Meet Our Horses
Registered Name: Hinas Poco Start
Breed: Quarter Horse
Size: 14.2 Hands
Favorite Treat:Carrots and Apples
Best Horse Friend: Jack
Cocoa is a Buckskin Quarter Horse gelding. He was the first horse purchased for the Walk On program at a western lesson barn. His story follows:
I went to see Cocoa at a barn in Bull Valley, Illinois I arrived ahead of the scheduled appointment on purpose and was therefore able to observe a group of horses outside in a dry paddock area. I was attracted to a 14.2 hand dark quarter horse resting in the field. He had a kind eye and a gentle look on his face. Of course, that horse was COCOA. I watched Cocoa in a lesson with a 9 year old girl. He was kind and took excellent care of her; walking, trotting and cantering on command. To show off his temperament, the instructor threw a beach ball at him, played a radio, and then jumped up and down yelling and screaming. She also had a rider carry a large flag from his back. While cantering with the flag, the flag wrapped around Cocoa head. He calmly halted and waited to be rescued. I knew for certain then, that he would be great for the Walk On program.
Cocoa is indeed a kind and gentle participant in our program. Because of his trustworthy nature, he is usually the first horse that participants ride when they come to Walk On. Each day he helps children to sit up tall, guide through obstacles, ride without help, and learn to trot and canter. Each day as I watch Cocoa work, I am grateful that Cocoa works for us.
Breed: Pony of America
Size: 12.2 hand
Favorite Treat: Carrots
Best Horse Friend: Thomas
Foxy is a 20 something Roan pony. He is famous around Barrington for taking good care of riders.
Foxy is what I call a pass around pony. He is owned by a Barrington Family who out grew him years ago. They didn’t want to sell him but did want him to have a useful life. So he is passed to the next child in need of a kind pony. When his last rider outgrew him, Walk On was privileged to have him join our herd.
Foxy has done it all. He is a pony club pony, shown in dressage and jumping as well as a ride and shoot. But he excels at taking care of his riders. Foxy is a BIG horse hiding in a pony body. Foxy has a can do attitude. He is always game for any new activity. This makes him invaluable as a therapeutic riding horse. He tries his best to do any task asked of him: whether its to stand quietly while a scared child learns riding is fun or tolerates all the ring paraphernalia, teaching new volunteers to lead, patiently waiting while a rider fumbles around trying to pick feet. He is tolerant of all activities. He is not a push-over pony however. If you are brusque with him, he will quietly turn his back on you. For children who rush into his stall to start the lesson, he teaches them to take a moment to say hello. When they do, they are always rewarded with a nuzzle from Foxy. I can’t figure out how such a big heart can live in such a small body.
Breed: Grade pony probably Quarter horse
Size: 13.2 hands
Favorite Treat: Carrots and Apples
Best Horse Friend: Friends with all the horses
Taco is a buckskin grade pony gelding. He has 2 brands on his hips. He is small and smart. He came from a sale barn named Timmermans.
The Blind Date:
Buying a horse from a dealer is like a blind date. Your friends set you up with a great guy or girl: pretty/handsome, smart, funny etc. When you meet this person they may turn out to be exactly what your friend said or the exact opposite. The thing is sometimes your friends are completely wrong about the person but it this date turns out to be perfect. The date turns into Mr/Mrs right. That’s how it is when you buy a horse from a dealer, you never know exactly what you are getting till you get to know the horse. Taco turned out to be Mr Right.
I first saw Taco on the internet. He sure looked cute and Walk On was looking for a sturdy pony and Taco filled the bill. I called and got his particulars. I was told he was 10 years old and came from a family in Iowa. When I went to see him, a small girl about 7 or 8 was riding him in a lesson. He patiently walked, trotted and cantered with her. I could see that he took good care of her. I rode him. He was able to carry himself like a dressage horse. He leg yielded and did shoulder in and haunches in without difficulty. I knew we wanted to buy this pony. When buying a pony or horse it’s always a good idea to have a veterinarian look them over. I was on pins and needles the day we had Taco “vetted”. He passed his vet check with flying colors except for one glaring issue he was not 10 years old but more like 4 or 5. This is usually a good surprise but in therapeutic horseback riding a young horse may find the work too boring.
Taco came home and fit right into the herd. He started training and he is so smart it took him almost no time to learn his job. Taco is the horse of choice for cantering as he loves to work. He also loves to play. Turned loose in the arena and Taco can be seen moving the cones with his teeth and throwing the beanie babies and bean bags at the other horses. He has even been known to knock over and roll the barrels. Taco is always up for a game.
He likes to hang around with Jack and sometimes Thomas.
Breed: Paint Gelding
Size: 15.2 hand
Favorite Treat: Carrots
Best Horse Friend: Cowboy
Lucky came from a loving family that had hit hard times. A summer drought and a bitter cold winter had left them having difficulty affording all the feed he needed. So they looked for a great place for him. Lucky joined us in January 2013.
Lucky soon became an integral part of our herd. He is gentle and kind: the perfect gentleman. He patiently carries our larger participants allowing them to be as independent as possible. His favorite time of day is mid-afternoon when he regularly takes a nap in the sun.
Size: 14 hand
Favorite Treat: Carrots
Best Horse Friend: Taco
Rocky was a talented dressage horse. This dashing guy has all the moves: leg yield, half pass, lead changes even driving. Walk On was privileged to be chosen as Rocky’s new home. Rocky stepped off the trailer and into our hearts. He is the perfect horse for us. He works gently with our small participants, proudly carries our teenagers and adults. The highlight of Rocky’s week is when the harness is buckled on and he is put to the carriage. He neck arches, his steps lightens and he shows what a great horse he is.
Favorite Treat: All food
Best Horse Friend: Foxy
Lucky Too is everyone’s best friend: horses and human alike. If Lucky Too could he would crawl in your pocket. Lucky is happy to come in the arena to work. He is always looking for fun. He likes to snatch a stuffed toy of one of the barrels and carry the toy in class. Try to take the toy away and you will have a tug of war. He now proudly carries his participants
Lucky came to Walk On thanks to a generous grant from the Barrington Community Foundation.
Breed: Quarter Horse
Favorite Treat: Apples
Best Horse Friend: Lucky
Cowboy lives up to his name: hard working, with a bit of a swagger. Cowboy commands the herd with a gentle touch, just as he is in lessons. Cowboy puts in a full day of hard work as head of the herd before he starts his real job as lesson horse. He likes trotting lessons best and being able to pilot out independent participants safely makes him proud.
Size: 16.2 hand
Favorite Treat: Treat grooming
Best Horse Friend: Cocoa
Jack is retired now. Jack was an event horse showing at training level. He schooled fences over 5 feet tall. In 1996 Jack developed an autoimmune disease that caused the end to his jumping carrier. He went on to become a third level dressage horse. He retired from all work in 2003 due to lameness.