Breed: it's a mystery!
Age: 15-19, we're not quite sure!
Our horses come from all different backgrounds, but Amber's history is more heroic than most. One of our wranglers, Corrie, learned of Amber at a rescue facility here in Central Florida called Second Chance Stable. Amber was found in a holding facility in Louisiana, scheduled to ship to a slaughterhouse. Second Chance organized a fundraiser to rescue Amber and another horse at the same facility.
When Amber made it to Central Florida, she was scared and very underweight. It took some time and TLC to get Amber back to a normal weight and to learn her personality and quirks. Eventually, Amber was offered up for adoption and one of our wranglers brought her home. Amber's adoption fee covered the cost of her rescue AND went toward the 'bail' for another horse headed to slaughter. (Second Chance Stable really is a great place!).
After spending almost a year getting to know Amber, Corrie realized that Amber would be a perfect fit for life as a trail horse. As expected, Amber fit right in, and was a perfect, curious, easy-going horse on the trails. Our only concern from the beginning was that Amber was a very solitary horse. She didn't seem to make friends and would spend all of her day standing alone in a corner. Living a solitary life is not normal for a horse, and we were often worried and sad trying to imagine what in her previous life led to her being such a loner.
Just when it seemed Amber would be a solitary horse forever....... her soulmate, Traveller, arrived. Traveller is the exact opposite of Amber. He is a tall warmblood with highly valued bloodline, who has spent his life in the lap of luxury. As soon as he arrived, we saw a living example of opposites attracting. Amber gravitated to him like a magnet. It was absolutely love at first sight.
Now, Amber's life is complete. She will spend the rest of her days here in the safe, loving care of the P3 trail riding family.
Because Amber came from a rescue situation, we don't know her background. Our vet can estimate that she is between 15-19 years old, but her breed is a mystery! We have guessed she is some combination of:
Breed: 1/2 Arabian, 1/2 Saddlebred
Monte, aka Montesaurus Rex (because he is a tall boy!), has been at the Hitching Post for several years and is a gentle, curious trail horse. Monte was born in Washington State, and came to Florida when he was just 2 years old to train as a competitive show horse at PeriLee Show Horses.
Monte trained for 4 years as a Hunter Pleasure horse and competed at many Arabian Horse Association sanctioned shows. He competed with amateur riders, as well as in the open division (the big guns) being ridden by his trainer. Although Monte tried very hard, and won many awards, not every horse is cut out to compete at such a high level. When his trainer realized that he just wasn't happy as a show horse, she started looking for other options. When a horse isn't cut out for the job intended for them, it can be a challenge to find a suitable, healthy home.
Luckily, we met Monte and had full faith that he would try his hardest and settle well into a life at Lake Louisa. He was quite nervous in the beginning, but despite the serious doubts of many, Monte's big heart shone through! After almost a year, Monte was finally ready to become a full-fledged trail horse.
These days, he can be quite mischievous. He is often seen playing with and taunting his herd mates, much like a little brother would taunt his older siblings! Monte loves to explore the trails, and loyally cares for our visitors on each ride.
Show horses can be compared to professional athletes. They have a rigorous training and conditioning schedule, must have excellent training, and a lot of natural talent. When a horse isn't cut-out to compete at the level intended, it can be difficult to find a suitable home with a new job. Lucky for Monte, he found a new life and forever home with the P3 family.
Freckles, seen above posing as a unicorn, is a purebred Polish Arabian. She found her forever retirement home at the Hitching Post in 2017. She is a very special horse who has traveled the globe and made an impact on her world. Born in Poland, Freckles' registered pedigree name is Gay Fiera Prima in honor of her bloodline. We call her Freckles for obvious reasons!
Freckles is a beautiful example of the Arabian horse, and has highly sought-after bloodlines. A true Arabian was bred as a desert warhorse by the bedouins of the Arabian Peninsula. Arabians should be courageous enough to charge into battle, be kind and gentle enough to sleep in a tent at night with the family and children, and strong and versatile enough to thrive in the harshest desert climates.
She was born in Poland, were she trained as a youngster on the Polish racetrack. She was brought to the United States when she was about 5 years old. From then on, her entire job was to be a mother in order to pass on her exemplary traits. She would occasional take farm visitors out for light rides, but most of her days were spent caring for her offspring at Hennessey Arabians.
When Freckles became too old to continue having babies, she needed a job that would keep her active, healthy, and motivated. While her previous home was more than willing to continue caring for our sweet girl, a horse thrives most when they have a job and a purpose, and it can be a challenge to find a perfect home and job for an aging horse. When we met Freckles, we knew she would be perfect at the Hitching Post. Her true Arabian qualities shone through from the start.
Our sweet, smart Freckles exemplifies every aspect of an Arabian Horse. She is a treasure to our herd and will remain in our loving care for the rest of her days.
The Arabian Horse's history and story in Poland is fascinating and heroic. A cherished bloodline almost decimated by war, found a fortunate recover. Learn more here.
Traveller’s story is a heartwarming tale of a big city kid moving to the country and finding the love of his life……..
Named after Robert E. Lee’s war horse, Traveller came to the Hitching Post after a long and very successful show career. He lived in a hunter/jumper barn in Wellington, Florida, and was a loyal horse who won many competitions before he sustained a suspensory injury on his front leg. His dedicated owners were committed to taking excellent care of him even though he could no longer compete, and could only be ridden intermittently.
