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You’ve Got a Friend in “Amigo”

Filed under: Club & Show News,Club and Show News,Community |     

“Amigo” spent 18 years serving individuals with diverse needs, becoming one of Equest’s most dependable partners. Amigo is pictured here with Sabrina Williams showing at a horse show. (Credit: images courtesy of Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship – from AQHA)

From AQHA:

You’ve always got a friend in an American Quarter Horse, especially this one. Introducing Amigos N Jags (“Amigo”), the inaugural runner-up to the AQHA-PATH Intl. Equine Assisted Services Horse of the Year. Amigo, a valued member of the Equest family since 2005, embodies the essence of therapeutic horsemanship.

With a solid foundation in western pleasure training and a unique disposition for learning, Amigo spent 18 years serving individuals with diverse needs, becoming one of Equest’s most dependable partners. His versatility and unwavering spirit exemplify their mission of enhancing the quality of life through therapeutic activities. Amigo received $5,000, a trophy and banner, and was recognized at the 2024 AQHA Convention in Las Vegas. Read more about the PATH Intl. Equine Assisted Services Horse of the Year Award.

Here’s Amigo’s heartwarming story, as told by his owner Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship:

With nearly two decades of experience, Amigo has a trophy case overflowing with ribbons. He has received high points in AQHA Equestrians With Disabilities (EWD) competitions, medals from Special Olympics competitions, stock show belt buckles, and world titles in EWD classes at the National Snaffle Bit Association World Show. Amigo has also served as an integral part of our exhibition and drill teams, allowing our riders to show off their superb skills in close partnership with horses. Amigo’s impact at Equest and with our clients cannot be overstated.

Amigo, courtesy of AQHA

His gentle, stoic, and steady nature has helped hundreds of riders heal both physically and emotionally while overcoming barriers that were once insurmountable. His nearly two decades of service, experience, and excellence across services, as well as his ability to connect with his riders and keep them safe, make him the perfect AQHA Equine-Assisted Services American Quarter Horse of the Year.

Joining us in 2005, Amigo’s first job was to serve as a therapeutic riding horse where, for the past 18 years, he was among the best in the herd. As a fast learner and reliable horse, he showed us how much more potential he had in caring for our most vulnerable clients.

A gentle and steady horse, Amigo works with some of our most fragile riders and patiently waits for them as they load from the wheelchair ramp. The epitome of a team player, he works well with sidewalkers, and effortlessly allows for non-traditional positions used in our physical and occupational therapy sessions. From standard posture, sitting sideways or backwards, or even laying down, Amigo is determined to carry our riders safely and patiently. For riders learning to sit the trot, he works longe lessons easily, and can help work on balance without the support of reins.

Amigo’s expertise also extends outside Equest’s arena walls. He has participated in every type of competition our riders have been involved in, including dressage, trail, showmanship, western pleasure, hunter over fences, hunter under saddle, hunter seat equitation, and horsemanship.

Amigo’s final departure from Equest in December 2023 marked the end of an era as this magnificent teammate embarks on his well-deserved retirement after a lifetime of exceptional service. This extraordinary horse, with his unwavering loyalty and immense strength, has left an indelible mark on those fortunate enough to witness his grace and power.

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