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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 and 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.

 




 

BENNY

2010 Horse of the Year

Benny is a Haflinger who was purchased by volunteer Cindy Kline in 2009. He started working in classes during the summer of the same year and really enjoys the work. He has a calm personality that the riders really enjoy.

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PIXIE

Pixie was donated by a family here in northeast Iowa. She is a miniature horse and is Cody’s partner in crime now that she has lost a little weight. She has joined him on visits and in our program. She loves to go for walks and absolutely loves attention. Cody is very excited to have the help as he has visited over 1,000 people this year and enjoys not being the only mini doing all of the work!

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CODY

2007 Horse of the Year

Cody is a miniature horse who is owned by ASPIRE. He and his cart were purchased from one of our volunteers and now visits schools and nursing homes. If you happen to see Cody in passing make sure to ask to see some of his tricks!

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MAVERICK

Maverick (also known as Mushroom Head because of his thick mane) is a miniature horse that is owned by ASPIRE and was donated by Laura Gansen. He has been retired from the visits, but still loves to be groomed and petted if you get the chance to see him. Just be sure to watch your zippers as he likes to unzip everything!

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GINGER

2012 Horse of the Year

Ginger, a miniature pony, was donated to ASPIRE by Donna Dowden of Clarksville, IA. She is a wonderful pony for our beginning riders and absolutely loves all of the attention they give her. Her favorite pastime is eating and has of course become one of ASPIRE’s most beloved ponies.

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ERIKA

2011 Horse of the Year

Erika is a registered Norwegian Fjord and is owned by ASPIRE’s Executive Director, Marilyn Moore. She is the daughter of ASPIRE’s former Therapy Horse of the Year, Beret and a distant cousin to our other Norwegian Fjord Rika. Erika has a very warm, compassionate, and trustworthy nature and is kind to all riders. Her steady and kind nature has made her a much loved favorite among those who have ever been around her. She has participated in the Iowa Fall Classic and also in the Night of the Horse.

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SARGE

Sarge is a Foundation Paint who previously belonged to a single owner and was primarily used for trail riding. He specializes in riding western, and has a very steady pace and gait that makes him perfect for working with the riders. Right from the beginning, he has been an excellent program horse who works extremely well with the riders and takes his job very seriously. Everyone has enjoyed working with him immensely.

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RIKA

Rika, a 13 year old Norwegian Fjord, is a distant cousin of our other horse, Erika. Rika travelled all the way from Michigan, to Wisconsin, and finally to ASPIRE where she is doing extremely well getting ready to work with the riders. Rika started off as family horse who loves to keep busy so working with us here at ASPIRE is a perfect fit for her.

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CHEX

Chex, a 12 year old Pinto, came from a farm near Ames. He is a Western Pleasure Horse who also loves to keep busy and is extremely protective of his sister horses. He has been known to sleep outside of their stalls rather than inside of his own where he has plenty of comfortable bedding.

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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.

 

 

BUDDY

Buddy is a beautiful black and white Tennessee Walker gelding that was purchased by Aspire. After many years of being a part of the program, it became apparent that he needed to have a different job. Buddy was retired from the program and now lives with a wonderful family in Missouri.

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KILEY

Kiley is a Fjord who is owned by Eleanor Straszheim of Waverly, IA. Kiley was always easy to ride however he did have a very commanding personality when it came to the other horses. Due to some arthritis however, he was retired from the program and now lives with his original owner.

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TOPPER

2013 Horse of the Year

Topper, a Paint Horse gelding who is owned by Kaity Strand, was ASPIRE’s Jack of all trades. He started out as a jumper and became a barrel horse who also carried flags in opening ceremonies. He was one of our best therapeutic riding horses and we hope that he is enjoying retirement!

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WRANGLER

2008 Special Therapy Horse of the Year

Wrangler is owned by Eleanor Straszheim of Waverly, IA. During his time with us, he was a terrific horse that was always there for us. Wrangler participated in our programs three nights a week and always loved it. We are very grateful that he was a part of the ASPIRE team and we appreciate all the hard work that he has done for us.

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KEY

Key’s full name is Cee Beau Key and is owned by Eleanor Straszheim of Waverly, IA. She is a registered Quarter Horse and enjoys pleasure riding. We enjoyed the time she spent with us and we hope she is enjoying retirement!

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LADY

2008 Horse of the Year

Lady, a Quarter Horse, was owned by Russ Silver. Russ volunteered Lady for several years and brought her once a week for classes which she greatly enjoyed. She was also used as a trail horse and did team penning with her owner.

In 2012 Russ sadly passed away and will always be missed. ASPIRE greatly appreciated all of his dedication and the time that he spent with us.

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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.

