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Spotlight Horse: Amber

A Heroic History

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. 

Fun Facts

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:


  • Paso Fino
  • Donkey 
  • Shetland Pony
  • Quarter Horse
  • Whats your guess?

Buckskin horse. Lake Louisa Trail Rides. Parade horse.

Spotlight Horse: Monte

Happy Horse with a Big Heart

Age: 9

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. 


Life of Showhorse....

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. 

White Arabian Horse. Lake Louisa Trail Rides. Freckles the unicorn.

Spotlight Horse: Freckles

Kindness, Courage, Versatility: A True Arabian Horse

Age: 23

Breed: Arabian


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. 

A Polish Arabian?

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

Gray warmblood horse. Traveller. Lake Louisa Trail Rides.

Spotlight Horse: Traveller

A Big, Beautiful Animal

Age: 18

Breed: Warmblood


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. 

A well traveled horse....

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. 

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Spotlight Horse: Cornbread

The kindest gentleman in the herd.

Age: 19

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. 

What is a Tennessee Walker?

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!

Arabian horse/quarter horse mix. Lake Louisa Trail rides. P3.

Spotlight Horse: Splash

Half serious, half sass.....

 

Age: 9 

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. 

"1/4" Horses.....

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. 

Morgan/Arabian horse at Lake Louisa Trail Rides.

Spotlight Horse: Spartacus

A horse who thinks he's a person...

Age: 11

Breed: 1/2 Arab, 1/2 Morgan


Spartacus came to Lake Louisa from a woman who rescued him from a neglectful life. After being born, he was left in a field with a few other horses to fend for themselves. Without adequate food or care, he was declining quickly. His loving angel arrived and took him in. He became a playful and loving horse who thought he was more person than horse.  


Before coming to the Hitching Post, Spartacus spent most of his days playing with his two horse friends, Lilie and Penny who also now live at Lake Louisa, in a big green pasture. His new  owner took excellent care of him, and one of his newly found people friends taught Spartacus how to be ridden. 


When he wasn't frolicking in a field with his horse friends, he was working on his under-saddle skills with his people friends. Strength-building workouts and leisurely trail rides combined with lots of play time with his horse friends, made Spartacus a talented, free-spirited boy! 


Over the years it became clear that Spartacus saw himself more as a person, than a horse! He makes his opinions and preferences well known, and bosses Lilie and Penny around as if he is a person!  Eventually, his loving owner realized that he needed to graduate to a home where he could stay with Lilie and Penny, but also get a more consistent and dedicated schedule. 


When we welcomed him into the herd, he definitely had a period of adjustment-starting with getting on the trailer to ride to his new home! Because he lived most of his life in a leisurely manner, with only Lilie and Penny as friends, we knew he would need a little help learning the ropes of his new home and job. We enlisted the help of Peri, at Peri Lee Showhorses, to help coax him onto the trailer.   


Once at Lake Louisa, he soon made friends of the rest of the herd, and showed his love for being the leader of the trail rides. (again, more person than horse!) He has become a loyal member of our herd, and will enjoy the rest of his days living an active and well-cared for life much different from the abandoned life he started. 

Origin of the Morgan Horse?

Justin Morgan was a teacher, composer, businessman, and horseman who had moved to Randolph, Vermont, from Springfield, Massachusetts. He acquired a bay colt, born in 1789, giving him the name Figure. As was the practice of the day, Figure became known by his owner's name, the Justin Morgan horse. This colt was the founding sire of the Morgan breed.


Learn more here.

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Spotlight Horse: Houdini

The big, lovable teddy bear.....

 Age: 18

Breed: Tennessee Walker


Another tried-and-true Tennessee Walker, Houdini does NOT live up to his namesake (thankfully!!!). We don’t know what we would do with an escape artist! Houdini joined the Lake Louisa herd at the same time as his best buddy, Cornbread.  


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!


When Houdini came to Lake Louisa, we knew he would be perfect for the trails. What we didn't know is how cuddly and lovable he would be toward people. Houdini is famous for the sour, grumpy faces he makes at his herd mates- don't worry, he never follows through, he just has permanent resting mare face ;-) On the other hand, when Houdini is working with people in any capacity, new friends or old, he is the most loving horse you will find! 


He might be 18, but opposite his buddy, Cornbread, Houdini has a soul that will never get old! He is forever curious and bright eyed as we journey along the trails. 

Great Trail Horses:

There are many qualities a great trail horse must possess, and not every horse is cut out for the job. Learn more about about the perfect trail horse here. 

Black arabian horse at Lake Louisa State Park.

Spotlight Horse: Lilie

Little Miss Sassy Pants

Lilie came to Lake Louisa from a woman who rescued her, along with Spartacus from a neglectful life. After being born, she was left in a field with a few other horses to fend for themselves. Without adequate food or care, or attention, she was declining quickly. Her hero took the two of them in, and gave them a home completely different from where they started. 


Before coming to the Hitching Post, Lilie had very little training. She spent most of her days playing with her two horse friends, Spartacus and Penny who also both now live at Lake Louisa, in a big green pasture. Lilie became a very sweet, affectionate horse, who loved people and was very closely bonded to her two horse friends. She didn't mind being ridden, as long as her rider didn't stray too far from the plan Lilie had in mind. 


When we welcomed Lilie, Spartacus, and Penny to the herd, we knew that Lilie would need some extra time and attention to settle into her new life. While she didn't mind a rider on her back too much, she also didn't have much training. At 11 years old, Lilie struggled with her balance, flexibility, and a few other basics under saddle. On top of that, she really just preferred to roam free in a pasture all day long. (Who wouldn't! It's like starting life at retirement!)


When adult horses don't get a solid foundation as youngsters, they can become dangerous to the people around them, or even worse, end up without a good home. These horses become spoiled because of the inconsistency in their training. Very few people want an untrained adult horse, because they are more difficult and dangerous. We've all heard the term "its hard to teach an old dog new tricks", and this applies to horses, too. As a grown up horse, without a lot of skills or confidence, Lilile is back on a training program like a baby horse would be. 


Slowly and steadily, she is learning to trust her riders as much as she trusts Spartacus and Penny. She's also learning to use her body in way that is not familiar, but much better for her and her rider. For the time being, she is only ridden by the wranglers, but we are looking forward to a long life of learning and loving for Lilie at Lake Louisa. 

Retraining an Older Horse

Inconsistent handling often results in a spoiled horse who doesn't know how to behave. Although these horses were sometimes disciplined for poor behavior, at other times they were allowed to have their own way without consequences. These horses will try your patience with repeated attempts to test their limits. They benefit from consistent handling during groundwork to teach them that misbehavior is always disciplined but that good behavior is also rewarded.


Learn more about training older horses here.