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Inside The Numbers: ASPIRE Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program

Wartburg College did a fantastic video on ASPIRE f... read more


ASPIRE always welcomes and appreciates donations of supplies and materials to support our programs.
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From the retired horses, to active horses, even to the Horses of the Year. Read about all of our Horses.

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From the young to the old, we've all enjoyed their smiles. These smiles have made it worth it all!

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ASPIRE’S active horses come to us from rescue situations, donations and purchases. Our horse must have a kind heart and gentle spirit. ASPIRE horses must be able to adapt to a variety of situations including traffic, cones, poles, balls, rings, water, screaming children and lots of movement and squeezing. ASPIRE horses are working for our program 1 to 5 days a week to serve our riders. ASPIRE horses give us a great heart and gentle spirit. Our horses are a very special part of our riders and owners lives.

 



  Dominoes

Buddy

Buddy is a Tennessee Walker gelding that was purchased by ASPIRE in the middle of September. He is a beautiful black and white paint and is 5 years old. We have already begun using him in class. NOTHING bothers this guy!
He loves to be with people and wants to be the center of every conversation. He is very fun to ride and already becoming a student favorite.

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BENNY

Benny is a Haflinger who joined us in 2009. He was purchased by a volunteer Cindy Kline in 2009. He started working at classes in the summer of 2009 and is really enjoying the work so far. He has a calm personality that the kids really enjoy.

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Pixie

Pixie was donated by a family here in northeast Iowa. She is a miniature horse and is 5 years old. She is going to be Cody's partner in crime once she loses a little weight! She will be joining him on visits and has already started in our program here being groomed. She loves to go for walks and loves to be loved on. Cody is very excited for the help as he has visited over 1000 people this year and would like to not be the only mini doing all the work!

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CODY

Cody is owned by ASPIRE and is a miniature horse. ASPIRE purchased Cody and his cart  from  one of  our  volunteers Cody is now Delta Certified and he visits schools and nursing homes. If you happen to see Cody in passing make sure to ask to see some of his tricks. You might also see him in parades with his cart.

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MAVERICK

Maverick is owned by ASPIRE and was donated to ASPIRE by Laura Gansen. Maverick is a miniature horse. Maverick just recently became Delta Certified. He will visit nursing homes. You will see Maverick in parades all dressed up and in our equine experiential learning program. Watch your zippers as he like to unzip everything. Maverick nickname is mushroom head for his thick mane.

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SONNY

Sonny is one of the most intuitive horses in the ASPIRE herd. He is also the leader of the herd. Sonny loves attention first and foremost. Sonny senses your need for comfort and care. Sonny makes an excellent horse for the Equine experiential learning program. In 2009, Sonny received ASPIRE's Longevity Award.

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GINGER
2012 Horse of The Year

Ginger was donated to ASPIRE by Donna Dowden of Clarksville, Iowa. Ginger loves the attention from her riders. Ginger is a wonderful pony for our beginning riders. Gingers favorite past time is eating. Ginger has become one of ASPIRE'S beloved ponies.

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BO- (nickname: Mr. Bo Jangles)

Bo is a Tennessee Walker.  He was donated to ASPIRE by Candy Herzmann.  Bo is somewhat shy, but still loves attention and is always eager to please.  His small build and loving personality make him an awesome therapeutic riding horse for our small children. Bo received the 2009 Horse of the Year Award.

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ERIKA

Erika is a registered Norwegian Fjord. She is owned by ASPIRE'S Executive Director, Marilyn Moore. Erika is the daughter of ASPIRE'S former therapy horse of the year Beret. Erika has a very warm and compassionate nature. She is trustworthy and kind to all riders. Erika is has participated in the Iowa Fall Classic. Erika has also participates in Dances with Horses. Notice her Halloween costume. Erika is very steady does not get excited about much. She is extremely loving and a favorite among the riders.

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ASPIRE horses give their heart and soul to the program. Retired horses are the horses that continue to give their jobs, but in different ways. Some may have health issues that prevent them from doing the active duty of class and some may move on to do other jobs and can longer serve as ASPIRE horses.

