October LoveWay Horse of the Month: Junior

by Caitlyn Andrews October 03, 2016

LoveWay Therapy Horse of the Month October 2016

Each month we feature a horse at LoveWay in our Therapy Horse of the Month segment. LoveWay is an equine assisted therapy non-profit organization located in Middlebury, IN. LoveWay offers therapeutic riding classes that are designed to benefit children of all ages with physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities. The non-profit operates through the hard work and dedication of its staff and volunteers, as well as some pretty special horses. Here is the story of one such incredible therapy horse, a 13-year-old appendix Quarter Horse named Junior.

From Posse Horse to Therapy Horse

Junior arrived at LoveWay in March of 2014. It didn't take long for him to fit into his role as a therapy horse. His previous training as a sheriff's posse horse might have to do with the reason that he makes such a good equine-assisted therapy horse. Being in the posse Junior would have been constantly exposed to crowds, lots of new places, sights and sounds. He was also used as a trail horse. His previous training and lessons learned as a posse horse and on the trail would have readied him for his role in equine assisted therapy.

Often, horses are donated to the program by their previous owners. Junior's owner didn't seek out LoveWay. Instead, the staff found Junior in an unlikely place. He was listed for sale on Craigslist. The staff saw the ad for the sheriff's posse horse and knew he sounded like a good fit for the program. They were right. Junior's calm and friendly nature with his past experience made him the perfect candidate for a therapy horse. He settled right into his new home at LoveWay and seems to love his job.

October 2016 Featured Therapy Horse

Above: October 2016 LoveWay Horse of the Month, Junior.

Junior Joins the LoveWay Equine Staff

Once at LoveWay, the staff has gotten to see just how great of a therapy horse Junior really is. He's been at LoveWay over two years now and is one of the most reliable horses. Some of the smaller horses and ponies at LoveWay can only be used for the younger, lighter students. Not Junior. Junior is one of the largest horses at LoveWay (second only to Bugs) and is able to carry riders of all sizes. He's great for all classes. He loves trail riding and is great with the students. Both balanced, independent riders and unbalanced riders can ride Junior. The instructors often have Junior try new obstacles first so he can show the other horses that there's nothing to be afraid of.

More About Junior the Therapy Horse

No horse is without their own quirks, and Junior is no exception! One of the strangest things about Junior is something that he has no control of at all. He's a fly magnet! It's not the color of his coat, there are other bay horses at LoveWay or anything else that the staff can pinpoint, but the flies just love Junior. He has to have more protection against flies than the other therapy horses do. He gets spot-on fly control, fly spray and wears a fly mask. Unfortunately, he's also very good at getting fly masks off. No matter what kind of mask the staff tries on him, Junior can get it off.

LoveWay October 2016 Horse of the Month

Above: You can see how tall Junior is here as he stands next to Caitlin Wilson, LoveWay's equine manager.

Another unique thing about Junior is that sometimes after he eats his breakfast, he likes to take a nap in his stall. Caitlin, the equine manager at LoveWay, noticed that he was doing this during the winter. After breakfast, she would find him napping in his stall before classes started for the day. Speaking of food, Junior is also a big fan of treats. Caitlin says if she has given another horse a treat and goes into Junior's stall, he can smell the treats on her hands and will follow her around trying to find them.

Therapy Horses and Chiropractors

Therapy work can be physically demanding on the horses. Carrying a variety of riders with different balancing abilities can put a strain on the horses' backs. Most of the horses at LoveWay benefit from chiropractic work (That's right! Horses use chiropractors, too!). Unfortunately, regular chiropractor visits can get expensive. Junior would greatly benefit from bi-weekly chiropractic appointments. His back and hips often need to be adjusted from all of the hard work he puts into the therapy program. As a non-profit organization, LoveWay relies on the community for support in the care of their hard-working equines. If you would like to sponsor a chiropractic session for Junior (or any of the other therapy horses) please contact  Molly or call LoveWay at (574) 825-5666.

How to Support LoveWay

There are many ways you can support LoveWay and the incredible horses in the program. LoveWay can always use donations and new volunteers. We accept donations for LoveWay at our store: 120 S. Greene Rd, Goshen, IN 46526. They are also having their upcoming annual LoveWay Ride-A-Thon and Fun Fair fundraiser on Saturday, October 8, 2016. We will have more information on the Ride-A-Thon in a future post.

LoveWay Featured Equine Assisted Therapy Horse

Above: Junior, the featured therapy horse of the month poses for pictures.

Caitlyn Andrews
Caitlyn Andrews


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