Our Horses

Freedom has four legs.

Our horses are vital partners in making a difference in the lives of our participating children. Saddle Up! horses are “a breed apart” – very special animals carefully selected for their talents and temperament and trained for their roles. Meet our therapeutic horses below – a variety of breeds and sizes – all qualified to be partners and special friends for our children. We have several more horses and ponies in training, looking for their opportunity to join these special mounts.

Saddle Up! relies heavily on equine donations and free leases to provide safe and effective services.  Due to the population we serve, we are looking for equines who will be able to happily and safely serve our participants for many years.  Saddle Up! is dedicated to providing quality care to their equines through nutrition, training, conditioning, veterinarian and farrier care, as well as individualized retirement plans.

In order for Saddle Up! to consider your equine for donation/free lease, please CLICK HERE to review the donation/free lease information and complete the application form.  We ask that you complete the information to the best of your ability.  If any information is unknown, please be sure to let us know on the appropriate section of the application.  Once you have completed the application, please email it to lwood@saddleupnashville.org or fax it to (615) 794-7973.  Please allow 7-10 business days for staff to receive and review the application.  If you haven’t been contacted by a staff person after 7-10 business days, please feel free to contact the main office at (615) 794-1150 and ask to speak with Lindsey Wood.

Horse Donation/Free Lease Criteria

To be considered for our program equines must be…

  • Between the ages of five and nineteen.
  • No less than 11 hands tall (44 inches) and no more than 17 hands high (68 inches).
  • Sound with no physical limitations.
  • Able to walk, trot, and canter with smooth transitions between each, if above thirteen hands.
  • Forgiving of inexperienced and/or unbalanced riders.
  • Obedient to both voice and leg signals.
  • Quiet and well-mannered on the ground.
  • Accepting of assistive devices and equipment.
  • Comfortable with a variety of handlers and experiences.
  • Experienced with mounted riders for a minimum of 2 years.
  • Saddle Up! can NOT consider or accept stallions or pregnant mares.

To be considered for our program equine owners must…

  • Give Saddle Up! access to a complete medical record history and permission to consult with current veterinarian.
  • Be able to take the equine back during the 90-day trial in the event that it does not meet program standards.

Thank you so much for showing interest in adopting a Saddle Up! horse. Saddle Up! horses are very special. They have worked this special job as a therapy horse for part of their life, and in most cases have had a job before! Retired Saddle Up! horses are looking for a loving, forever home with great care. Horses retire from Saddle Up! with different needs and different levels of use.

Please review our Adoption and Retirement Process for more information and then you can CLICK HERE to express interest in adopting a Saddle Up! horse.  If you don’t have a specific horse in mind, that is okay, you can leave that question blank.

Meet the Herd

Arrow Headshot Fall 2020

Arrow

15.3h quarter horse gelding, born 2008

Once owned by a country music star, Arrow gave guided trail rides and was a pleasure horse. He is named “Arrow” because of the distinct arrow pattern on his right side. That arrow also makes him the easiest paint to identify! Arrow is like a big puppy dog and a rider favorite!

Bailey

16h American Warmblood, born 2001

Bailey came to us after his career as a fox hunter. Bailey is the most patient and forgiving horse you will ever meet. He is great with every child he has met.

Baron

16h Belgian Draft cross gelding born 1999

Baron was named 2021 Horse of the Year and for good reason! Baron is a wonderful therapy horse and has a wonderful, rhythmic movement. His favorite thing to do in down time is stretch out and sunbathe. Baron was generously donated by Warner & Madge Bass.

bishop

Bishop

17.1h Percheron gelding, born 2008

Bishop is the biggest horse in the barn at over 1500 pounds and the only full draft at SU! Bishop may have pulled barges down the Ohio River and was likely an Amish farm horse. He is a true “gentle giant” and is the frequent subject of visitor selfies.

Boomer Headshot Fall 2020

Boomer

15h Quarter Horse, born 2001

Boomer is known for his trot. He has the comfiest trot on the farm. Before coming to Saddle Up! in 2019, Boomer was a champion team roper.

Braveheart

Braveheart is one of the most easily identified horses in the barn! He wears his heart right on his forehead. This off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding is 14 years old and a big lovebug. Braveheart was rescued from an auction for slaughter-bound horses by Copper Horse Crusade in Ohio. He is very gentle with our independent riders. We are so happy this lovely horse came to us to learn a second career and live out a long life helping kids.

Buddy

Buddy is officially ‘in training’, and we look forward to having him join the herd for the Spring session. He joins Harry in the Gypsy Cob band and we love having these sturdy and good minded geldings in lessons. Buddy was born and raised just over the hill near Spring Hill and his gentle nature shows how much he was handled by kids in his previous life. He is 12 years old.