 


 

TOPPER

Topper, a 16 year old paint horse gelding, who is owned by Kaity Strand, is our Jack of all trades. He started out as a hunter jumper and then be-came a barrel horse, and has carried flags in opening ceremonies. This Jack of all trades has also become one of the best therapeutic riding horses as well. He is solid and dependable, as well as, loveable and sweet. Congratulations to Topper and his success with ASPIRE. His big heart is just what AS-PIRE loves in a therapy horse!


 

KILEY

Kiley is a Fjord who is owned by Eleanor Strazheim of Waverly, IA. He is easy to ride and enjoys meeting new participants. When he is out in the pasture he is usually the one who is in charge with his comanding personality, but is doing very well in our riding classes.
 

WRANGLER

Wrangler is owned by Eleanor Straszheim of Waverly, Iowa. He is a terrific horse that is always there for us. Wrangler participates in our programs three nights a week and loves it. Wrangler was awarded Special Therapy Horse of the Year for 2008. We are very grateful that he is a part of the ASPIRE team and appreciate all the hard work that he does for us.

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KEY

Key’s full name is Cee Beau Key, and is owned by Eleanor Straszheim of Waverly, Iowa. Key is now retired. She is a registered Quarter Horse, and enjoys pleasure riding.


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LADY

Lady is owned by Russ Silver. She is a Quarter Horse. Lady likes to see everyone in her weekly lessons. She has been used as a trail horse for trail rides, and does team penning with her owner. 2008 ASPIRE Horse of the Year.

Russ Silver volunteered his horse Lady for several years and Russ brought her once a week for classes. Russ was always kind and ASPIRE appreciated his dedication. On December 9th, Russ passed away and will be missed. Rest in peace Russ and know we are thankful for your dedication.

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ASPIRE Horses of the Year are voted on by the volunteers and riders. Horses of the Year are selected on the basis of the riders favorite horse and their gentleness, patience, loving heart and compassion for the job. Horses of the Year receive a cake, halter, and matching lead rope. ASPIRE Horses of the Year are honored with a Trading Card each year. Please feel free to contact us about how to receive our entire set.

 

 

TOPPER
2013 Horse of The Year

Topper, a 16 year old paint horse gelding, who is owned by Kaity Strand, is our Jack of all trades. He started out as a hunter jumper and then be-came a barrel horse, and has carried flags in opening ceremonies. This Jack of all trades has also become one of the best therapeutic riding horses as well. He is solid and dependable, as well as, loveable and sweet. Congratulations to Topper and his success with ASPIRE. His big heart is just what AS-PIRE loves in a therapy horse!
 

GINGER
2012 Horse of The Year

Ginger was donated to ASPIRE by Donna Dowden of Clarksville, Iowa. Ginger loves the attention from her riders. Ginger is a wonderful pony for our beginning riders. Gingers favorite past time is eating. Ginger has become one of ASPIRE'S beloved ponies.
 

ERIKA
2011 Horse of The Year

Erika is a registered Norwegian Fjord. She is owned by ASPIRE'S Executive Director, Marilyn Moore. Erika is the daughter of ASPIRE'S former therapy horse of the year Beret. Erika has a very warm and compassionate nature. She is trustworthy and kind to all riders. Erika is has participated in the Iowa Fall Classic. Erika has also participates in Dances with Horses. Notice her Halloween costume. Erika is very steady does not get excited about much. She is extremely loving and a favorite among the riders.

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BENNY (active)
2010 ASPIRE Horse of the Year

Benny is a Haflinger who joined us in 2009. He was purchased by a volunteer Cindy Kline in 2009. He started working at classes in the summer of 2009 and is really enjoying the work so far. He has a calm personality that the kids really enjoy.

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BO- (nickname: Mr. Bo Jangles)
2009 ASPIRE Horse of the Year

Bo is a Tennessee Walker.  He was donated to ASPIRE by Candy Herzmann.  Bo is somewhat shy, but still loves attention and is always eager to please.  His small build and loving personality make him an awesome therapeutic riding horse for our small children. Bo received the 2009 Horse of the Year Award.

