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 sfaber@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 Susannah Denney. 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


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!


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.



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


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.


11 hand Pony gelding, Born 2014

Charlie was ridden as a show jumper and pleasure horse in Christian Curry’s barn before coming to Saddle Up!. As you can tell from his picture, he is loving his life here, including hanging out with the many kids and volunteers. He loves to play with his friends in the pony pasture!


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.


9 hh Miniature Mule Gelding, Born 2009

Another small but mighty member of the herd, Dan was generously donated to us by Mary Beth Fortugno and came to Saddle Up! with his very best friend Thumbelina. Dan is well known as a stubborn little fellow and a super messy eater but, despite his quirks, he is fun to be around and a great addition to our Equine Assisted Learning program.


16 hh Morgan Friesian Cross Gelding, Born 2017

Governor was generously purchased for the Saddle Up! program by funds from the Annual Governor’s Club Holiday Auction and he is a wonderful addition to our program. Governor has lovely walk/trot/canter gaits for our more advanced and independent riders and he is also learning how to be a vaulting horse, with much success. He is the biggest lovebug and adores people and attention! His stately presence, glossy black coat and beautiful conformation have earned him “Most Handsome” honors (but don’t tell the others!).


15.1 hand Paint horse gelding, Born 1999

We are so happy to welcome Harley to the APHA Paint Horse band! Harley was born in 1999 and is 15.1 hands high. Harley is owned and loved by Kathy VanHorne, who generously loaned this good gelding to us. In his previous career, he showed with Kathy in reining and reined cow horse competition and was a steady mount then as he is now.


14h Gypsy Cob Gelding, Born 2010

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.


15h Draft Cross Gelding
Born 2013

Jake (From State Farm) has been a solid lesson horse and steady trail companion for many years. Most recently, he was ridden and loved by a 10 year old girl, and when her family moved across the country, Jake stayed in Tennessee. Saddle Up! became his new home. He will be right at home here with all the kiddos that can continue to learn from him.

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.


15.1h AQHA Gelding
Born 2008

JR (All Spooked Up) is a retired NRHA world champion reining horse. Don’t let his registered name fool you – he’s a steady-eddy! We are so grateful that owner LeeAnn Ingram thought of us when JR was ready to step out of the big time show ring and into a new career. He loves the attention from all the people here and you can sometimes finding him “dancing” to country music in the crossties.


11.3 Bay Welsh Pony Gelding, Born 2014

Mango has been a lesson pony for most of his career and he has wonderful patience with our riders. Mango is an easy-going little guy and perfectly suited to be a therapy horse due his size and good demeanor. Don’t be fooled when you see him around the farm – Sampson hasn’t lost that much weight! Mango is also a bay pony but has much longer legs, so his tummy is not as close to the ground!


16.1h Selle Francais gelding, Born 2005

Ollie is the first of his breed at Saddle Up!. The Selle Français (SF) is a breed of sport horse from France. Ollie was a hunter/jumper and did trail rides for 12 years with his previous owner before joining our herd.


14.3h Andalusian Cross Mare, Born 2005

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.


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!


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!.


8.3 hh Miniature Horse Mare, Born 2009

Super sweet and very pretty, this petite paint mare brings a smile to everyone’s face. She loves people and her forever best buddy, Dan. Thumby is part of our Equestrian Learning Programs and her small size makes her super portable for those times that we take the power of equine assisted therapy to groups and outside events. Thumby was donated to Saddle Up! by Mary Beth Fortugno.


14.3 hand Quarter horse gelding, Born 2002

Toby is a beautiful red roan, 14.3 hand AQHA registered quarter horse who has worked as a reining and reined cow horse partner for his owner, Steve Everett, who has loaned us his all-time favorite horse buddy. Toby’s color makes him stand out as does his “practically perfect in every way” personality. Toby is a 2002 model, but young at heart!


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

Program Hours

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

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