Serving Edmonton and Surrounding
Area Since 1975
Staff with "Hooves"
Our therapy horses are very special animals, chosen for their dependable nature and their affinity with people. They are quiet and well trained. Please scroll down to see our horses that we are currently using in our program and read a bit of history on them. (Updated frequently)
Little Bits Horse
What makes a Little Bits horse you may ask. A horse that is content to have many people around them. A horse that can help guide a rider safely in a lesson and not be rattled at the surroundings around them.
Now, all horses are different, and all react differently to situations. That is good because we still want every horse to have their own personality shine.
A horse that is in our program longer has the knowledge of what we may ask of them. A new horse needs patience from the people around them so they can learn and see that our lessons are fun.
We love each horse in our program and hope you sill see how much we cherish them.
Avery is a beautiful Quarter Horse chestnut mare that is privately owned and has been fully leased to WELCA for lesson use. Born in 2006, this 16 years old mare has the training and energy to help new riders learn how wonderful horse riding is.
Avery arrived at Whitemud in the summer of 2020 with Chrissy and Everest and has been integrated into the WELCA learn to ride program as she prefers not to canter. She has an English background and will test her riders’ abilities by making them learn how to ride and ask for aides correctly.
Avery started with Little Bits in the spring and is a happy addition to our horse family. She is sweet natured, smart and loves to have conversations with her leader.
You can find Avery with Chrissy and Everest in a back paddock where they all live together.
When you are talking about an adorable mare that is not quite horse size but has the attitude like one, then you are talking about Cocoa. This cute bay mare was born in 1994 which makes her 28 years old this year. Cocoa arrived at Whitemud in 2009 and was introduced into the Little Bits program not long after. Cocoa can be ridden both independently with a volunteer’s assistance or have up to 2 side-walkers and a leader around her during a class, but the leader must keep an eye out and give her proper spacing. Cocoa knows what you are asking without too much thought, her past training allows her riders to do movements with ease.
Cocoa’s favorite friend is Ali Cat, and they live together in a paddock and are brought in together for meals up to 3 times a day. Cocoa loves to be brushed and fretted over but you must remember that like any mare, do not overdo it.
Sirocco Dancer (aka: Dancer)
Sirocco Dancer, otherwise known as Dancer to her friends, has the heart of a lion and the temperament of a lamb. This gentle bay mare with a big, beautiful star on her forehead, was born in 1995 which will make her 26 years old this year. Dancer is a Morgan/Arab cross (otherwise known as a Morab) and arrived in April of 2014 from an acreage where Bliss (a former horse in our program) now lives. Dancer joined the WELCA program with beginner and advanced riders showing off her multi talents as a great go-to horse.
Dancer quickly made her way to the Little Bits program where she won the hearts of riders and volunteers that work with her both in the barn and in lessons. As Dancer is very leggy, she steps out well and is very responsive to her rider’s cues. Dancer has the patience of a saint and can help calm riders with lots of energy. Dancer can be ridden by independent riders which challenges them to perform all tasks off lead in the arena that are asked by their instructor.
Davinci is a stunning bay gelding (more to come)
When you think of a celebrity at Whitemud, you first thought might be Sparky the cat. Well, he does have a good following, but the real celebrity is in fact… Dakota. Why you ask? Well, Dakota has been part of many, many events since being at Whitemud. She was in a commercial for the CFR rodeo with Gord Steinke of Global TV and a Christmas Eve special on CBC radio playing the part of a reindeer crunching through the snow pulling Santa in his sleigh complete with jingle bells. A couple of years ago she appeared with Niobe Thompson in a CBC Nova episode called First Horse Warriors. She has also spruced up photo shoots, including weddings and has also appeared in print media numerous times. Dakota had also entered her in the CBC royal wedding hat contest wearing a flowery and beribboned creation. That was for Prince William and Kate’s wedding.