 

 

LADY (active)
2008 ASPIRE Horse of the Year

Lady is owned by Russ Silver. She is a Quarter Horse. Lady likes to see everyone in her weekly lessons. She has been used as a trail horse for trail rides, and does team penning with her owner.

 

 

CODY (active)
2007 ASPIRE Horse of the Year

Cody is owned by ASPIRE and is a miniature horse. ASPIRE purchased Cody and his cart from one of our volunteers Cody is now Delta Certified and he visits schools and nursing homes. If you happen to see Cody in passing make sure to ask to see some of his tricks. You might also see him in parades with his cart.

 

JACKIE (Deceased)
2006 ASPIRE Horse of the Year

Jackie is a Quarter Horse owned by Don and Cindy Lentz. Jackie is a very gentle and patient horse, and she accepts our riders with kindness and respect. Some of our riders are fearful about riding. The instructors always choose Jackie for those riders. Thank you Jackie for your patience!



 

BERET (Deceased)
2005 ASPIRE Horse of the Year

Beret is a Norwegian Fjord. ASPIRE purchased Beret at the Waverly House Sale. She is very gentle and plays Mom to all of our riders. She looks after everyone and makes sure that they are safe. The riders absolutely love Beret. She has a very comfortable seat. Beret also enjoys participating in our at risk youth program. Beret was our 2005 Horse of the Year, so watch for her new trading card. Beret also enjoys participating in all of our classes. Beret's gentle personality and loving heart makes her a great part of the ASPIRE team!

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FROSTY (Deceased)
2004 ASPIRE Horse of the Year

Frosty is owned by ASPIRE and was donated to ASPIRE by Crystal Adams. Frosty is a POA (Pony of America). He is now retired from the riding program. His loving heart and spirit make him a wonderful part of our equine esperitial learning program. Make sure to look for his trading cards as Frosty was Horse of the Year 2004.


 

SMOKEY (Retired)
2003 ASPIRE Horse of the Year

Smokey is a Quater Horse Gelding owned by Nancy Fransdal. Smokey was honored as the 2003 Horse of the Year for his hard work, his willingness and his loving manner. He enjoys his participation with ASPIRE children and the difference he makes in the lives of the riders and volunteers.

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CHARLIE (Retired)
2002 ASPIRE Horse of the Year

Charlie is a miniature Shetland owned by Nancy Fransdal. Charlie was voted 2002 Horse of the Year for his gentle, calm and loving personality. When asked to do a job Charlie is always willing and he is loved by all riders and volunteers.

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The horses in the ASPIRE program gave us their time, heart and gentle spirit till they no longer could in this world. Their life with ASPIRE has changed so many lives including riders, volunteer and staff. They loved their jobs and the students they served. They will be greatly missed by everyone in hearts that they touched. Our horses are running free in the green pastures in heaven and we will all meet them at the rainbow bridge someday. Please stop and see our memorial garden next year.

 

 

BLUE

ASPIRE is honored to receive Blue Bayou from the American Gypsy Horse Angel Foundation and itís partner the American Gypsy Horse Breed Association. ASPIRE is the second placement in the nation to receive a Gypsy Horse in their program. Watch him grow and prosper in the ASPIRE riding program. Blue Bayou will be a wonderful addition to ASPIREíS herd. Blue is a lovely, sweet gelding and will make ASPIRE an excellent therapy horse. Blue is never in a hurry and is always at the gate to greet you. Blue received a blue ribbon in his class for Gypsy Geldings. ASPIRE is truly honored to accept Blue Bayou. A special thanks goes to the American Gypsyt Horse Angel Foundation and itís partner the American Gypsy Horse Breed Associaton.
 

HOMBRE

Hombre had dedicated his time by being at class on Thursday nights. Hombre has participated in Special Olympics, Iowa Horse Fair, and Waterloo Days Parade, as well as other additional activities. Hombre's gentle personal-ity, along with his loving and compassionate heart made him a wonderful part of the ASPIRE team. The children grew to love him. Hombre left ASPIRE to move on to bigger and better things. Thank you, so much, Hombre, for blessing our lives with your presence, and thank you for sharing your love with so many ASPIRE riders. Hombre was owned by Karen DeVault.

