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Equi-Ed Program Horse Wins NARHA Region 11 Horse of the Year!

July 2009 - It is with great pleasure that we announce that Equi-Ed program horse, Little Bit, has been named Region 11 Horse of the Year by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA ).


Little Bit is a 23-year-old Appaloosa mare that has used her gentle nature to enrich the lives of individuals with disabilities for the past 6 years at Equi-Ed. Little Bit came to the program on a trial basis when now staff member Sheila became an intern at Equi-Ed. She quickly passed her screening and became an integral part of the lesson program. Her past accomplishments include several top ten finishes in North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC) competitions, helping a previous owner map state park trails, several 1st place ribbons at local dressage competitions (one score of 74%!), a trip last year to the CAL-Net State Championship Show for Riders with Disabilities and being a best friend and confidant to many.


Equi-Ed staff and associates will travel to Fort Worth, Texas in November to receive her award at the NARHA annual conference. Past years winners have been presented with a portrait painted in their honor and have been featured in a kids coloring book. From the region winners one horse is selected to receive the honor of National Horse of The Year. We are keeping our fingers crossed and hope that you will too.


This isn't the first time Little Bit has been honored. Last summer, she was featured in an article in the Sonoma County Horse Journal's "Special Horses of Sonoma County" series.


Excerpts from her nomination letters: "Sometimes I get nervous or scared and Little Bit seems to understand and is extra careful with me."


"For me, the best thing about Little Bit is her easy going attitude. I am a paraplegic rider, and with long legs that just dangle, it is hard to ride using only balance. Little Bit seems to know this because she is so careful with me."


"Little Bit is very friendly to people. She knows when something is wrong and tries to make you feel better. Also she looks in my face. No other horse I know does that. Like she is talking to me."


"A horse like Little Bit is more than a blessing in disguise she is a miracle for the soul."


Ode to 'Little Bit'


She may not be the fastest mount
But speed is not "her calling."
Her step is sure and riders say
They have no fear of falling.
My daughter says her "gate" is smooth,
Always a pleasure for riding.
She knows her commands-to walk, to stop
And takes well to my guiding.
A friendly horse she always is,
Waits by her gate for a pet.
Has been known, to pine when alone,
And even likes seeing the vet.
Never would buck, or misbehave,
Always follows our direction.
If she were chosen "Horse of the Year"
Would be a fine selection.


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