 

 

SONNY

2009 Longevity Award Recipient

ASPIRE recently lost our last original horse, Sonny, at the age of 32. He taught so many life lessons to hundreds of people during the 16 years that we was a part of ASPIRE. Sonny was always the leader of the herd and was always able to know when someone needed to be comforted or cared for. He had such a kind heart and will be deeply missed by all.

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BO

2009 Horse of the Year

Bo, or Mr. Bo Jangles, recently passed away at the age of 33. During his time with ASPIRE, he assisted in bringing peace and gentleness to hundreds of individuals. Bo had such a unique personality and was so fun to watch run and play. He will be deeply missed by many.

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Blue

Blue, or Blue Bayou, recently passed away and he will be greatly missed. He was a beautiful Gypsy Horse that was given to ASPIRE by the American Gypsy Horse Angel Foundation and its partner the American Gypsy Horse Breed Association. He was an exceptional and loving therapy horse who was always waiting to greet you.

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HOMBRE

Hombre, who was owned by Karen DeVault, had dedicated his time to ASPIRE by being at class on Thursday nights. Along with helping in classes, he also participated in the Special Olympics, Iowa Horse Fair, and the My Waterloo Days Parade as well as other additional activities. Hombre’s gentle personality along with his loving and compassionate heart made him a wonderful part of the ASPIRE team. He was loved by all and we were blessed to have him as part of our family. He is missed by all.

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JACKIE

2006 Horse of the Year

Jackie was a Quarter Horse owned by Don and Cindy Lentz. She was a very gentle and patient horse who accepted our riders with kindness and respect. We miss her dearly and appreciated all the time she spent with us.

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BERET

2005 Horse of the Year

Beret was a Norwegian Fjord who was purchased by ASPIRE at the Waverly Horse Sale. She was a very gentle horse who liked to play mom to all of our riders. She was always looking after everyone and making sure they were all safe. We will always miss Beret’s loving and caring personality.

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NICK

Nick, a gorgeous Palomino, was a saddle bred mix who was donated to ASPIRE by Jean Burr. He absolutely loved to play in his water and run in the pasture with his head held high. He passed away in 2002 after spending a year with us and although it wasn’t as much time as we would have liked, we enjoyed and treasured every moment.

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DANDY

2001 Horse of the Year

Dandy was a registered Quarter Horse who was donated by Jill Kuyvava in 2001. He had any extremely playful spirit and loved to run through the pasture pushing fences and sneaking through gates. Dandy was one of our best therapy horses and put his heart and soul into the work he did. He was a favorite to many and is greatly missed by all.

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TINY

Tiny was a miniature horse who was owned by ASPIRE for 5 years and was 37 years old when he passed away. ASPIRE rescued Tiny from the slaughter pen and rehabbed him, fixing his feet giving him a loving home. Tiny’s 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. Tiny affected many lives and he is missed by all every single day.

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FROSTY

2004 Horse of the Year

Frosty, a Pony of America, was donated to ASPIRE by Crystal Adams. He had been with us 6 years and was around 22 years old when he passed away. Frosty was always extremely in tune with his riders, always knowing when something was amiss and he would adjust accordingly. He tended to be the loner of the herd and always got along well with the more passive or shy riders. Each night before going to bed, Frosty would lean his head on the gate and wait for Marilyn to pet him goodnight and sing “Frosty the Snowman.” His loving heart and spirit will always be remembered and missed by all here at ASPIRE.

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CHARLIE

2002 Horse of the Year

Charlie was a miniature Shetland owned by Nancy Fransdal. When asked to do a job, Charlie would always be more than happy to do it and was loved by all the riders who worked with him. He had a very loving and gentle personality that we will always miss.

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SMOKEY

2003 Horse of the Year

Smokey was a Quarter Horse Gelding owned by Nancy Fransdal. He was always an extremely hard worker with a very willing and loving manner. He always enjoyed working with the riders and we greatly miss having him with us.

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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 (Active)
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 (Active)
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 (Active)
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 (Deceased)
2009 ASPIRE Horse of the Year

Bo, or Mr. Bo Jangles, recently passed away at the age of 33. During his time with ASPIRE, he assisted in bringing peace and gentleness to hundreds of individuals. Bo had such a unique personality and was so fun to watch run and play. He will be deeply missed by many.

 

 

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 (Deceased)
2003 ASPIRE Horse of the Year

Smokey was a Quarter Horse Gelding owned by Nancy Fransdal. He was always an extremely hard worker with a very willing and loving manner. He always enjoyed working with the riders and we greatly miss having him with us.

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CHARLIE (Deceased)
2002 ASPIRE Horse of the Year

Charlie was a miniature Shetland owned by Nancy Fransdal. When asked to do a job, Charlie would always be more than happy to do it and was loved by all the riders who worked with him. He had a very loving and gentle personality that we will always miss.

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