Lesson Horse Retirement Program

The Painted Bar Stables Lesson Horse Retirement Program helps provide lifelong care for former lesson horses that have earned their right to greener pastures. These are the horses who have served over 1,000 riders throughout their careers and have won the hearts and minds of thousands more.

You don't throw a whole life away just because it's banged up a little.

 

Sponsor a Retired Horse

Help us support these retired lesson horses by sponsoring a horse today!

CLICK HERE TO SPONSOR NOW
OR
EMAIL US TO INQUIRE

Monthly Sponsors of $150 receive:

  • a personalized packet about their selected horse
  • photos and updates throughout the year
  • the opportunity to spend time with the horse in person
  • mention on our website for the month they are sponsoring

6 Month Sponsors of $800 will also receive:

  • Painted Bar Stables "sponsor" t-shirt and hat
  • a photo shoot with A.C. Jacobs

Full Year Sponsors of $1,500 will also recieve:

  • Painted Bar Stables gear for four people
  • a banner in our indoor arena with a photo from your photo shoot

Sponsorships make great gifts to celebrate birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions, and we can mail a packet directly to the recipient of your choice.

Erika and Mia

Small Business Sponsorships

Sponsorships are also an excellent opportunity for local businesses. With over 2,000 riders coming through our arena doors per year, the photos and banners bring attention to your business and provide you the opportunity to reach out to our tourists and regulars while establishing yourself as a friend of all horses.

Horses Available for Sponsorship

Mack's Lit Up

Mack's Lit Up

Mack is a Tennessee Walking Horse gelding who has served as a lesson and trail horse for 7 years. He was always a favorite of gentlemen because of his stylish appearance and smooth gaits. He is one of our best trail horses because of his ability to keep up with the more advanced riders or slow down to go slowly for first time riders.

He is a sensitive guy who has a lot of quirk. He's a top dog in the field, but always willing to work with people and not boss them around.

Mack started limping in his right hind leg in 2015. Two visits to Cornell University's Equine Animal Hospital told us that he has significant arthritic changes in multiple joints that may be the root of his problems. Though he is still sound on his good days and is VERY happy when we take him out for a nice bareback trail ride, his limp comes and goes and he can no longer take out trail rides and lessons reliably.

Miss Zan O'Lena

Miss Zan O'Lena

Lena came to us from Oakwood Manor and Nicky Kurty where she not only placed in the top 10 in nationwide Barrel Racing championships, but foaled futurity winners and taught lessons. She continued her teaching career here teaching more advanced lessons on finess and guiding the trails.

In 2014, Lena started limping on her left gind leg. After X-Rays at the Cornell University Equine Hospital, it was clear that her hock joint was fusing. The hock joint is a complicated joint consisting of multiple joints within it. While the lower joints typically fuse in older horses without much complication, Lena's upper joints were fusing causing her to have a "peg leg" movement.

While her hock does not hurt her, and it is just a mechanical lameness, as time has passed it has gotten to the point that she can no longer be ridden for more than a short bareback trail ride.

Tourmaline Crystal

Tourmaline Crystal

Crystal is one of those special lesson horses that could be ridden and loved by everyone. She was always our choice for children on the trail, even though she is so big. Adults gravitated to her because of her sleek appearance and humble personality. She is kind, patient and willing to please.

In late 2013 Crystal started to do a little "hop" during her upward transitions into the trot. We initially thought it was her back that was causing her issues so she recieved a number of chiropractic adjustments, particularly in her hips. However, as time passed the "hop" came back, as did a limp in her hind left leg.

We took Crystal to Cornell University Equine Hopsital where X-Rays showed that she had an arthritic fracture in her hock. Arthritis had built up a bone spur which had broken off and was floating in the joint.

Maximum Review

Maximum Review

Maxie is an American Paint Horse mare who is a favorite among the longterm staff in the barn, particularly Erika. This mare has done it all while at the stables: endurance races, polo, jumping, hunt seat shows, hunter paces, team penning, disability lessons, ring jousting and pretty much any idea we can come up with and has always succeeded.

Maxie can best be defined by how she puts her whole heart into everything she does. This mare never gives up and is stoic beyond belief.

Her stoicism ended up being her weakness. In 2015 we noticed Maxie wasn't performing quite like she used to. After X-Rays at Cornell University Equine Hospital, we discovered that Maxie had developed severe arthritis in her stifle, one of the most severe cases they had ever seen. Because she was stoic to the last, we never noticed until it was too late.

 

 

Paying it Forward

The horses that make up the herd of the Lesson Horse Retirement Program are seasoned veterans used to working with the general public. They are safe, kind and forgiving: the perfect candidates for working with a variety of individuals, including marginalized groups, to develop life long skills.

A key component of the Lesson Horse Retirement Program is to transition the horses from riding programs to working on the ground with at risk and marginalized groups. Key populations that program targets include:

At-Risk Teens

Veterans

Indivduals with Disabilities

Urban Youth

 

The Life of a Horse in the Program

  • Lesson horses who have served their communities are accepted into the program.
  • The herd of retired horses are maintained by the Painted Bar Stables at the Elkins Horse Park location during the warmer months, living in large field turnout in appropriate social groups with ample grass and forage.
  • During the winter months, the retired herd is brought to the Painted Bar Stables headquarters to be stabled for the winter.

The Plight of Elderly Lesson Horses

As horses age, they no longer are able to carry riders. As time goes on they become weaker, develop chronic arthritis or perhaps suffer injuries that leave them unable to work as riding horses.

Lesson horses are the saints of the equestrian way of life. These are the horses that carried every single rider through their first ride and then through their patience and forgiving nature instructed us how to be firm and friendly while staying balanced and supple.

The elderly lesson horse is the horse that has truly paid its dues. Lesson horses that are past their prime no longer have the monetary value they did in their prime. Their worth is now defined by how many people they made smile and laugh and were loved by in return. A Painted Bar Stables horse in particular can make well over 1,000 people fall in love with riding over the course of their career. By the time they have reached retirement, they have earned their rights to a large field, a constant supply of hay, and the comfort of knowledgeable care.

Often commercial stables are unable to keep elderly horses that are unsuitable for riding programs. This is not because of lack of love for these horses, but because it becomes financially unfeasible to require the other horses in the stables to work harder to support those unable to work.

Basic maintenance of a retired horse (just the basic farrier, vet and feed costs) a single horse will cost an average of $158.50. However, when you look at the impact of the horse on the entire budget, each horse will cost a stables between $300 - $500 per month. These expenses include the cost of the land, taxes, insurance, employees, maintenance, veterinary bills, supplements and feed expenses.

As a result, lesson horses often are sold to novice riders. Many of these novice riders love and cherish these beginner friendly horses until the end of their lives; but often these wonderful and patient horses get passed on over and over again as riders out grow them and they become increasingly lame and unsuitable for riding.

 

 

 

Email Painted Bar StablesFacebook Painted Bar StablesTwitter Painted Bar StablesYouTube Painted Bar StablesPainted Bar Stables on InstagramPainted Bar Stables' BlogTrip Advisor

We accept cash, check and credit cards
Gift Certificates are available.

4093 Lake Street (Rte. 79) Burdett, NY 14818
ride@paintedbarstables.com