Horses are not only able to tolerate their natural environment, but require it in order to live a long, healthy, and happy life!

The horses at Bowers Farm live a natural lifestyle, roaming in herds and sometimes mingling with the sheep throughout the pastures here on the 92 acre property. Their food source, which consists mainly of grass in the summer and hay in the winter, is plentiful and fresh water is available at all times from large, clean troughs near the barns. To escape the sun or wintery weather, the herd can shelter among the trees or in various structures that are available near the main barns.

Cowgirl

Cowgirl is a “been there done that” kind of girl. Stoic and calm on the ground. Rides both English and western, neck and direct rein. She’s an ex-barrel horse with advanced training history, though be direct and firm in your signals—she can be lazy. Always enjoys a nice trail ride around the property.

Hierarchy Position: Boss Mare (fine to ride and tie next to any herd member but may make submissive mares feel threatened)

  • Breed: Quarter Horse
  • Gender: Mare
  • Color: Sorrel
  • Born: 2001
  • Markings: Blaze
  • Program Levels: 2-3
  • Aids Suggested: Crop (if rider appropriate: only by instructor approval)

Notes: Prominent benign splint on the outside of her left front just below her knee. If riding her frequently, feel her legs for heat/abnormalities every time to get a feel for what her baseline is. Her significant swayback is under monitoring. If you interpret any back discomfort or worsening swayback angle, be sure to notify staff.

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Casey

Casey is an incredibly intelligent mare. Goes nicely in both English and Western saddles, though she only responds to direct rein and has a well-schooled mouth; use rein directions properly supported by LEG and always keep your hands SOFT. Can be lazy, but aptly demonstrates balance, bending and strong gait transitions if asked correctly. A wonderful ride for riders of all levels.

Hierarchy Position: Lowest Herd Member. Feels easily and extremely threatened by other horses. Always tie her “alone” (in a space where she cannot be reached by other horses; in order to do so when the grooming area is crowded, you may need to tie her within aisle space). Give other horses a wide berth when leading and riding her past them.

  • Breed: Morgan
  • Gender: Mare
  • Color: Bay
  • Born: 2000
  • Markings: None
  • Program Levels: 2-3
  • Aids Suggested: Crop (if rider appropriate: by instructor approval only)

Notes: Casey knows how to untie quick release knots– keep an eye on her and utilize the “daisy chain” to combat her untying ability! The two atrophied areas on her right side neck area are due to an old injury. The resulting neck divots are normal for her, as is the edema she experiences under her chin and just before her udder, though let staff know if any of these characteristics ever appear to have worsened significantly.

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Mirage

Mirage is a great riding horse. She walks, trots and canters well in both directions, but rides slightly better by direct rein.

Hierarchy Position: Low. Mirage is very low within the herd and needs her own space when grooming and riding.

  • Breed: Arabian
  • Gender: Mare
  • Color: Bay, white snip on her nose
  • Born: 1997
  • Markings: Star & snip
  • Program Levels: 3B, *can be used for 3A if rider steers adequately– see notes
  • Aids Suggested: CROP (if rider appropriate: only by instructor approval)

Notes: Mirage is slightly “cow-hocked” (her hocks point inwards). Visually familiarize yourself with her conformation to let staff know if this defect worsens. Mirage has been known to kick out at other horses while under saddle if you ride too close to others or get her boxed in. Make sure to keep your own space at all times. Additionally, she can sometimes be anxious when tied alone in the horse barn. Redirect her and make sure your quick release knot is tied correctly in case she panics.

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Mack

Mack has extensive driving training. He’s a gentle giant, but use your best horsemanship when haltering, leading, and riding him; because of his stately size, he can be intimidating. Needs lots of leg aids to keep him going forward and straight.

Hierarchy Position: High. Mack is large and in charge! Fine to tie next to others though his presence might intimidate them.

  • Breed: Belgian
  • Gender: Gelding
  • Color: Light Sorrel/roan
  • Born: 1999
  • Markings: Blaze, four white socks
  • Program Levels: 2 & 3B ONLY
  • Aids Suggested: long crop (ONLY if rider appropriate: by instructor approval)

Notes: Mack can be a bit mouthy towards people (i.e. he likes to nibble and occasionally nip). Discipline any mouthiness appropriately (see instructors if you are unsure of equine discipline standards). Mack knows several driving signals which may help him understand your directions: step up (go), gee (turn right), haw (turn left). Lift up his luxurious forelock and you’ll see the full state of Michigan on his forehead— lower and upper peninsulas!

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Buddy

Buddy is green but offers a fun ride for confident riders. Steers nicely by both neck and direct rein. Picks up both leads, but may need a few tries to get them correct. If he becomes fussy with his face, you are likely relying too much on your reins and pulling unnecessarily. Never choke up on your reins or “hang” on his mouth. As a green horse, he is best directed by the LEG.

Hierarchy Position: Mid/High. Buddy is the herd jester who likes to play and frequently nip and kick at other horses. Very curious when horse and rider pairs ride through the horse enclosure: You may want to shoo him away so that your horse does not feel threatened or reciprocate play.

  • Breed: QuarterHorse/Mustang
  • Gender: Gelding
  • Color: Palomino/white
  • Born: 2006
  • Markings: Star
  • Program Levels: 2 & 3B ONLY
  • Aids Suggested: Rope nose side pull

Notes: Buddy will be wearing a grazing muzzle to curb his calorie consumption throughout the rich-grass season. If you ever find him without his muzzle, retrieve the muzzle, hang it on the white-board in the Horse Barn, and notify staff. Buddy can be quite hard to catch. Approach him slowly and give gently and covertly place your lead rope around his neck. Do not be tempted to swing your rope around his neck or grab at his grazing halter –he’ll run off.

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Taffy Taffy is part of our pony trio here at Bowers Farm. She, along with Patches and Dozer, has been the feature of the beloved Love a Pony program here for many years. Taffy is a mare and all chocolate brown. She’s an expert at getting groomed, being your companion for a picnic, and taking young riders around the arena. Book Now!
Dozer Dozer is a miniature palomino who thinks he's a Belgian draft horse – he can be quite bossy! Dozer hangs out with the other ponies on the farm, Patches and Taffy, and has been the feature of the Bowers Farm Love a Pony program for many years, so he’s good at being around children. Expect lots of fun with Dozer. Book Now!
Patches Patches, lives up to her name with a coat of brown and white! She, along with Dozer and Taffty, are part of our pony trio here at Bowers Farm. Patches has been a part of the Bowers Farm Love a Pony program for many years. She knows her job and has good manners, despite a sometimes spicy attitude! Book Now!