Chip Headshot Fall 2020

Chip

12.2h Silver Bay Welsh Pony Gelding, born 2000

Chip was a Hunter Jumper before arrival. Check out his unique coloring; his undercoat is a different color than his topcoat.

Cocoa

15h Quarter Horse mare, born 2003

Cocoa’s registered name is Spot My Chips and she has great bloodlines including Zips Chocolate Chip and Impressive. Cocoa was shown very successfully in western pleasure and has almost 40 lifetime AQHA Youth Points to her credit. She was generously donated by Karla Champion.

Harry

Harry is a 12 year old gypsy cob, affectionately known around the barn as “Hairy Harry” because of his beautiful feathers, long whiskers and flowing mane and tail (the Harry comes from his mom’s favorite musician, Harry Styles!). You can tell Harry and Buddy apart because Harry has more white on his face and cute spots on his neck. Harry has therapy horse experience, having been part of the herd at Equest in Texas.

Jelly Bean Headshot Fall 2020

Jelly Bean

12h chestnut pony, born 2005

Jelly Bean is the smallest of the herd at 550 lbs, but he has a big heart and a lot of attitude. He was donated by volunteer Leslie Siers. Before coming to Saddle Up!, Jelly Bean taught many kids how to ride and he loves hanging out with his best friend, Sampson.

Lexi

Born in 1999, this 14-hand beautiful Quarter Horse mare has a personality to match! She is on loan to Saddle Up! from our Barn Manager, Jordan, and they had a wonderful competition career together. Lexi is skilled in all types of Western disciplines and is a gentle and easy ride.

Oscar

13h Pony of the Americas, born 1999

Oscar’s previous job was showing and teaching lessons. His cuteness is noticed by all students and volunteers. He is a great pony for independent riding.

Phoenix

15h Standardbred mare, born 2009

Phoenix arrived at Saddle Up! in November of 2021. She was a former Amish carriage horse and has a large scar on her right side from an old injury. Phoenix is a sweet alpha mare who snorts a lot and has resting grumpy ears. This is a new career for her, but she is a very willing horse and has learned her new job well.

Rita

Lovely Rita (Meter Maid) is a 17 years young Andalusian Cross and, like Harry, is on loan to us through the generosity of our Equine Director, Susannah Denney. Rita has been a lesson horse, therapy horse, and all-around great mare in her career. We love her gentle eyes and long bangs as well as her great attitude.

Rocco

14.3h quarter horse gelding, born 2005

Previously owned by a rider who used a wheelchair, Rocco is ridden completely through voice commands! This cool trick is an amazing asset to our riders!

Rocky

Rocky

15.2h grey draft cross gelding, born 2002

Rocky was used for fox hunting prior to his career at Saddle Up!. He and Scout are best friends and can easily get mistaken for each other. Rocky has unique brown marks on his jaws that can help distinguish him from Scout.

Sally

15.2h Paint mare, born 2002

Sally is on loan to Saddle Up! thanks to the generosity of Heather Miller. Sally competed in western dressage and pleasure riding in her previous career and has nice smooth movements to prove it. Sally believes that Boomer is her brother from another mother – these two wonderful paints are so much alike!

Sampson

11h bay pony gelding, born 2008

Sampson is an adorable flirt with his punk rock mohawk and large personality! He came to us through Safe Harbor rescue and loves his job and life at Saddle Up!.

Stormy

14h quarter horse, born 2007

He is known around the barn for how pretty he is. So pretty, he is often mistaken for a mare. Before coming to Saddle Up! in 2018 Stormy enjoyed doing 4H shows.

Tonka

Tonka, like Buddy, is also ‘in training’ and looking forward to getting into lessons soon! This little 8 year old Appaloosa pony is willing and super smart. Show him something once and he’s ‘got it’! If you are trying to tell Tonka and Oscar apart, just look at the face. Tonka’s face is full red roan, making his appearance very unique and his actual breed hard a little bit of a mystery.

Willie

16.1h Chestnut gelding Tennessee Walking Horse, born 2012

Willie was primarily used as a trail horse prior to coming to work at Saddle Up!. He is a descendent of Midnight Sun, one of the leading sires of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed, and a two-time World Grand Champion in 1945 and 1946.

Saddle Up!

1549 Old Hillsboro Road
Franklin, TN 37069-9136
info@saddleupnashville.org

Program Hours

Monday – Thursday 9am – 7pm
Friday 9am – 5pm
Saturday 8am – 4pm