 

JACKIE

Jackie is a Quarter Horse owned by Cindy and Don Lentz. Jackie is a very patient and gentle horse. She accepts our ASPIRE’s riders with kindness and respect. Jackie likes doing Thursday lessons, and has participated in the Sturgis Falls parade.


 

BERET

Beret was a 27 year old Norwegian Fjord proudly owned by ASPIRE for six years.  She was acquired from the Waverly Horse Sale.  She was dearly loved by all ASPIRE staff, volunteers- participants, and riders.  Instructors especially loved Beret, because of her nurturing nature which made it easy to put people on her, especially fearful riders.  Beret was strong willed, and at times even stubborn.  Perhaps this is what made her so good at taking care of her pasture-mates. She had a sweet, loving personality and very kind eyes.  ASPIRE took her to parades and Dances With Horses, knowing every time that she would know to take care of her rider.  She was a beautiful horse with a very special heart that will be missed and never forgotten.  She came to ASPIRE with a lot of pride and dignity, and left with a whole lot of people loving her.  Goodbye Beret, we will meet you at the rainbow bridge someday.  God Bless and play hard with Frosty, Tiny and Dandy.

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NICK

Nick was a saddlebred mix. He was donated to us by Jean Burr. He was kind of a mutt and loved to play in his water. Nick would run in the pasture with his head and tail held high. He was a gorgeous Palamino. He was donated in 2001 and left this world in December 2002. ASPIRE only had Nick for a little over 1 year. Nick was a very loving and gentle horse and the riders loved him. He was known for stopping all the time and the rider would have to tap his butt to get him moving. Nick lost almost all of his teeth and we had to feed him mash. Nick is buried at the top of the hill overlooking all his pasture buddies.

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DANDY

Dandy was a registered Quarter Horse. He was donated to us by Jill Kuyvava in 2001. He was retired from the riding program due to multiple health issues. Dandy was probably one of the best therapy horses. He was full of spirit. He loved to run in the pasture and push fences and sneek through gates. Dandy gave us his entire heart and soul and worked very hard. Dandy’s favorite volunteer was Craig. They were truly bonded. Dandy was a favorite in the Adventures in Awarness weekend. Dandy helped participants to see their worlds a little differently as he had some sight issues. Dandy will be greatly missed by everyone. He is also buried at the top of the hill overlooking his buddies. Dandy was Horse of the Year in 2001.

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TINY

Tiny was a miniature horse owned by ASPIRE for five years and was 37 years old. He had been retired from the riding program. ASPIRE received Tiny as a rescue from the slaughter pen and rehabbed him, fixed his feet so he could help out in our program. During this he was taken to Camp Hope when he couldn’t see well just to be groomed; both the kid’s and Tiny loved it! Tiny's unique personality made him a great part of our Equine Experiential Learning Program. He was the ‘ring leader’ of the miniature ponies, keeping them in order and pushing them out of the food when it was his turn. Yet he was obedient and a mentor to our Maverick, helping him to settle down and be less aggressive. “Bubbles” as Don would call him, will be truly missed by all. He is buried up on the hill of the pasture with Dandy and Frosty.

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FROSTY

Frosty was donated to ASPIRE by Crystal Adams. He was a cattle pony and gave little children rides before coming to us. Frosty was a POA (Pony of America) and was approximately 22 years of age. He had been with us for 6 years. He recently was retired from the riding program. His loving heart and spirit made him a wonderful part of our equine experiential learning program. Frosty had a unique sense for when something was amiss concerning his rider. If a child was off balance or the saddle needed to be adjusted, he would stop and for the longest time we could not figure this out. He truly gave his heart and soul for everyone. He was a ‘pet’ so to speak. Frosty was also the ‘loner’ of the herd and typically matched with passive people who could associate with him. Every night he would put his head out of the gate to be petted goodnight and Marilyn would sing him “Frosty the Snowman”. When he ate he would also stick his head out the fence to eat his hay and he eventually rubbed off part of his mane because of this habit. Frosty will be immortalized not only in our hearts forever, but on Shelly who got a tattoo of him and also on our video. So be sure to look for him! Frosty is buried on the hill next to Dandy and Tiny. He was Horse of the Year 2004.

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