Meet the Geldings

Corky Corky is a handsome dark bay Morgan who, like his buddy Darren, came from U.C. Davis where he taught English style riding and dressage. He’s like a giant teddy bear with a plush winter coat that is the envy of all the other horses in the barn. He is short in stature in comparison with the other geldings, but he doesn’t let his smaller stature deter him from bossing the bigger geldings around, including Darren, who towers over him. He likes to stir things up in the herd when they are romping in the exercise area. He does especially well with riders who need to work on stability and balance. Corky teaches strength.Take a Giant Step-Be My Sponsor!

Darren Darren, a solid Quarter Horse, is the tallest horse in the barn. He came to Giant Steps from U.C. Davis where he taught the finer points of jumping. If Darren were a dog, he’d be a Labrador Retriever. He’s the strong, silent type, calm, stoic and eager to please. When Darren opens his eyes really wide, that is his way of saying that something is going on that may not be to his liking. While Darren works well with all riders, he specializes in working with those who ride independently. He’s faithful and consistent and takes excellent care of his riders. Darren teaches gentleness and consistency.Darren is generously sponsored by the Rombauer Family

Excel Excel joined us last spring, and over the course of the year, he has become one of our steadiest horses. His easy-going nature appeals to several riders-from veterans to at-risk youth many of whom struggle with communication difficulties. Excel stands out as being a friendly ‘therapist’ who manages to create a special bond with many of the students at Giant Steps and is capable of teaching them to overcome their social fears. Like some of the riders, Excel lives with chronic pain and the slow paced work environment at the barn helps him get the movement his joints need to rehabilitate. Demonstrating his versatility, he is also a leader in our emerging ground work program. Excel teaches communication.Excel is generously sponsored by the Rhys Farm-Catherine Harvey

Gandalf Gandalf, an Icelandic Pony, came to us because he was an escape artist. Not only would he open his own stall, he would wander the neighborhood, releasing other horses as well. Naturally, this concerned his owner, especially once she was headed back to graduate school. Luckily, we have figured out how to contain Gandalf, and he has been working with us for about two years. As the smallest in our barn, he is good for maximum support riders who need two side walkers. (It is much easier to sidewalk with a pony than with a 16 hand horse!) He also works with some of our more advanced riders who are learning to canter, lunge, and master some basic dressage moves. Gandalf is a wonderful addition to our program – even if he does remind us that he is a pony every now and again.Take a Giant Step-Be My Sponsor!

Levi Levi, a 20 year old and 15.3 hands bay Quarter Horse, thrives on affection and attention. He has a blaze and 2 socks. His greatest strength is his pleasant nature. As Giant Steps sweetest horse he proves to be an excellent pair for inexperienced students who may be rather timid in their estimation of what they can do on a horse. Owing to Levi’s unassuming and gentle personality he trusts people completely and is never the alpha. Levi enhances learning outcomes by remaining calm and patient. This allows students to learn at their own pace rather than by his. Levi teaches stillness. Levi is generously sponsored by Sabrina and Marco Hellman

Pepé Pepé, a nine year old Tennessee Walker, is the class clown of the barn. It’s hard to imagine being gloomy for too long in the presence of this slapstick comedian who flaps his lips, tosses his head, and wags his long tongue from side to side, while stomping his hooves. He crosses his legs, contrary to what horses usually do, and when he plays he can jumps straight up in the air, all four hooves aloft. He’s been observed standing with his front hooves on fence rails. He is affectionate and loves attention. He’s clever enough to open the stall door, reminiscent of that marvelous t.v. comedian horse, Mr. Ed. Pepé works well with riders who have an animated form of autism. His boisterous nature draws the rider’s attention and has a calming effect, enabling the rider to focus and concentrate. Pepé teaches a sense of humor. Take a Giant Step-Be My Sponsor!

Tuey Tuey, a registered paint, is known as the feisty one. As a mere 12 year-old, Tuey is one of the junior members of the herd, and he brings a youthful and playful attitude to the barn. This playfulness extends to his work. Tuey doesn’t like to follow directions. As a result, he gives riders the opportunity to develop and improve their leg muscles, and their focus! As one rider states, “I love riding Tuey because he challenges me and as a result I have improved my riding skills.” Tuey teaches firmness. Tuey is generously sponsored by Marguerite and Eric McAfee

Woody Woody is a relatively new addition to the barn, and has quickly become a favorite among the volunteers and riders alike. He is a kind soul, and does all that is asked of him. His desire to please may remind you of a beloved family dog. He is trusted in lessons with independent riders learning to trot as well as with riders who give him mixed commands due to lack of focus and processing delays. He cooperates with the “greenest” of volunteers even though he likely knows the routine better than they do. Most horses who are new to Giant Steps take a while to acclimate and have a full lesson schedule, but Woody’s dance card was full right from the start. Woody teaches cooperation.Take a Giant Step-Be My Sponsor!