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Horse Profiles

This is the place to meet our therapy horses!  Click here to view photo galleries of the REINS horses in action!

- Our Geldings -



Belgian Warmblood born in 1998

Proudly Sponsored by the Mlynek Family

He came to REINS in 2009 from Huntington Beach.  Before life here he was a jumper.  His previous family purchased him because he was just so safe and reliable.  When they were looking at him, a car drove by and backfired.  Bueller didn’t bat an eye and he was sold on the spot!

Bueller was donated to REINS when his owner was no longer able to spend the time with him that he needed.  Before he came to REINS, he had been living in a stall by himself.  He quickly discovered how fun it is to have other horse buddies to play with.   Now it is not uncommon to see Bueller playing in the pasture with his buddies.  He just loves the herd life and the excitement at REINS.

From the start Bueller has been a steady and reliable boy.  Though he sometimes is a bit slow (Bueller’s favorite speed is standing still), he safely and easily carries his riders around the arena.

Bueller's favorite part of life here though is the carrots.  He loves his food!  When he first discovered that he could be fed carrots after each lesson, he was so eager he tried to stop for carrots half-way through the lesson!   Now Bueller understands the process and eagerly waits for his rider to feed him.



LeifNorwegian Fjord born in 1993

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Leif is one of five Norwegian Fjords here at REINS.  He came to us in 2002.  Since that time, Leif has shone as one our most valuable equines.  He works in every variety of lessons that we offer, from independent riding lessons, to back riding, to vaulting, to helping quadriplegics walk again.  Leif does it all without complaint.  His strong, stout body is perfectly adapted to be a therapy horse.

Leif loves life here at REINS and we love having him!   Overall he is a perfect example of the do it all ability of the Norwegian Fjord breed.



KjielNorwegian Fjord born in 1990

Proudly Sponsored by the Mlynek Family

Kiejl came to REINS in 2006 and is one of our dependable Norwegian Fjords.  He’s only in his twenties, but acts like he’s 80.  Don’t let his troll doll hair fool you, there is actually a lot going on under those thick locks.

Kiejl spends his time thinking of how to better utilize his rest time, how he can get out of work, and the best part of the pasture to sleep in.  When not thinking about sleep, Kiejl is hard at work carrying some of our youngest or oldest riders on his broad, able back.



Tex Pinto Pony born in 1992

Proudly Sponsored by The Barge Family

Tex, whose been at REINS since 2006, came to us as a successful show hunter pony.  Unfortunately, due to an undiagnosed lameness he was no longer able to continue his carreer in the hunter circuit and so decided to retire to REINS.  Our quite life is perfect for Tex.  On those days when he just isn’t feeling quite up to snuff he can choose to rest out in the pasture and snooze in the sun.  The rest of the time, Tex puts in his share of work, toting around some of our smaller riders.

It is clear that Tex still misses his life as a great show pony and one can catch him gazing off into the distance, remembering the glory of days past.  It is neat to watch him in a lesson sharing some of those experiences with a young rider on his back.



Poncho Shetland Pony

Proudly Sponsored by The Crevier Family Foundation

Poncho is the smallest member of the REINS herd.  He has been here since 2006.  Before that he was a barrel pony.   (He’s very fast when he wants to be).  He’s ancient (we aren’t sure of his exact age or breeding).

He has been so important for many of our riders, being their first horse.  Some were a little too little to ride other horses, others a little too intimidated.  Poncho takes care of them all.  He loves his life here and loves to be pampered.  He prefers his stall to life in the pasture.  If he were human, one could imagine him wearing a tweed smoking jacket, putting his feet up at night on a velvet chaise, and indulging in a good pipe.



Harrison Norwegian Fjord born in 1992

Proudly Sponsored by Christa Mueller

Harrison Fjord, not to be confused with the actor (though they do look alike) is a Norwegian Fjord.  Though Fjords were the Viking warhorses, Harry has left his warrior roots behind and prefers to amble quietly along, sneaking carrots when no one is looking.

Harry came to us all the way from Oregon in 2006.  He fit in right away and started taking some of our biggest riders.  He is one of our hardest working horses and a real character.  His favorite pastime is trying to trick the volunteer leaders into letting him sneak to the carrot boxes before the lesson is over.  (He seems to think he’ll get more carrots this way).

If Harry could talk he would sound like Eeyore, or maybe Elmore Fudd.



Quarter Horse born in 1994

Proudly Sponsored by Sandra and Bertrand Cooper

Rocky has lived a very exciting life.  He dabbled in Eventing, winning the Intro Level championship at Copper Meadows in 2006.  But his favorite job was as a 'whip' horse.  This means that he was a foxhunting horse who got to follow the hounds and make sure they stayed in line. 

As he got older, Rocky’s joints just couldn’t handle all the high speed antics of foxhunting, so he came to REINS in 2008.  From day one it’s been a perfect fit.  Rocky is like a big Labrador retriever in the body of a horse!  His kind heart and compassionate nature make him perfectly suited for therapeutic riding.



