Mickey REINS as Top Arabian

“He’s a jewel,” is how Faye Hall, president of the Tierra Del Norte Arabian Horse Association, described “Mickey,” a therapeutic riding Arabian who won the club’s first Horse of the Year award this year.  The 25-year-old grey gelding is officially known as Southern Comfortt (CHF Jhacara x Littles Rhazayat). But he’s Mickey to the dozens of disabled children and adults he’s taught over the past seven years as a training horse for REINS (Riding Emphasizing Individual Needs and Strengths) in the San Diego area.

As a REINS volunteer, Hall spotted Mickey and was impressed by how often he was used with special needs riders. She researched him on AHA’s DataSource and discovered he was a purebred hunter/jumper show horse until an injury ended his career.  It was then that his owner, Lisa Dasher, donated him to the REINS program, which is a member of the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA).

Hall said Mickey is exactly the kind of Arabian the club wanted to recognize.  “We wanted to have an award for an ordinary horse that does extraordinary things” she explained in a local newspaper interview.  After Mickey’s award, a number of Arab owners made substantial donations to the REINS program, including a contribution that will sponsor Mickey for a year.  REINS executive director Debbie Thinner called Mickey a “gentleman” who has both contributed to his breed and to whole new group of riders who love and need him.  “He’s well-deserving of this award. He’s done just about everything, in every walk of life, and I’m glad he’s now at REINS and giving back to a whole other world,”