LoveWay Featured Therapy Horse: Miracle

by Caitlyn Andrews October 12, 2018

Miracle LoveWay Horse Feature

At VPSI, we're proud to be able to sponsor the LoveWay horses. LoveWay is a non-profit organization that offers equine-assisted therapy in Middlebury, IN. 

Not every horse can handle the demands of a therapy program. Equine-assisted therapy is hard work for the horses. Horses must be patient, calm, and well-behaved.

They carry precious cargo - children with physical, cognitive, or emotional disabilities. Children at LoveWay face challenges that include difficulty balancing or controlling their emotions. The program helps with this and the horses need to behave for riders of all abilities.

Horses that fit perfectly into the program are a rare find. Even great therapy horses take some time to adjust to their new life as a LoveWay horse.

That's why Miracle is so special. He's one of the few horses that entered the program and was ready to go from day one.

Here's Miracle's story.

Miracle AQHA Horse

Miracle grazing at his new home - LoveWay.

Miracle's Life Before LoveWay

Miracle is an 18-year old Quarter Horse gelding. He lived an exciting life as a show horse before being donated to help the students at LoveWay.

He didn't just compete in local 4-H shows. Miracle made a name for himself as an AQHA show horse. He mainly was shown in Western Pleasure.

He was a serious competitor and even placed in the top 5 at Congress. The All American Quarter Horse Congress is the largest single breed horse show in the world. The best of best compete at Congress. Miracle was one of them.

Miracle Therapy Horse LoveWay

Miracle looking back at his BFF - Chester.

The owner that donated Miracle adored him and told the LoveWay staff all about his history. One story she told was how he got his name.

His mother passed away when he was born. A surrogate mare was introduced to the orphaned foal, but Miracle knew it wasn't his mom. He was afraid and immediately ran away from her. He was hand nursed and raised by people instead. This is why he was given the name Miracle.

New Horses at LoveWay

Everyone at LoveWay knows the drill. When a new horse comes to LoveWay they go through a trial period of about 30-days. Some horses need a little more or a little less time. Students don't ride the horse during this trial period. The horse goes through tests to see if they'll be a good fit for the program.

Miracle walked right into the program when he arrived in June 2018. He didn't need a trial. He acted as if he had always been a therapy horse.

He doesn't spook, he doesn't fuss, and he always takes care of his rider. He loves being around people and seems to enjoy his new job. He's trusted to take care of inexperienced riders and volunteers.

Miracle is going to become a favorite at the barn. All of the instructors already love him and want to have him in their classes.

The Perfect Fit

Maggie Pippenger, a PATH Certified Instructor, fell in love with Miracle when she met him. She thought he would be a good fit, but it wasn't until she saw him in summer camp that she knew he was a true gem.

A new student was riding him at camp. The class was for the youngest riders allowed at camp. The student was so tiny that their legs couldn't reach past the saddle pad. The rider was too small to have much control and Miracle could have easily gotten away with doing what he wanted to do.

But he didn't act up. He listened to everything the rider asked of him. He was perfect.

Miracle's Future with LoveWay

Though he was shown a lot when he was younger and he's already 18, Miracle isn't showing any signs of slowing down. He's in great health. He's smooth to ride and acts the same each time he's worked.

However, he's such a great horse that the LoveWay staff are being cautious with him. They don't want to push him too hard. They want him to be happy and healthy in the program for years to come. His weight limit is kept low and he gets preventative joint health supplements to preserve his health.

The health of their horses is one of LoveWay's top priorities. This is the reason that weight limits are set for the horses. They are all given a maximum amount of weight that they can carry. It protects them from injuries and burning out.

This is great for the horses, but it means that LoveWay isn't able to accept students over a certain weight. For this reason, LoveWay is looking for a draft horse mix to join the team that can carry more weight.

Do You Know LoveWay's Next Horse?

If you know of any large horses that would make a good fit for the program then contact LoveWay. They would love to meet them!

Caitlyn Andrews
Caitlyn Andrews


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