is a 19 year old quarter horse gelding. His previous owners, Kim and Neil Stalhiem, gave him to Opening Gates upon his retirement as an outrider at Hoosier Park in Anderson, IN. Brutus is a serious, proud, confident, patient and caring horse. It is not uncommon to see Brutus stand patiently for long periods of time, focusing on this human partners while they tell him about their day. We are grateful to the Stalhiems for trusting us with their precious Brutus, and allowing him to be a part of our team!
is a sorrel quarter horse mare. She still exhibits strong will and determination from her previous years in racing. She demands teamwork from her clients! Sky is no longer able to be ridden as the extra weight of a rider would cause severe pain to her lower back and hips, but our therapy clients don’t ride anyway, so it’s not an issue.
is a bay Arabian mare. She is quite inquisitive and sensitive to her surroundings. She has the unique ability to mimic clients’ emotions which allows them to gain greater insight into their feelings.
is a sorrel quarter horse gelding. “Hey Mikey, he likes it” fits him perfectly! He is a retired show horse that is extremely happy to be used in therapy. His former job required a lot of serious work hours and now his hours are filled with pampering and having fun with his clients during counseling sessions. Mikey allows his clients the opportunity to de-stress and have some fun!
is an appendix quarter horse (thoroughbred/quarter horse cross) that brings a powerful punch to each session she participates in. She likes to do things according to her agenda, and gets quite fussy if you do not allow it. It is amazing how a kind and caring hand can make Maycie putty in your hand. She is a true case of “if you treat me right, I will treat you right”.
is bay Irish draught gelding. He is our “gentle giant” and must be the center of attention. He has a unique ability to lift clients’ moods. At times he can be quite stubborn which allows his clients the opportunity to practice patience and cooperation. After a luxurious life as a dressage show horse, Bear was taken to a horse rescue in Indiana for the cooler climate, as excessive heat takes its toll on him. In our hot weather, Bear is hosed down with water to help keep him cool in addition to his two personal fans.
is a gray quarter horse mare. She is extremely patient and kind. Because she is so patient, she allows her clients plenty of opportunity to think outside the box. She has the unique ability to help her clients overcome fears and build trust. She also is a good listener and has heard many stories from her clients! We’re so glad we saved lady before she went to a sale barn in Kentucky.
is a sorrel and white paint gelding. He is very sensitive and has a strong need to please his clients. He loves working with his clients and is effective in teaching good communication and sensitivity to others. When Cletus came to the farm, he was sunburned from head to tail and was so dehydrated that his swollen tongue didn’t fit in his mouth; you wouldn’t know that today by looking at this pretty boy.
is a bay and white paint miniature mare. She is extremely effective at helping clients work through trust issues. She was found in a neglected situation where she had to fend for herself for food and safety among full size horses. With time and patience, she is learning how to trust people.
is a black percheron quarter horse cross gelding. He was a former pack horse in Montana and then became a lesson horse at our farm. He developed arthritis in one of his hocks, which made it painful for him to carry the weight of a rider. He still gets plenty of attention in the therapy program. Deuce is extremely calm and patient, but don’t let that fool you, he is certainly no push over. He does an amazing job of teaching clients about setting appropriate boundaries.
is a retired thoroughbred who ran the steeplechase. He is somewhat of a worrier and has a tremendous amount of energy. He still shows us some of his old skills by jumping in the air when he gets anxious. Yoko challenges his clients to gain insight into their feelings, because he mirrors their feelings and emotions. This also allows the clients the opportunities to work on managing their emotions, and finding new and healthier responses to situations.