By Copper Williams
Gayle Oxford, CEO and Owner of the D.O.V.E.S. Guidance Program, provides a little insight on one of her equestrian companions and their very important role—helping children from around San Joaquin and beyond!
Occupation: Therapy Horse
Breed: American Paint Horse
Weight: Around 1000 LBS
How did Princess become a part of the D.O.V.E.S. Guidance Program?
Princess was donated to the DOVES Guidance Program 6 years ago. She was a retired “Cow Horse” and her owners were moving back east and thought that the trip would be too hard on her because of her age.
What does Princess seem to like most about her job?
She loves to be groomed and she LOVES her treats and pets!
How does Princess get to interact with the kids and families that come out for a visit?
When her special child arrives, the child and their volunteer-helper bring Princess to the barn, where she gets a good grooming from a horse crazy kid and assistance from their volunteer in tacking up for their ride. All the kids go out to the arena where they learn to ride, improve their skills, and play horseback games. Princess is a very willing and gentle partner for her mount! She is patient and gives unconditional love to the kids that ride her.
On average, how many kids does Princess get to interact with, per season?
Princess will work with one to three kids two days a week. Because of her age we don’t want to over work her, but the activity she gets keeps her healthy and strong. It gives her a purpose in her senior years.
Parting words with Princess!
Princess has been a blessing to our DOVES Program. She is willing and loves to please. She loves the kids and the kids love her! Sometimes we change the name of a horse that we rescue or is donated, but Princess was a perfect name for her. As she is an older horse, she gets extra special care and we are careful that her job is not tiring for her. In fact, keeping her active has kept Princess in great shape and healthy!
Hold The Reins At:
The D.O.V.E.S Guidance Program
13749 E. Kettleman Ln., Lodi