American Paint Horse born in 1995

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Rio is a breeding stock paint, whose sire is from the very famous Kings Ranch (think Ford Trucks - Kings Ranch Edition).  He was born in Oklahoma on a hunting ranch where they would go out on hunts for 3 days at a time.  Apparently, early on Rio let it be known that he did not want to work that hard by stomping his feet and protesting.

Rio was brought to California in 1999 where a lady bought him because he looked like her grandfather’s horse.  For the next 4 years he didn’t do much aside from the occasional pony ride.  Then Rio moved on to one of our REINS instructor’s families who purchased him for their 12-year old daughter.  Even though he was only green broke, Rio’s temperament seemed perfect for a beginner rider.  After extensive training, he became an ideal Pony Club mount.   Together Rio and his girl won training level dressage high point of the year at the Poway Valley Riders Association.  After she outgrew him, his family knew they wanted to donate him to a therapeutic riding program because it suited his temperament ideally.

Watching him now, it is very obvious he loves his home and job at REINS.


Sami a.k.a. Sovereign

Arabian Gelding born in 1988

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Sami is a well traveled and educated boy.  He has worked the whole gamut of eqiune jobs, from show hunter/jumper pony, to pony club mount, to lesson horse, to therapeutic riding horse.  Sami came to REINS in November of 2010 and was an instant fit.  His years of competing and teaching lessons gave him great training for life as a REINS horse.  Sami loves his life at REINS and especially loves all the new friends he has made.  He has really bonded some of the other geldings and seems the enjoy the rough and tumble life in the pasture.

Sami is one of our older guys and we are so happy that he chose REINS as his final place of employment.  Though aged by horse standards, like most Arabians, Sami is still spry and has years of life ahead of him.  Welcome to REINS Sami!


- Our Mares -



Betsy Arabian Cross Pony born in 1995

Proudly Sponsored by Jack and Susan O'Connor

Betsy has been at REINS since 2004.  In her previous life (or before REINS) Betsy was a successful Hunter/Jumper show pony.  She came to REINS with a long letter of introduction from her previous owner, showing just how well loved she was.

Betsy wasn't quite sure what to think of REINS at first.  She couldn’t figure out why on earth we would have all those crazy looking things like balls and rings and toys ‘oh my’.  But with time and practice, Betsy realized the joy of playing with toys.  She has become a superstar, especially for younger riders.  She just seems to know what each child needs.  Our instructors can almost let her teach the lesson, she is that good.

If she could talk she wouldn’t say anything because that would be lowering herself to the human level.



Haflinger Mare born around 1990  

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Cassie, aka Cassandra, aka Malibu Barbie, is a wonderful new addition to REINS.  Cassie was actually a children's lesson and show pony for the past 10 years.  She is on loan to us from her owner and is working perfect at REINS.  All those years of teaching lessons gives her a head-start on being a therapy horse.  Cassie is here to work out her 'retirement' days.   She has settled into the REINS life and is especially enjoying spending time with her new best friend, Mary.  We are so thankful her owner, Jennifer, has let us borrow this wonderful horse and we hope to have her for years to come.



Daisey Welsh Pony born in 1994

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Daisy is a welsh/quarter horse mare.  She moved to REINS from the short distance of Bonsall.  Daisy started her life as a show horse and then moved on to become a trail horse.  She was an only horse in Bonsall and was very happy to come to REINS and make lots of new friends.


When Debbie Shinner, REINS executive director and Sarah Newton-Cromwell, our Program Coordinator, went to meet Daisy, it was love at first sight.  She came home to REINS January 2008 and fit right in.  She has flourished here.





Argentinian Polo Horse born 2003

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Fooly is a wonderful mare donated by one of our riders, Harry Collins.  Harry and Fooly played polo together.  Infact, Fooly was Harry's favorite polo pony as she is so easy to ride and so kind.  Fooly had to have her left eye removed after sustaining an injury during a polo match.  After the injury, Fooly was retired from polo.  However she continued to work as a ranch and trail horse, traveling between California and Colorado.  In an unfortunate turn of events, Harry was injured in a polo accident not long after Fooly...Harry started to ride at REINS and progressed so well, we decided to bring Fooly in in the hope that this winning polo partnership might come together again.

Fooly is extrememly calm and sensible, and manages well with only one eye.  She has been working in a few lessons, and we hope that Harry may ride her in the future.  It is so wonderful to have Fooly at REINS.  Not only is she a terrific therapy horse, but she reminds all of us that we can still help others, regardless of our seeming limitations.



GrandPony of the Americas born in 1993

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Grand is a POA  or Pony of the Americas.  Pony of the Americas have been bred to be ideal kid horses, so naturally Grand is a perfect therapuetic riding horse.  She came to REINS from Temecula where she worked at a summer camp for girls. Moving into therapeutic riding lessons was an easy transition.

Before her work as a therapy pony and camp horse, Grand was a sucessful show pony. So Grand is really a 'grand champion!'



