Therapy Horses

Broadway Straight

This Standardbred gelding was nicknamed George Strait by his trainer in honor of the country singer, George Strait. Around the farm, he is referred to as Curious George because of his nosey personality. George was foaled by Angus Hall and Keystone Last Call in Lucan, Ontario on March 2008. He raced as a trotter and earned $17,564 before retiring in 2012.

George is a gentle giant who is clueless to his size, loves attention, and will snuggle up to anyone. He doesn’t go anywhere without his sidekick, D.W.

D.W.'s Regal

D.W. is a Standardbred gelding who was foaled by Lislea and Bunny Galore in Maine in May 2005 and raced as a pacer until 2011, earning $27,508 in winnings.

D.W. is known around the farm as “George’s shadow.” He loves to play and frolic with George, but his favorite afternoon activity is a nap in the grass. D.W. loves a good massage and is notorious for the funny faces he makes.

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Maria

Maria is a quarter horse mare who was foaled in 1990. She is a retired lesson horse and enjoys her new career as an equine assistant. Her patient and nurturing personality places her as the “grandmother” of the herd.

Maria loves to be groomed and will practically fall asleep if you brush her long enough.

Day Trading

Nicknamed Ms. Day around the farm, this Thoroughbred mare was foaled in Kentucky in 1997 and is the daughter of Capote (1986 American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt) and granddaughter of Seattle Slew (winner of the Triple Crown in 1977).

Ms. Day loves to play in big puddles and is known for her sweet and gentle personality.

Kid Blast

Nicknamed “The Kid” by previous owners and fans, this Thoroughbred gelding was foaled in 2009 by Posse and Elise. The Kid raced on the flat track (including Saratoga Race Course) and earned $151,576 in his time running. After retirement from racing, Kid took on a new role as a lead pony at Saratoga Race Course and found himself to be a local celebrity with the fans. The Kid eventually was unable to continue his career as a lead pony due to back issues and retired to ReRun Thoroughbred Aftercare, where he received the necessary treatment. After recovery, Kid Blast found his way to THS, where he has discovered yet another role that he so comfortably fits in – giving attention and love to humans in need.

 

Bag of Figs

Fig is a Standardbred gelding born in 2015 who did not race due to an injury. He is a spunky and lovable character who enjoys playing with his friends and socializing with visitors.

Fig is our youngest therapy horse, bringing a lot of life to the herd.

Quintsentialterror

Nicknamed Quinten or Q on the farm, this Standardbred gelding was born in 2014 and had a brief racing career before retirement due to injury.

Quinten is a curious and kind horse with a lot of energy. He will follow you anywhere you go in the paddock and wants to be a part of any activity.

 

Reeley Misbehaving

This grey Thoroughbred mare was born in 2006 by Mr. Greeley and Behaving. She is known around the farm for her lively and sociable personality. Reeley (also known as Diva!) loves nothing more than spending time with her friends! She is a particularly herd-bound horse who attaches quickly to horse and human friends alike, and brings a bright and cheery perspective.

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Cut Me Loose

Cut Me Loose is a 2017 Thoroughbred gelding from Hold Me Back and Quiet Honor. His bloodlines reach back to Giant’s Causeway, Danzig, and Secretariat. This gorgeous young horse is called Copper for his shining personality and color.

Copper developed EPM (Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis) at a very young age – a disease that attacks the central nervous system of the horse. Because Copper was so young when he developed this disease, it severely impacted his physical functioning, making him disoriented, agitated, and unable to race.

Founders of THS, Erin and Jim Sisk, set Copper up with intensive treatment from the veterinarian as well as condition training from Christine Schaszberger. With over a year of hard work and close monitoring, Copper has grown into a calm, affectionate, intelligent, and hard-working young horse. Despite his inability to race or be ridden more than trail riding, Copper has found an incredible new career as a therapy horse. We are thrilled to welcome this wonderful success story into our herd!

French Transition

French Transition is a Thoroughbred gelding from Giant’s Causeway and French Manicure who was foaled on March 31, 2004. This gorgeous great-grandson of Secretariat and retired war horse made over $300,000 in his 121 start career.

