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.Corky is generously sponsored by Cyd Shald

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 Elena Koustas

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 Laura & Mike Fenger

Mr. Fizz Mr. Fizz would curl up in your lap on the sofa, if he could. Unfortunately, given that he is an Irish Sport Horse measuring in at 16.3 hands it is likely not a good idea. He is genuinely interested whenever someone comes into his stall or approaches him. Perhaps he is hoping for his favorite treat, a peppermint, but he also just plain loves people. Whether he has met you a million times before or if this is the first time, Mr. Fizz will welcome you with open arms. Mr. Fizz teaches acceptance. Mr. Fizz is generously sponsored by Tom Steyer & Kat Taylor

Pepé Pepé, a 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. Pepé is generously sponsored by Abigail Friedman

Sonoma Sonoma is the senior member of the herd. He is a varnish roan appaloosa and he has been there and done that. He came to Giant Steps with his vast resume and quickly fit in to the barn. Essentially unflappable, Sonoma walked off the trailer as if he owned the place. Sonoma’s many life experiences have helped him form some firm opinions, but he has a soft spot for kids and people he can help. He thrives with students who benefit from full support, and his wide comfortable back help those with balance challenges. Don’t be fooled by his seemingly lazy demeanor. When he wants to, he can be quite a challenge. Sonoma teaches wisdom and conviction. Sonoma is generously sponsored by Peri Soyugenc

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 Julie & Tom Atwood

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.Woody is generously sponsored by Gail & Robert Horrigan