Icelandic Horse born June 6, 1996 

Proudly sponsored by the Jopes family, in loving memory of Nancy Jopes

Kvika (pronounced Veeka) is a 13 year old Icelandic horse.  Kvika was actually donated by the grandmother of one of our students, so now Chance gets to ride grandma's horse every week.  Kvika is a perfect fit for our program as she, like all Icelandic horses, has an exceptionally calm nature and is short and strong.   Though only 12 hands high, Kvika can actually carry a full grown man!  One of the best parts of Kvika though, is riding her 'tolt'.  A tolt is a natural gait of the icelandic breed.  It is an exceptionally smooth four beat gait, much like the running walk of a Tenessee Walking Horse.  Kvika's tolt is smooth and easy to ride, thus some of our students who cannot bear the concussion of a regular trot can still enjoy going fast by riding Kvika's tolt!

Since she came to REINS in March of 2010, Kvika has been a perfect fit and we hope to enjoy her for years to come!



Norwegian Fjord born in 1989

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Mary is our newest Fjord (came to us in 2009) and Leif and Erica’s sister— they all have the same dad!  We found Mary when we were looking for another Fjord.  The first place we looked was Nors ranch in Aguangua.  Bitten and Henrik Nors have bred and raised Fjords for years, so we knew we were going to the right place.  Though we did purchase Mary, she was actually purchased with grant money set aside just for buying a new therapy horse!

Mary has been a great fit since first arriving last summer.  She is a wonderful example of the versatility of the Fjord breed.  She totes around little tykes and is strong enough to carry adults as well.   We are just so happy and thankful to have her!


Greener Pastures


- Greener Pastures -

For all our horses who have moved on from REINS.




Arabian born in 1979

Passed on in 2010.  We miss you Mickey!

Mickey is one of REINS veteran horses.  In his thirties, he’s been here a very long time.  Pre-REINS, Mickey was a successful show horse, competing in the hunter/jumper circuit.  Mickey has been the first horse for many of our riders.  He loves his job and even at the advanced age of thirty-one, he’s still going strong.  After consulting with the vet (his dietitian) he has started a new diet and exercise plan and is looking better than ever.

Mickey always has a smile on his face (partly because he needed braces as child and never got them) and warms the hearts of our kiddos every day.  We all hope to have Mickey around for many years to come.  And with his new and improved diet, things are looking promising.



HighlandIrish Throughbred born in 1988

Passed on in 2010 to gallop the green grass of heaven.

Highland has been at REINS since 2002.  In his pre-REINS life, Highland was an Eventer, which means he competed in three English disciplines, Dressage, Cross-Country and Stadium Jumping  (comparable to a tri-athlete).

Highland is a steady boy.  He was here only a few short weeks when he helped with the REINS Fun Day Horse Show.  He has gained such a band of followers that they even formed the ‘Highland Syndicate’, a group dedicated to his sponsorship.  But the Syndicate doesn’t stop there!  Many in the group volunteer and make sure he’s kept groomed, fat and happy.  One in the syndicate even gets to ride him during her lessons here at REINS.  While all the horses here are special, Highland has a special charm that draws people to him.




Quarter Horse born in 1980

Passed on in 2010.  Miss you buddy!

Bailey has been at REINS since 2000!!  In his previous life he was a show horse and very well trained.  As such, Bailey definitely knows the ropes and knows how to take care of his riders in style.

Bailey is quite the gentleman and shows it by his quiet manner and slow gentle gaits.  If he were human, he would be one of those men that all the ladies go for.  In his younger days he would definitely have been the track and field star and had a cheerleader on his arm.  Now that he’s older, with his salt and pepper hair, he still attracts the ladies.  His can do attitude makes him a favorite horse for many of our riders.




Retired in 2010.  He is living his retirement living in a pasture flirting with the younger ladies.  Rick is enjoying his retirement and loving life!

Quarter Horse born in 1982


Rick has been at REINS since 2006.  Pre-REINS he was a fiery rodeo horse.  Now he has settled into the quiet life of a therapeutic riding pony, though he still can’t focus if there is a crowd—the noise reminds him of his rip snorting glory days and he just gets too excited!!

Rick is rock solid and a great guy.  He is one of those horses with a heart of gold that shines right through his amber eyes.




Norwegian Fjord born in 1989

Passed on in 2010.  Heaven is better with her there!

Erica is one of our oldest mares and a veteran here at REINS.  She has been with REINS since 1994!  Erica has had her own set of challenges.  She came to us because of foot problems.  Through a lot of hard work and TLC, Erica was nursed back to health and has become one of our most integral horses.

Erica has been the first horse for many of our riders and has helped many on their way to achieving their dreams.  She is truly an example of what REINS is all about.




Thoroughbred Born in 1986

Passed on in 2010, now galloping in heaven with Bailey and Highland.


In his late twenties, Scottie is mostly retired, saving his energy for some of his favorite students.  He’s a thoroughbred, having worked at REINS since 2003.  Interestingly, Scottie was originally Debbie's daughters jumping horse.  He then passed on to another rider, Jordyn Brand, before coming to REINS. Scottie is a total jock and funny boy.  He knocked out his front teeth and so now has nothing to hold his tongue in.  He walks around looking like one oversized puppy dog.

There were doubts as to whether a big fancy show horse could do therapeutic riding, but Scottie has done fantastic.  He plugs along and takes care of our riders with a dopey smile on his face.