Frenchie came to THS with a developed cataract in his left eye that has caused him to be partially blind. Because of the work that THS does in therapeutic programs, Frenchie has found a home that not only can care for him, but can offer him a second purpose.

Frenchie is a cuddly and affectionate horse who loves attention and is very attached to friends, Maria and Copper!

Frenchie

Staff

Laura LaRue, Director of Equine Care

Laura’s love for horses began at a very young age when she competed in English riding and learned the ins-and-outs of horse care throughout her childhood. This interest extended to compassion and understanding for people and the ability of animals to comfort them. Because of these passions, Laura completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University at Albany with the intention of getting into the counseling field. During college, she interned at a local non-profit which specialized in rescuing neglected horses and using them for hands-on work with individuals in need. After running summer camps with at-risk youth through Parsons Family Center, Laura knew that this was the career for her.

As the Director of Equine Care at THS, Laura combines her knowledge and love of both horses and people. She works with the therapy horses to provide safe and meaningful space for clients with the use of consistent desensitization training. She then assists in equine-assisted learning sessions. Laura’s role in the paddock is to ensure safety and provide feedback by reading both the client and horses’ body language and looking for useful metaphors that can be used in real-life situations.

Laura has a cat named Elwood and hopes to someday own horses and dogs of her own.

 

James (Jimmy) Rankin, Superintendent of Facilities

Jimmy grew up in Rockville, Maryland, right outside of Baltimore. He first started working with horses as a child on a local show horse farm and rode friends’ horses in the area as well. Since then, and throughout many experiences in his life, he has felt a connection to these animals.

After overcoming personal challenges in his own life, Jimmy looked to settle down and start fresh in upstate New York. He had jobs in landscaping, gardening, and construction over the years, so when the opportunity arose for a maintenance job at Erin Sisk’s private mental health office, he decided to settle in the Saratoga Springs area. When Jim and Erin Sisk purchased the THS farm in 2015, Jimmy started working on that property as well and was immediately comforted by the presence of their horses. He found that taking care of the horses during his workday brought him so much peace from the daily stresses of life that he often ended up sticking around just to spend more time with them after hours. Because of these interests, Jimmy decided to get certified through the O.K. Corral Series as an Equine Specialist so that he could assist in the sessions that Erin began to provide in the community.

Jimmy enjoys equine therapy because he loves helping people open up through their relationships with the horses. He appreciates the way that horses form attachment relationships with individuals and how that can create self-confidence and comfort in times of need. He has felt that having horses in his life has made him a better person and he wants to be able to share that benefit with others as well.

As Superintendent of Facilities at THS, Jimmy manages the grounds and ensures that the farm is maintained for the care of our horses. Jimmy’s role at THS as an Equine Specialist is to ensure safety and provide feedback by reading both the client and horses’ body language and looking for useful metaphors that can be used in real-life situations.

Jimmy has a sweet and energetic dog named Brook who follows him everywhere he goes on the farm – especially when he is on the tractor!

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Polly Macomber, Volunteer & Marketing Coordinator

Polly also discovered her love for horses during childhood summers in the Poconos, where she eagerly hopped on her banana-seat bike in the mornings to ride down the road to Split Rock stables. There, she discovered the heavenly scent of horses and hay, and gladly groomed, mucked, and fed the horses in exchange for an afternoon trail ride or ring lesson.

Many years went by, during which she turned her focus to graphic design. She discovered that she could help people by creating beauty and clarity on their behalf. After 30 years, she’s developed a keen eye for brands that work and a well-tuned ear for communications that engage.

Having recently returned to her region of origin (she’s a Jersey Girl, y’all!), Polly discovered THS and knew that this was the place where she could rejoin the horses and help make the world a little better by giving them love and care. Little did she know that in this giving, she was also receiving a joy and peace that she’d been searching for her whole life.

Now, Polly works as Volunteer & Marketing Coordinator for THS. She loves helping our volunteers become confident around the horses so that they, too, can make an equine connection that nourishes both human and horse. She also uses her years of corporate expertise in design to help THS shine online, and to reach folks who are looking for ways to become a Helper.