About the Herd

Ride for Joy does not accept donated horses.  Instead, all of the horses that participate in the program are under yearly full care leases (not partial), meaning that RFJ has exclusive use of each horse in exchange for covering the expenses of their routine care and management.  This allows staff to maintain ongoing training and ensure that each horse’s workload stays within standards set by RFJ and PATH, Intl.  

Some horse owners choose to fund the ongoing care of their horse through a generous tax-deductible donation, allowing RFJ to expand and serve more participants.

In general, horses appropriate for RFJ programming meet the following criteria:

  • Fit and healthy
  • Sound at all three gaits (walk, trot, canter/lope)
  • Calm temperament
  • People/kid friendly
  • Extremely well trained in the arena
  • Between the ages of 8 years and 18 years

If you have a horse that you would like to care lease to Ride for Joy, please fill out and mail the Horse Evaluation Form to the barn.  A RFJ staff will get back to you regarding any openings in the herd and whether your horse would be a good fit.

Questions? Contact Brandy Horsley-Krajnik at bkrajnik@rideforjoy.org

Meet the Ride for Joy Horses!



Lakota is a paint mare who began working with the program in 2014 and has since proved herself as an instrumental asset to the herd.  Her intelligent, mild-mannered, kind personality combined with her smooth gait and solid size make her useful in nearly every type of lesson, from assisted to independent riding. Lakota’s patient mind and high level of training have allowed many students to progress toward independence. Her favorite activity is trail riding across the pasture.



Sassy is an APHA mare with a background in drill team work who came to RFJ in 2017.  Fortunately for RFJ, she really didn’t love being a drill horse, but she does love therapeutic riding!  The name Sassy does not fit her kind and easy going personality.  She quietly accepts new things introduced into her world and maintains a sweet attitude regardless of the circumstances.  It is easy to tell when she is at her most calm and happy.  Her head gets lower and lower at the walk until she almost drags her nose on the ground! 



Smalls is a Thoroughbred, draft cross gelding who came to RFJ from Oregon in 2017 to fill a need for larger horses.  And large he is!  Standing at 17.1 hands, Smalls overshadows the rest of the herd.  But his huge size does nothing to hide his gentle and tender heart.  Smalls is responsive to the tiniest cues from his riders, so long as the cue isn’t to go very fast.  His combination of strength, size, gentleness, and responsiveness are truly unique and a huge benefit for RJF riders.





Shimmy is an AQHA mare who came to the program in 2017 as a possible fill in horse.  Her services were required when another horse needed a break and Shimmy more than saved the day.  She quickly became a favorite among volunteers and riders due to her quietness, silky smooth gait, and extensive training. Shimmy has been a drill team instructor's horse since she was four, allowing her to experience all kinds of settings and people and keeping her training at the highest level.  RFJ is thrilled to have her at the barn.






Vanilla is a cremello quarter horse mare with an extensive background in English riding and showing who came to RFJ in 2017.  She spent many months being shown by kids and teens in jumping and cross country, while also enjoying trail rides throughout the Northwest, including one to the ocean! Prior to her show career, Vanilla spent time raising two foals. Vanilla was purchased by a Ride for Joy staff member for her quiet and gentle nature, sturdy but average build, smooth stride, and ability to handle a wide range of situations without feeling disturbed.