Breed: Norwegian Fjord
Color: Brown Dun
Height: 13.1 hands
The Wilson W. Phelps Foundation
Fun Facts: The Fjord horse is one of the world’s oldest breeds, first having been domesticated by the Vikings over 4000 years ago. Fjords unique coloring make them easy to spot. Most Fjord horses are brown dun in color and have beautifully unique zebra stripes. These stripes appear on their legs and a dorsal stripe runs from the forelock, down the neck and back into the tail. Fjords a small, athletic breed and have an outstanding temperament making our Maggie a rock star at Tara's Chance!
Breed: Hafflinger Pony
Height: 12.1 hands
Tim and Laryn Nolan
Fun Facts: In memory of Ryan Nolan, a beloved rider who left us too soon, his parents played a vital role in bringing me into existence. I now call Tara's Chance my home, where I've been spreading joy among countless children and leaving a remarkable legacy in Ryan's name. My purchase and Ryan's inspiring story were the driving forces behind the transformation of my former barn into a place dedicated to equine therapy for children with special needs, making it a heartwarming testament to the power of love and compassion.
DOB: May 5th 2018
Breed: Gypsy Vanner
Height: 14 hands
At 4-years-old, she is the bright future of our therapeutic riding program. As the youngest horse to ever join our program, she will serve children with special needs at Tara’s Chance for over 20 years. Sierra is a 4-year old Gypsy Vanner mare from Newhall CA. She stands at 14 hands tall but her build allows her to handle much heavier riders then horses of that size. Her color is Piebald which means she has the splashed white and black.
Breed: Kentucky Mountain
Height: 15.2 hands
Amigos De Los Niños
Kona is a 9-year old gelding from Napa, CA. He is a Kentucky Mountain horse. These horses are particularly calm mannered and excellent riding horses. Tara’s Chance had a need for a larger program horse to serve larger individuals with special needs and expand program services. Kona is a Class A Kentucky Mountain, which means he stands above 14.1 hands. In fact, at 15.2 hands he is the largest horse Tara’s Chance has ever had.
Breed: 1/2 Hafflinger 1/2 Percheron Pony
Color: Dark Bay
Height: 12.2 hands
A horse under 12.2 hands in height is considered a pony. Ponies are just small horses with thicker manes, proportionally shorter legs, bigger necks and shorter heads. However smaller, pound for pound ponies are stronger than the taller horse. Riley, while not the tallest horse in the barn she' s arguably the cutest.
DOB: March 16th 2005
Height: 14 hands
Since 2012 Taffy has served as an equine therapy horse. She began her career in Northern California. She came to Tara's Chance from Redding C.A. following the passing of Bailey. Taffy loves attention and people. She will stand and watch children ride from her stall for hours. She is also the cleanest horse in the barn, always staying under cover when it rains, never rolling in the dirt, and using the bathroom in the same corner. This makes her a blessing to groom.
Height: 14 hands
Fun Facts: Haflingers are known for their distinctive coloring – white, untrimmed manes and tails accent their golden chestnut-colored bodies but it is their attitude that makes them stand out. They are people-friendly, curious and easy to care for. Above all, versatility dominates Haflinger style. They can pack up to 300 pounds or be used for western and trail riding, endurance riding, dressage and jumping. They also make the perfect “therapist” for special needs therapeutic riding.
Breed: Welsh Mix
Height: 13.1 hands
Fun Facts: Welsh Ponies are known for their hardiness and adaptability, and their influence can be found in many pony crossbreeds, contributing to the qualities of these mixed ponies. For example, the Welsh Pony's genes have been blended with various other pony and horse breeds to create popular crossbreeds such as the Connemara Pony, Quarter Pony, and Pony of the Americas (POA). These crossbreeds often inherit the Welsh Pony's intelligence, athleticism, and versatility, making them excellent choices for various equestrian activities.
Height: 14 hands
Fun Facts: What makes Gypsy Horses stand out is their heavy build, characteristic feathering on the lower legs, and a profusion of mane and tail hair. Their striking appearance and calm, friendly nature have made them a popular choice for breeders and enthusiasts worldwide.
In recent years, Gypsy Horses have gained international recognition and have been used in various equestrian disciplines, from driving and dressage to show jumping and pleasure riding. They are known for their versatility and have become a favorite among horse lovers for their distinctive beauty and sweet temperament.
Breed: Trakehner / Canadian Warmblood
Height: 17.5 hands
Fun Facts: Trakehner and Canadian Warmblood horses are known for their excellence in sport and have contributed to the development of competitive horses worldwide. Whether you're interested in the rich history of the Trakehner or the newer breed with Canadian Warmbloods, these horses have their own unique qualities and attributes that make them special to horse enthusiasts.
Breed: Miniature Donkey
Height: 9.5 hands
A miniature donkey is affectionate, playful and kind of comical to be around. They are by nature people loving and known to develop lasting bonds with humans. Our Oliver is no exception. The intelligence of the miniature donkey is well documented. They are thinking, reasoning and easily trained creatures. At a mature height of 36” and under their small size makes them easy to handle for both adults and children. Be sure to say hello to Oliver when you visit, he’ll appreciate it!
In Loving Memory of Bailey
Sponsored by: Amigos De Los Niños
"My beloved Bailey gave me purpose and peace, she was my other half. I trusted Bailey completely in keeping me safe in the many years we rode together. Occasionally, we had some stumbles, but in the end, we trusted each other enough to know that it would be okay. Bailey had the soft, gentle coat like a silk blanket, and her warmth encompassed me through my sadness and sorrows. People are shaped by what happens in their lives, and Bailey has built me into the person that I am today. One of the most vital lessons I have learned in life was on the back of Bailey. I learned not to be afraid when I fell out of the saddle, and to find the courage to get back on. I learned to put down walls I built, and allow myself to be my authentic self. Sometimes it seems that the biggest lessons horses teach us have nothing to do with riding. Bailey taught me confidence, leadership and communication. I reached Bailey through not only my tone, but also my body language. I kept my shoulders back, head tall, and an assertive voice to keep her on track. I will always treasure my last day with Bailey. I was the last person to ride her at Tara Chance. Today, I’d like to say goodbye to my other half. I’ve not been able to say it even after you passed away. I’ve been holding you back and today, I am letting you go. I now know the true meaning of “What is grief, if not love persevering.”
-Bao Heffron, Tara's Chance Rider
In Loving Memory of Willow
Sponsored by: Miracle Foundation Fund at the Orange County Community Foundation
Willow was the second horse to be purchased by Tara’s Chance in 2014. She was short in statue for an Arabian and extremely calm mannered for the breed. This combination made her a wonderful addition to our program and an excellent therapy horse. She served in the program for six years before retiring. During her time providing lessons in our program, she served over 30 riders and provided 730 hours of therapeutic riding lessons. After retiring from the program, Willow continued to serve at Tara’s Chance by being cared for by our students and providing a calming presence. Willow passed away in October 2021 and we will all miss her.