Horse of the Month: “Rascal”
PATH Intl Certified Center: Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center
Location: Chargin Falls, OH
Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center’s students, instructors, volunteers and staff would like to nominate the barn’s beloved horse, Loveable Rascal, for the SmartPak Horse of the Month award. Serving as a treasured therapy horse for six years, Loveable Rascal joins his fellow horses at Fieldstone Farm in helping thousands of people with special needs achieve what they thought was impossible.
Through Rascal’s generous heart and instinct to serve, children with autism and Down Syndrome have said their first words. Adults with multiple sclerosis and children with neurological disorders have improved balance and gained strength. Some have even taken their first steps after riding him. High school students and military veterans have found hope and strength. Rascal is an amazing horse that reaches people of all ages and with all kinds of challenges and helps them become stronger physically and emotionally so they can better cope with daily life. Just in the last year, Rascal worked with hundreds of students helping them exceed their goals.
His impact on people’s lives can be found simply by looking outside his stall where the fan mail is posted. “Best horse ever,” “I love you Rascal,” or “Thank you Rascal” are some of the messages you may read. He has touched the lives of so many.
Volunteer Mary Bland who has worked with Rascal since the day he arrived at Fieldstone, says his name describes him perfectly. He is so irresistibly cute but is also a bit mischievous. “He brings a smile to everyone’s face,” she says.
Born in Kentucky in 2002, Loveable Rascal was bred from two winning race horses in the hopes that he too would deliver on the track. But after four races without a ribbon, he was steered to the show ring where he shined in hunter jumpers. At one point, he was even owned by the Governor of Kentucky. However, after an injury made him unable to jump fences, his owner at the time donated him to the therapeutic riding program at Fieldstone.
Transitioning to a therapy horse from the race track and a competitive showing career is not for every horse. But Rascal’s patience, easy-going attitude and a special intuition to know he is helping a person who needs a little extra attention has made him a favorite in the barn. “Rascal is one of those horses that not only knows he is helping riders, he wants to,” says Jinene Studinski, Equine Director.
Always kind and patient, Rascal is an incredible horse that we rely on to help our students realize their dreams. It is for this reason that we nominate him for SmartPak Horse of the Month.