The new black and white Gypsy Vanner at Kids and Horses looks like she’s been dunked in a cup of milk, hence her name “Milk and Cookies” or “Cookie” for short.
Cookie arrived at Kids and Horses Aug. 1 from Lex Lin Gypsy Ranch in Rockwood, Tenn.
Kids and Horses team member Ryanna Blake said they entered a Facebook competition to win her where voters cast ballots once every 24 hours over a two-month period.
“It was a long process, and a long ride for her, but we’re happy to have her and she’s adjusting well,” said Blake.
Blake said the eight-year-old horse was not saddle broken when she arrived, meaning she has never been ridden, but she is responding well to trainer Cori Rosa of Bayview Farm who took Cookie on her first trail ride Wednesday.
“She’s really surprised us with how well she has been doing,” said Blake. “At this rate, she could be a program horse in no time.”
Once Cookie completes training — a 60-day trial that demonstrates the horse’s tolerance of a variety of obstacles including toys, wheel chairs and loud noises, having multiple people around her and different ways of mounting — she will join the seven other program horses at the center.
“Our program horses are patient, kind and love their special jobs,” said Blake. “A lot of the time our horses come from individuals in the community who think the horse would fit our program and say the horses are in need of a new job.”
Kids & Horses Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides adaptive riding lessons added therapy that utilizes equine movement, hippo-therapy, as a treatment strategy to its offerings. The Premiere Accredited Center of PATH International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) is one of only two in Northern Nevada. They work with individuals of all ages, facing a broad range of challenges such as Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Traumatic Brain injury, Sensory Processing Disorder, Stroke and learning disabilities. Kids and Horses has been serving the community with adaptive horseback riding lessons since 1999, teaching individuals with disabilities how to ride horses through safe, effective lessons by PATH-certified instructors.
In addition to the arrival of Kids and Horse’s new program member, the center is celebrating its 18th anniversary with a western theme Sept. 9 at Crystal Bay Casino, Crystal Bay. Participants are encouraged to dress up as a western character and enjoy games such as spin the wheel of prizes, a silent auction, whiskey tasting, a western dinner and entertainment under the stars.
Proceeds benefit the program and helps individuals with special needs throughout the community enhance their lives.
For information or to become a client, contact Kids & Horses at firstname.lastname@example.org or 267-1775. Visit us on facebook or at https://www.kidsandhorses.org. Mail at 2869 Esaw Street, Minden, NV 89423.