After four years, his owners realized that although they loved him deeply, the life he was living was not his best life. Some hunter/jumper competition horses rarely, if ever, leave their stall except to exercise. Pasture turn-out was not normal in Traveller’s previous barn, and his injury would not allow him to have a consistent exercise schedule. Although he was no longer competing, all his barn-mates were, so he didn’t have any friends or space to go outside and play.
His loving owners began a rigorous search to find a better life for Traveller. When we heard his story and learned more about him, we thought he might be a good candidate to join our herd. The two biggest concerns were: would an easy trail life be the best solution for consistent exercise given his previous injury? and after so many years of not socializing with other horses, would he be able to integrate as a member of our herd out in their pasture?
After considerable planning, our wranglers made a trip to South Florida to meet this big, handsome horse. Right away, we knew his temperament would be a perfect fit. Traveller’s gentle, friendly, wise demeanor is a rare and special trait. One the trailer he went to make the journey back to Lake Louisa State Park. Once we arrived we had to face our first big concern….. Traveller would have to go out into the pasture and meet the other horses in our herd……..
To our surprise and delight, one of our seasoned trail horses, Amber, immediately came up to Traveller. Their bond was instant and profound. The most unlikely couple….big and little, city-boy and small-town girl, yin and yang, and best friends at first sight…… two very lonely horses finally found their soulmates. (read more about their story here). One very big check mark, and lots of relief. On to concern number two… would Traveller be able to thrive physically given his previous injury.
During his transition, we had many ups and downs with his physical well being. Transitioning him from shoes with pads to being barefoot and his body adjusting to lots of exercise and play outside, was at times a roller coaster for our team. We had faith in our plan and our vet, but rehabilitating a horse is always emotionally challenging. Looking back, every triumph and down-turn was simply part of the process. Now, Traveller is “as healthy as a horse”! With no signs of his previous injury, he is sound, comfortable, and truly living his best life at the Hitching Post.
Traveller is the equine equivalent to a wise, kind man who has traveled far and wide. Having many adventures, many friends, and a life full of experience, he is a content and steady steed. Ripe with wisdom, a gentle, knowing nature, and an athletic statue, Traveller is an endearing addition to the herd at the Hitching Post.
Breed: Tennessee Walker
Cornbread is a regular favorite at the Hitching Post, and has been a trail horse for 13 years! He started out, as many of our horses do, this big dreams of a competitive, athletic show horse. He trained until he was five to compete in the traditional style of Tennessee Walkers.
Because Tennessee Walkers are known for their smooth, comfortable gait, called a saddle rack, they are highly prized horses for pleasure riding. Cornbread's previous owner bought him for this exact reason. She and her family spent many years riding Cornbread, and his buddy Houdini, on all kinds of trails. They even did a 3-day cattle drive or two!
As happens in life, the children who used to ride Cornbread grew up and had kids of their own, and his main caretaker started to struggle with arthritis. She woke up one day and realized it had been more than a year since he had been ridden, and he just wasn't getting the attention he deserved. She began the careful search for a better option for Cornbread.
In discussed her challenge with the vet who had taken care of him for years, her vet said she might know the perfect place. We came out and met Cornbread, and knew right away that he would be perfect for trail riding at Lake Louisa!
Cornbread still loves every ride he goes on, and is very proud if his regular position at the front of the line. Although he has many years ahead of him, we know that Cornbread has an old and gentle soul. He loves, everyone, but especially young children. We often laugh at how obvious Cornbread adores children. Although he is kind and well mannered all the time, he would much rather take a small, timid child, than an adult. He seems to approach them with a certain kindness and awareness that not very many horses possess.
Just as there are different breeds or types of dogs, there are also many different breeds or types of horses! The Tennessee Walker is an American bred horse with an interesting and specific history. To learn more about the breed, and their extra gait called a saddle rack, take a look here!
Breed: 1/2 Arabian, 1/2 Quarter Horse.
Sweet Splash has the most adorable face, and confident attitude that you can imagine! Splash is a combination of the most spirited, and sporty breeds known to man. The Arabian horse, known for its confidence, spirit, and endurance, mixed with the Quarter Horse, known for its endurance and agility, together make an awesome trail horse!
Splash started out with intentions of being a competition show horse. As he began his training and entered a few contests, it became clear that his size, along with his nonchalant demeanor weren't going to be a winning combination. Although full of LOTS of personality, being a show horse wasn't the path for him.
When Splash came to the Hitching Post, we knew he would love the trails from the start. Curious and happy to go on an adventure, Spash took to the trails like he was born to do it! Although he is occasionally mischievous, sneaking a snack whenever he can get away with it, Splash is an adored member of the herd.
Always looking for a good scratch around his ears, or soft rub on his face, Splash loves his human friends. He makes a point to keep up with the taller horses, by keeping his steps quick, peppy, and smooth on the trail. His determination is only matched by his giant heart.
One of the most popular breeds of horses in the United States is the Quarter Horse. The fastest horse for the first 1/4 mile, and also the most agile, nimble horse, they have been the most sought-after horse in the cattle industry. Quick turns, fast acceleration, and a work ethic like no other, the Quarter Horse is a fascinating animal.