November LoveWay Horse of the Month: Jasper

by Caitlyn Andrews November 03, 2016

Featured Equine Assisted Therapy Horse at LoveWay

Time to meet Jasper, the November Therapy Horse of the Month. Vet Poultry is a sponsor of LoveWay, an equine assisted therapy non-profit in Middlebury, IN, and each month we feature one of their therapy horses in our blog. LoveWay has a stable full of amazing, hard working horses and each one deserves their time in the spotlight.

About Jasper the Therapy Horse

Jasper has been in the LoveWay program for 4 years now. He started on staff in January 2012. The 14-year-old Quarter Horse knows his job and does it well. Standing at just 14.2 hh, the typical cut-off height to be considered a pony, Jasper is the perfect size for a therapy horse.

Equine Assisted Therapy Featured Horse Jasper

Above: Jasper the November 2016 LoveWay Horse of the Month

The staff can trust Jasper with a variety of students. Not only does his shorter height help calm the more anxious riders, but he has a laid back personality that the students love. He tolerates loud noises and quick movements and does great with nervous students.

When a student is referred to LoveWay, often one of the first things they do is take a trial ride. The trial ride helps the staff determine how able-bodied the student is and what horses they might be paired with in the future. Jasper is the go-to for trial rides because of his disposition.

Jasper's Perfect Disposition

Jasper is so laid back, that he occasionally will stop while he's being ridden or lead and not want to move forward. He likes to do this when new volunteers lead him. He's never naughty or out of hand, he just needs some coaxing to get him moving again.

In addition to being such a mellow horse, Jasper is also a sweetheart. He likes being around people and loves attention. He would happily stand in the cross-ties for hours with someone grooming him if you let him.

Equine Assisted Therapy Quarter Horse

Above: Jasper stands patiently next to one of the arena obstacles at LoveWay, Inc.

Taking Care of Jasper

For the most part, Jasper is a low maintenance horse. He's still young but has a bit of arthritis in his back hock. He's fed a Flex-Aid supplement that helps with that. He also has no problem gaining weight. The staff has to limit his time out on the grass. In fact, Jasper could use a little exercise outside of classes. This is where the new LoveWay Buddy Program fits in.

LoveWay Buddy Program

LoveWay is currently looking for "Horse Buddies" for their new Buddy Program. The Buddy Program seeks to ideally pair each horse in the program with 2 or 3 "Horse Buddies".

Jasper Equine Assisted Therapy LoveWay Horse

Above: Jasper is one of the "top priority" horses for the new LoveWay Buddy Program. Would you be willing to spend an hour a week with this sweet boy?

Once a week, the volunteer "Horse Buddy" would spend about an hour of one-on-one time with their partnered horse. The time would be spent on strength building and stretching exercises and games.

No experience with horses? No problem! The knowledgeable staff at LoveWay is happy to teach "Horse Buddy" volunteers how to work with their chosen horses. A current, dedicated volunteer is even going to be teaching new volunteers to give massages to the horses!

The Buddy Program will greatly benefit the therapy horses' emotional and physical health.

There are currently 4 horses (including Jasper) that are on a high priority list for this program, all of which have been featured in past Horse of the Month Segments. Click on the horse's name to read about them!

  1. Jasper
  2. Honey
  3. Penny
  4. Shanna

Contact Cait or Sharon if you are interested in joining the Buddy Program. If you already know a horse or have read about one of the therapy horses here, that you would like to work with you can request to be that horse's buddy. If you don't have a preference, the staff can pair you with the right horse for you. Every horse at LoveWay could use a "Horse Buddy"!

Buddy Program Contact Information:

Cait Wilson- LoveWay Equine Manager:
Sharon Jones- Program Manager & PATH Certified Instructor:
LoveWay Phone Number: (574) 825-5666

Caitlyn Andrews
Caitlyn Andrews


1 Response

Teresa Jeffrey
Teresa Jeffrey

December 27, 2016

I’m thinking of becoming a horse buddy !

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