Herd? We think of our animal friends as more like a team. They are an integral part of our approach and our success. Meet the horses, and some of the critters as well.
Arney “Farmer” is a black Tennessee Walking horse and a retired police horse. He and Pony Girl were the first in the herd. He makes sure everyone knows he is the Alpha of the Barn.
Buddy, a 22 year-old lineback Palomino Haflinger, is an easy favorite and most little ones start out on him. In June 2001, Mrs. Fritzi met him when she was pregnant with one of her daughters. Buddy instinctively knew and gently nuzzled her protruding belly. He is still just as gentle and perceptive with the children.
Captain is a bay Quarter horse adopted from the Houston SPCA Equine Unit. When Captain is not working, he’s a ladies man attracting the attention of all the mares in the barn. Captain has an unusual stance: he often crosses his front legs when standing. It just adds to his intriguing swagger.
Chief, the senior of the barn at 29, is a tri-color Paint. He is also a movie star! He appears for about one second of screen time in the movie 8 Seconds. Often loving called Chief Roast Beef, he was donated to Special Cheers in 2008.
Coco Chanel came all the way from Pennsylvania with her colt Ty to join our herd in the summer of 2013. She is a Palomino Haflinger. Haflinger horses are relatively small and have an energetic, but smooth gait, making this breed perfect for more medically fragile and younger riders.
Gizmo is a brown and white Paint Draft horse. At 23, he’s semi-retired and doesn’t have to work everyday.
Buzz is n 8 year old Fjord Haflinger that was rescued from a Louisiana kill shelter. He is trying to make his way into the herd, but hasn't made any friends yet.
Magic is a chestnut Appaloosa. He was surrendered and donated in 2011. Magic, the barn greeter, welcomes all to the barn with a special nicker or soft neigh.
Max, 3, is the baby of the barn. This dun Fjord joined Special Cheers in 2013. He loves to play and work. He loves his mane and tail to be brushed. Max especially loves carrots and peppermint treats.
Nieves is our resident princess. She is a 13-year-old blue roan Mustang. She loves to eat and run. Nieves like, Kodiak, will shake her head for a treat.
A chocolate Welsh Palomino, Pony Girl is one of the first horses of our herd. Pony has a quick gait making her a favorite. She is diabetic, so no treats, but happily receives friendly pats and scratches.
Red is just “special”. This rascal antics are normally harmless high jinks, but this 14-year-old red roan Pasifino is definitely the most playful horse of the herd. He has found his place working with the more active, rowdier children.
Sancha, 18, is flea-bit gray Percheron. She was a PMU mare and rescued from Dallas via the Passion Horse Ranch in Joshua, Texas. She joined Special Cheers in 2012. Since then, she’s put on a healthy 1000+ lbs. Sancha just absolutely loves to play in water on the trail.
Ty, the other baby of the barn, is 5. He is a Palomino Haflinger. Although still young and a bit rambunctious, Ty is proving to be a good therapy horse and loves his forever home in the Special Cheers herd.
And the other animals...
Glitzy, the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, arrived at Special Cheers with Captain. Mrs. Fritzi says, “It was ‘adopt a horse and get a pig free day’ at the Houston SPCA”. Glitzy was once confined in a very large pen, but she’s very smart and can now open the gate when she wants to go exploring or socialize.
Momma goat Amy with her offspring, Lolli, lounge wherever they generally want on property. Mrs. Fritzi continues to try to devise brilliant plans to keep them off the deck and out of food bins.
Wyatt, our resident sheep, is a follower. He follows most anyone or anything - goats, dogs, and very often the horses headed out on trail.