ride on Patchy. He’s quite a flashy tri-colored pony and he knows it! While being quite a loudmouth lil dude, he is a superb therapy and trail riding mount.
Peter Pan is a 14hh Paint Pony purchased from Dana Dewey of Foothills Equestrian Center. Pan is the most recent addition to our equine staff, but is already loved by clients and staff for his lively demeanor and his cute appearance. His smooth forward movement and narrow build is a great asset to our program. Pan also proves to be quite the talented lesson pony and jumper. He is the doppelganger of Captain Hook at the Mount Holly location and named accordingly. Pan was born approximately in 2007, is therefore one of the younger equine members of our team and we hope to benefit from his partnership for many more years.
Mt. Holly Farm
Riley is a dark black Arabian- Quarter Horse gelding and Zane’s half- brother. Born in 1997, Riley, like Zane is approximately 14.1hh tall. In his few years at Shining Hope Farms, Riley has become essential to the program, carrying one of the heaviest workloads, utilized in both recreational riding lessons and Hippotherapy. He is loved for his sturdy build, his size, and smooth gaits. Riley is also a great swimmer and cross- rail jumper. Like Zane, Riley was generously donated by Chamblee Simonsen.
“What’s It To Ya” aka Sammy a Welsh Pony gelding, was foaled in 2000 and has been serving clients at Shining Hope Farms since he was five years old. Sammy therefore is probably SHF’s most experienced equine. He is known to ‘lead himself’ through a therapy session, a Steady-Eddie, who is usually the go-to pony whenever a client is anxious and unsure. Sammy was born a dark black color but has since then lightened out to be a flea-bitten grey standing at 14.1 hands. He’s notorious for giving his riders a “Sammy hug” after they dismount. Sammy is one of our all-round ponies, invaluable not only in Hippotherapy and for beginner lessons, but also in the show ring, especially in Dressage.
Scooter is a 13.2 hh POA (Pony of the Americas) born in 2005. He joined our program this year and has already proved himself as a solid lesson and therapy horse. Scooter was a foxhunter in his previous career and is fearless, brave, and honest- truly one of those ponies ready to tackle whatever you throw at him. He is known for his roached mane and the typical POA coloring. He loves attention and is the first to greet you at his stall door.
Teddy is a bay Gypsy Vanner X gelding born in 2012. He joined our equine staff in 2018 and has already won over our staff, volunteer, and clients’ hearts with his sweet and goofy personality- reminding us much of a big teddy bear. Teddy is already carrying a great portion of our therapy services and therapeutic riding programs.
Toto is a black, 13.3 hh Arabian x gelding who was recently donated to our program by Laura Borek. Born in 2013, Toto entered our program in the summer of 2021 and is still learning the ropes of being a therapy pony. We are slowly introducing him to both lessons and therapy sessions. He is already loved for his quiet demeanor, narrow but sturdy build, and fantastic movement at the walk. His best friend is Scooter, one of our other new ponies, and you will find the two of them joined at the hip whenever they are turned out in the pasture.
Wallie is a chestnut Morgan X born in 2003. Wallie stands at 14’3 hh and joined our program in early 2021. He was graciously donated to us by Mackenzie Huffman and has proven to be one of the horses that carry our program. He is both a fantastic lesson and therapy horse: Patient and smart, Wallie is not easily phased, handles stressful situations with ease, and loves to work. Before coming to SHF, Wallie did a variety of things from western lesson horse to eventing (which is definitely Wallie’s favorite discipline).
Willy is the little black pony that can do it all! Willy has competed extensively in Pony Club rallies, horse shows, and mounted games competitions before working at SHF. He’s won against much larger horses in jump rounds up to heights of 2’9”, which is much higher than his chest! Willy has brought numerous young riders up through the levels and is a fantastic babysitter. Because of his short height and experience, Willy is one of the favorites for Hippotherapy as well. Standing at 13.0 hands high, Willy is a 1997 Welsh A Pony gelding.
Zane is a cute grey Arab- Quarter Horse cross, known for his gentle personality. The 14.1hh gelding is a favorite in both Hippotherapy and riding lessons, loved for his great character and size. Born in 2001, Zane only became part of the Shining Hope Farms equine family a few years ago but is already essential to the program. Chamblee Simonsen generously donated Zane and his brother Riley, who lives at the SHF Mecklenburg location, to Shining Hope Farms.
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