Dakota who is a beautiful bay mare was born in 1998, which will make her 24 years old this year (2021). Dakota was leased to Whitemud in March 2007 and this is when Jean (a great patron of Whitemud) started to sponsor her and in July 2018 Jean took full ownership of Dakota. Jean also helps take care of a few other horses like Ali Cat, her friend Cocoa and Kalee (who is used in the Whitemud program only). I digress though, back to Dakota. In 2008 Little Bits had the honour of adding her to our program and we found that she was a perfect fit. If you need to ride a horse that can be both independent and responsive, then Dakota is your mare. She will shuffle over with the lightest leg but if you do not pay attention the Dakota will not perform her best for you. She wants her riders to engage with a soft hand and leg. Dakota likes to be brushed and tacked with the lightest touch. She is very opinionated on this matter and should be treated with the utmost respect due.
Disco is a stunning buckskin mare (more to come)
Chestnut geldings can be common but Easy who is a Quarter horse cross, is no ordinary chestnut gelding. Born in 2007, Easy is 15 years old, making him one of the younger horses in our Little Bits program. Easy arrived at Whitemud in August of 2016 where he started his new career as a beginner and advanced mount in the WELCA classes. Easy had participated in the 4H clubs and was ridden on trail rides with his previous owners, which made his transition to a lesson horse easier.
In 2017, Easy started classes in the Little Bits program with independent riders that could take advantage of his sensitive nature. Easy was also ridden by riders that needed more help and he was able to help them complete tasks with ease. Being very curious, Easy loves to watch what is going on around him and you can often find him people watching. Easy does have a small following that adore him.
Located in the gelding field is the most adorable bay Morgan horse called Echo. With his long thick black mane and tail and big brown eyes that are hidden beneath a tick forelock, you can see a twinkle in his eyes. This handsome fellow was born in 1999 making him 23 years old, but you would never know it.
Echo was ridden in the Little Bits program back when he first moved to Whitemud with his first owner in 2004 when he was very young, and he excelled. His owner decided to move Echo to another barn a few years later where he continued to learn and grow. Echo was then bought and returned to Whitemud in 2011 by one of Little Bits volunteers and Whitemud patrons.
Back at Whitemud, Echo was introduced back into lessons with beginner, intermediate and advanced riders where he teaches many the fundamentals of riding and jumping.
Echo then began his restart with Little Bits and is ridden on Tuesday morning with his two very loyal riders. Both love riding Echo and both enjoy the independence that Echo allows with the routines asked in class by their instructor. There you will see Echo all dolled up in his pink halter and saddle pad ready for class.
Fancy is (more to come)
At 17.3 hh, Freddie is a gentle chestnut gelding (more to come)
Gemini is a dark bay Quarter Horse mare that will stand out in any field. She was born in 2002 making her 19 years old. Gemini is a Doc Bar line which in Quarter Horse terms is pretty darn good.
When Gemini arrived in 2012, she was very shy and unsure of her role at Whitemud. She became best friends with one of her pen mates Ali Cat and for a few years, they could be found hanging out together but now she has a new friend named Pearl and when called, will come and wait for you at the gate to bring her in.
Gemini is used in the learn to ride program with WELCA where she stays on lead. With Little Bits, Gemini is a STAR. Patient, kind, understanding and even tempered, this mare is ridden by riders that need to be mounted in less traditional ways. She will walk up to the ramp and allow her rider to be assisted onto her back with confidence. Gemini is very forward and likes to stride out. When allowed, Gemini will break into a smooth jog which often delights her riders and if you walk a little faster, Gemini will trot out with you on the lead. We are very fortunate to have Gemini in our program and all love her pluck and grace.
Jaycie is a beautiful dun Quarter Horse mare that lives in the front field with her 4 friends and her best friend Aries. These two are thick as thieves and you can often find them hanging out and grooming one another. Jaycie arrived at Whitemud in July 2018 where she began her slow introduction to her new role as a lesson horse. Born April 25, 2001, Jaycie is 20 years old but that does not stop her. Jaycie has soared in her new role and will often take great care of her riders, regardless of their age. Whether they are beginners just learning the basics to striding over fences with more advanced riders, nothing bothers her.
In the fall of 2018, Jaycie began her introduction to the Little Bits program. She was a hit. Because she is such an easy-going horse and very responsive, the riders that are more independent can perform off lead and do the exercises asked by the instructor. Jaycie can also be ridden both English and Western and looks stylish at the same time. She does have a following and her riders absolutely adore her.
