Pete

Photo courtesy of Lori McIntosh
(1997 – )
Owned by DreamPower Foundation, Inc.
Inducted: 2015

Photos

Photo courtesy of Lori McIntosh
Every day at DreamPower Horsemanship, Pete helps make dreams come true. Working with horses provides a unique opportunity to engage in Hippotherapeutic activities outside of a traditional therapeutic environment. Reaching for a ball while seated on a calm horse can help make physical activity fun for a disabled child. Learning to halter a horse in an open pasture can make an urban teen who has issues listening to authority figures pay attention. They believe in themselves after realizing they can move a thousand pound animal around without a lead rope.

Pete joined the program at DreamPower Horsemanship at WoodMyst Farms in Gilroy, California in 2009. Founder Martha McNiel said, "Although he arrived lame, we accepted Pete because of his wonderful personality and temperament. His desire to be with the "˜human herd' and connect at liberty with the participants, instructors and volunteers was exceptional."

In orienting Pete to his new surroundings, they discovered Pete had thrush so bad it had eaten through the sole of his foot. The leadership of DreamPower Horsemanship was faced with a difficult decision "“ would they use their limited resources on Pete - understanding that it would impact on the Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and services they provide to children, teens and adults with mental, emotional, behavioral, physical and medical special needs? Martha said, "What we thought would be a difficult decision wasn't difficult at all. He was lame and we wanted to help him heal."

Even after treating the thrush for nine months, he was still severely lame. Radiographs then revealed Pete had severe, advanced navicular in both front feet. After three navicular surgeries, the resilient Pete not only emerged sound but became the official greeter to children, teens and adults. Capable of both independent riding and leadline lessons, Pete was able to respond equally to a veteran rider experiencing post-war trauma, an at-risk teen, or a small child with autism.

In 2014, Pete faced a new challenge. A dearly beloved program horse died and Pete had to step up to fill in the gap. Pete amazed everyone and did everything asked of him and more, adapting to the increased work load with a great attitude.

Pete inspires confidence because of what he has overcome and how he gives back. He has journeyed a long way suffering from navicular and undergoing the three surgeries to becoming a cherished Hippotherapy horse. He comforts clients as they navigate through difficult emotions during times of great turmoil and distress.

Pete represents the best that equine therapy has to offer. He opens the hearts of people in need fostering acceptance, empowerment and healing.