SPURS horses are donated, loaned or purchased by SPURS with budgeted funds or grant money. Horses are carefully screened based on health, soundness, disposition and the quality of their gaits. Each one is unique, and all have their own distinct personalities.
SPURS’ herd of 20 horses represents a number of different breeds, sizes, ages, and conformations. Some are former show horses or trail riding buddies. The diversity of our horses is instrumental in accommodating the varying needs of our riders.
We are always on the lookout for horses with the kind and giving personality that is so important for our students’ safety and success. The United Way of Northeastern South Dakota Foundation provided assistance in 2016 so SPURS could acquire Spice, our newest horse.
You can read about all of our current horses below.
I tell folks that I am a Welsh pony. No one likes Shetlands it seems. Before I came to SPURS in November of 2015, my trainer spent lots of time teaching me lots of movements, pivots, sideways and other cool stuff and I always try to do what my rider tells me to, but sometimes my leader doesn’t want me to. It can be very confusing, so I do best with riders who keep their legs still, because I am so ticklish. Side walkers really help. I am learning to neck rein and trot slower for one of my riders who loves me!
My former human called me a Welsh pony. I moved to SPURS in November of 2015. I walk kind of slow and have a soft trot and that must be good because I worked a lot of classes my first year. I get lots of little ones who don’t sit still, and they usually have lots of helpers. I try to ignore wiggly feet and wiggly riders, although I can get tired of them.
I am a Haflinger cross and I have been here for several years. They call me the little tank, I have a weight issue but I really like to eat. I am short and strong and ticklish so wiggly legs tell me to go fast and I find it hard to walk slowly for very long when the rider tickles my sides. The other ticklish horses tell me that side walkers help with the feet, but sometimes they make me uncomfortable.
Haflinger is my breed. We are a small draft horse from Austria. I was donated to SPURS in the spring of 2016. My former owner has a sister who rode at SPURS and she wanted me to be able to help too. I have a great soft trot, perfect for riders with back issues. I usually have a leader and most of my riders are wiggly kids. I am learning to guide better with a snaffle and sidepull.
My heritage is unclear; some think maybe I am part Morgan, but it doesn’t matter. I like my job. I get to give rides to the cutest, sweetest kido’s. I love the attention and I try hard to help my riders have fun. It seems that everyone around here wants to trot a little too slow though.
Hello there. They call me Kota. That is short for Lakota, and it means friend. I am a brown and white Pinto pony. I have met lots of youngsters around here for the past four years. I like them but really don’t like for strangers to pet my face. My neck is much better. Sometimes it is hard to know who to listen to, my riders tell me to go faster and my leader tells me to slow down. I try my best to do what I am told and I like it when side walkers help my students to keep their feet still.
Hi. I am glad to meet you; people are my best friends. I am an Appaloosa and I really like spending time helping our students. I started this job in 2005. I usually get the bigger riders who are nervous and need lots of help, so very often I am surrounded by people. And I love all the attention.
My breed is called Norwegian Fjord, although some people around here call me a tank. I’m not sure what breed that is but I am very strong and can carry as much as Snickers does. If you love lots of movement, I am the horse for you, although I don’t always agree with my leader.
I am the other Arabian working here. I moved in just last summer. I used to give riding lessons to people of all ages, but now that I am older I just take care of the younger students. I really like the kids and I understand why sometimes we have side walkers helping. I really enjoy seeing some of my students from my former life out here helping my new students.
Hello from the Arabian world. That’s right; I am a full blood Arab and Handsome as can be! I am pretty tall so most of my riders are too. I think I like it best when I have a leader, called a horse handler. It is much less confusing that way.
Hi, I am Walker’s best friend and the other Paint horse around here. Next to Ace, I have been there the longest. This will be my 19th year and I still LOVE my job. I have helped lots of our students as they grew up. Even though I am getting older, I would still rather be working than tied up just to watch the other horses doing MY job!
I am a Paint, and I am Big, Black and Beautiful! And I consider myself the Queen. The job that I like best is being independent with just my student. I like showing how well I can walk and trot along the fence. I used to be a show horse.
Well, now that you have met all the Quarter Horses it is my turn. I am Proud to be a Tennessee Walker. My riders love my smooth gaits; that means that I don’t bounce my riders around at the trot and canter. I can’t remember how many years I have been here but is at least 10. I prefer for my riders to have very soft hands and keep the reins long.
I am a beautifully speckled strawberry roan Quarter Horse. I have been working at SPURS for about three years, but I have been giving riding lessons for a lot longer than that. I try very hard to do exactly what I am asked, even if it makes me a little worried.
I’ve been here a couple of years now and people still get me mixed up with another bay quarter horse that I live with. My girl, Alyssa, used to spend hours with me teaching me lots of new stuff, even tricks. I don’t see her as much now that I live at SPURS and I miss her, but all that stuff that she taught me helps me a lot in this job.
My name is Jackie. I am a Quarter Horse too. I am fairly new at this job as I have only been here for one year. I spent the previous nine years just trail riding and wow, is this job different! There are lots of new things to get used to, but I’m learning.
I guess that I am the new horse on the block. I am a Quarter Horse and I moved here in early December, 2016, so I am getting to know other horses and how things work at SPURS. I am used to being very obedient so hopefully everyone will like me. I’m told I will replace Zak, a much beloved horse for the tallest riders; I will try to fill his shoes.
Hi to all my old friends! I am a Quarter Pony, which means small Quarter Horse. I have met and carried many of the students on my back over the last 21 years. Yes that’s right; I’ve been at this job for 21 years. Now I am semi-retired, but I still love to have my former riders say hi to me, even though most have outgrown me.