Grazing with her friends is one thing Jaycie loves best. She would love treats but we must keep her waistline in check, so we ask that you do not give her any snacks. We are very grateful that Jaycie is part of our program and part of the horse family that riders and volunteers can get to know.
Sa Kasanova (aka: Kassidy)
Sa Kasanova is otherwise known as Kassidy, is a registered Arabian gelding that has an alluring appeal that draws you to him. This classy chestnut has four white socks that likes to keep clean and a white blaze that helps captivate you. Like most Arabians, Kassidy is very curious and will come over and greet you at the fence or in the field. Born in May 2001, Kassidy is now 20 years old this year (2021). Kassidy lived with his horse mom from the age of 4 to15 years and then was donated and arrived at Whitemud in the fall of 2016. He was then introduced into the WELCA lessons where he thrived in all the lessons formats. Kassidy has a foster mom that looks after his extra needs and cares.
It was not until the winter session in 2020 that Little Bits started to use Kassidy in the lessons where he found a new following with his popularity. Kassidy does like his riders to keep engaged and is willing to perform the movements but only when asked correctly and will always try his best. His small stature and wider frame make him easy to ride. Kassidy’s best friend is Remy, and you can often find them in the field snoozing together. Kassidy does love horse treats but because he is such an easy keeper, is not allowed any snacks.
Lilo is a (more to come)
Standing in a field is a grey Percheron-Fjord cross gelding called Luke. He is stunning with his long flowing mane and tail, looking like a steed that would carry his rider into battle. Luke will sweet talk you over to visit for a scratch and a possible treat, but he is not allowed any treats as he is on a very special diet (though he would argue he is still hungry). He will also pose for cameras and loves the close-up and personal shots.
Luke was born in 2003 making him 19 years old. Luke is privately owned and his owner travel quite far to purchase him and bringing him back to Whitemud to live. She fell in love with his spunky spirit and loveable gaze. Once he arrived, Luke needed a lot exercising with all his energy and started classes with more advanced riders in the WELCA program. For his size, Luke is smooth to ride and has a high step when excited.
It was a few years before Luke was ready to be used in the Little Bits program. He needed to learn to slow down and be chill. Luke is a favorite with leaders because of his good nature and has become one of the horses that can be ridden by riders that both need more assistance and off lead. You need to watch your toes as Luke does like to walk close beside you.
Hawaiian Holiday (aka: Maui)
There’s a new horse in town and his name is, Hawaiian Holiday (otherwise known as Maui). Born in 2007, this stunning chestnut gelding is 15hh, has a white star on his forehead and is 14 years old in 2021. Maui was donated to Little Bits and arrived at Whitemud in October 2020 from a family in the Rocky Mountain House area.
Maui has had a very interesting career from being a beginner’s horse for actors learning how to ride to being ridden in movies with other animals like bears, wolves and camels. His calm nature and alert attitude help his riders learn to be aware of their surroundings.
Due to his extensive training and patience, Maui was introduced into the WELCA program with more advanced riders and was then introduced into the Little Bits program with a select few riders that are independent but would be challenged by Maui’s sensitive nature. Maui can be ridden both English and Western and neck-reins like a dream. Maui is a little demanding with his leaders for attention but is a wonderful horse to work with and be around.
In July 2018, a very cherubic bay gelding named Big Mike arrived at Whitemud. Big Mike is a Welsh Cob which is a breed known for their diversity and calmness and was chosen as a prefect mount for his size and attitude for both the Little Bits and WELCA program. When he arrived and started to settle in, Big Mike needed to have a slight name change as there was already a horse named "Big" at the stable so, his name was shortened to Mike. He was born on June 1, 2002 which makes him 20 years old this year.
Mike started with the WELCA program and was so good, he was then introduced into the Little Bits program in the fall of 2018 where he became a hit. Being a large Welsh Cob, Mike is only 14 hh but don’t let his size fool you because he can make even the largest rider sit well on his back. Mike is smooth and helps keep his riders balanced on top of him. Mike can be ridden by both independent riders and those that require more help on his back and leaders adore Mikes loving and curious nature.
This pint size hose is called Peanut and this name suits him perfectly. Peanut, who is a buckskin gelding, was born in 2010 which makes him 12 years old. He is a Welsh/ WH cross and belonged to a family that did eventing with him.
Peanut arrived at Whitemud in Oct 2020 where he was put into classes in the WELCA program and then into the summer camps.
Peanut joined the Little Bits program in September 2021 and has been doing very well with his riders and the volunteers that work with him. Once he gains a rider's trust, they relax and show how well they can perform with him.
Peanut does love every horse he meets but once he moved in with Domingo (a black and white gelding), they got along so well you can often find them eating side-by-side in their pen.
Pearl is a sweet flea-bitten grey mare (more to come)
Jack Royal Mystery (aka: Popeye)
Do you know Jacks Royal Mystery? Well, you should… this is Popeye… and he is fantastic? This chestnut gelding arrived at Whitemud in 2004 and became a fast favorite with independent riders in the WELCA program and in our Little Bits program. Popeye was born in 1996 which makes him 26 years old this year, but you would never know it by looking at him.
When you touch Popeyes hair, it feels like a soft baby blanket. Being a chestnut, it is always best to only use the softest brushes, or you will end up with a grumpy horse. When being ridden, Popeye’s rides know what a remarkable western jog he has and anyone leading Popeye knows to always give him plenty of room. Those of us who work with him, love him and all his playful ways.
Prim is a more (more to come)
Raven is a mare? (more to come)
Steel is a beautiful large grey gelding that was born in 1994, making him 26 years old. He arrived at Whitemud in March 2016 where he was slowly integrated into the WELCA program. Steel soon had his own fan base where he helped them learn so much from all his previous training.
Being a grey horse, Steel has one flaw. He loves to get dirty, and nothing does that better than a dirt or mud roll. That’s OK, his riders and the volunteers all make sure to give Steel a good thorough brushing before lessons start.
Steel was introduced into the Little Bits program shortly after and due to his size, was matched with riders that were independent so that the riders could work with Steel closely in lessons with leaders only helping when needed. Being smooth gaited, Steel helps his riders at both the walk and trot doing patterns, direction changes and other activities both indoors and outdoor and helps his riders achieve more confidence. Steel will pose for photos with his riders, and he loves a nice gentle scratch on his neck when he has done well.
We have many valuables at Whitemud that are precious, but we only have one called Treasure. This handsome fellow is a Seal Brown Morgan gelding with amazing dapples that is 15 hh, was born June 1997 which makes him 24 years old. Treasure was bought by Little bits in 2018 from a former rider in our program who competed with him for many years in jumping and flat classes.
Once Treasure arrived, he began his new career with the WELCA program and the Little Bits program. He is very shy and sensitive, and it takes a while for him to warm up to new people in his life but once he gets to know you, he absolutely trusts you. He likes to be ridden with a longer rein and can neck rein like a champ. Treasure loves to be the lead horse, especially out on the trails and with his long stride, can keep his riders engaged. We are very honoured to have Treasure in our program.
In March 2021, a new horse arrived in town and her name is Winter. Born in 2007, this beautiful grey mare is a Paint and Percheron Cross standing at 15.1 hh and is 15 years old this year. Little Bits purchased Winter from her previous owner in the Wetaskiwin County when she showed that speed was not in her repertoire for barrel racing.
Once Winter arrived at Whitemud, our instructors were able to work with Winter and learn what she knows so that they could work within her knowledge. This way Winter will learn that there is nothing to be afraid of around the stable area, on Keillor Road and on the trails and as a western horse, Winter prefers a longer loose rein.
Winter started in the WELCA camps at the beginning of July and is being used with some of the regular riding programs. Her foreword motion can seem a bit intimidating but with a soft voice and a gentle hand, slows right down.
Winter has also integrated herself into the summer week program and is a hit with her riders and loves to walk out on the trails and Keillor Road. Because of her mild temperament, Winter is now living with a group of geldings that all get along well.