Molly is ancient, mustered from the Kaimanawa ranges in 2018 in her late twenties. She is extra special, with a presence that sets her apart from other horses. She was looked after by Peaches when fireworks were let off for three nights soon after her arrival. Peaches died after sheltering Molly. We have allowed her to remain a wild horse but she is happy to stand close to us and even take hay out of our hands. Although unhandled, she is a very precious symbol of resilience and gentleness and is dearly loved.
Legacy is Mollys foal, conceived in the wild, born at Leg-Up in December 2018. He’s a character with a feisty nature but very trainable. He was born not long after Peaches died and is named in her memory. One of our long term young people was given the challenge of helping to train him and they both get along very well.
A Te Wae Wae sporthorse, Cody was gifted to Leg-Up by his breeder, Ian Brickell in early 2014, and came to us as a largely unhandled 4 year old. He is extremely sensitive so is fantastic when teamed with children who need to tone down their energy as he reacts when they are too boisterous.
He is a kind horse who also knows how to put young horses in their place when they flex their muscles.
Leg-Up's longest serving horse, Timmy was part of Ros's trekking string from 2000 until Leg-Up was born. He proved to be a natural with the children and young people, and he is universally loved. Born at Erewhon Station in the South Island, he is a Clydesdale cross standing at 18 hands. He's now in his late twenties and is seldom ridden because he has arthritis in one leg but is still a key member of the team.
Part-bred Arab Mika is Shukar’s best buddy and was Shukar’s replacement as an endurance horse when their owner retired her. He wasn’t originally coming to Leg-Up with Shukar, but she fretted for him, so we made room in our hearts and paddock for him as well. He is proving his worth with the kids. He is exceptionally handsome and he knows it.
Pure Arabian Shukar came to live with us in 2020 after her owner entered a rest home and was unable to keep her. In her 30s when she came to us, she was an endurance horse in Auckland in her younger days. She surprised us by adopting the role of therapy horse without fuss and she is so gentle one could believe she was born to this life. She has gained many fans since she arrived.
Miss Maisey Grey
MMG arrived in 2015 as a 5 year old foster horse from HUHA, an organisation dedicated to animal welfare. She was a nervous wreck, but after being turned out with the herd for a few months she was calm enough to be trained. She has fairly strong opinions and is great for children who need to learn empathy or stop bullying behaviour. A Kaimanawa/Ngati cross, she is very quiet to ride.
Coffee is a Thoroughbred born in 1996. Ros rode her as a 3 year old then lost touch with her for 14 years. By that time she had suffered a fractured pelvis. She isn't ridden because of this. She came to live at Leg-Up in 2017 and is one of our best ever therapy horses.
Stripes is an Appaloosa who came to live at Leg-Up in 2017 at the age of about 18. She was very skinny and had an injured leg from a traumatic accident sometime in her past. Because of this she can't be ridden but she does a beautiful job of reaching out to children who need a gentle touch.
When our beloved Peaches died in 2018 as a result of fireworks, her old owner gifted us her daughter Tinka to help mend our hearts. Born in 2007, Tinka is a cremello. She is a favourite among staff members and children. Her former owner taught her to do a few tricks and she can smile on command.
One of our four miniatures, Lucy came to us in 2010 from the Bay of Plenty. She’s a quiet mini but like most small horses has an opinion that she expresses at times. She's rare among minis in that she keeps very trim and never gets overweight like so many of her kind.
The largest of our minis, Bikki came with Lucy in 2010 as they had been paddock mates for years. Bikki keeps her own counsel, but won’t tolerate poor handling, so is good with over-confident young people who take her for granted.
Our resident mascot, Chocky Pud has been at Leg-Up for many years and is now going a little grey with age. He’s a laugh a minute and thinks he’s a human. He spends more time hanging around the lunch room than he does grazing, and manages to sneak inside every day to see what we’re up to. He's a great fundraiser for Leg-Up; nobody can resist him.
Sunny was gifted to us in 2015. Don’t be fooled by his charming good looks! This is a chocolate box pony with a very hard centre! Shortly after his arrival he set about trying to run Leg-Up with his ‘positive’ manner belying his tiny stature. In spite of his pugnacious nature he is well loved and very good at sorting out aggressive young people.
One of our five donkeys, Gabrielle also came from the Bay of Plenty after being rescued from a neglectful situation. She’s the shyest of our donkeys, but loves to hang out with people when they are quiet and still. She is getting quite old and has a gentle, soothing presence. She's a very perceptive donkey and sees into people's hearts.
Rebecca is Gabrielle’s daughter, rescued with her mother to come here in 2006. Her rescuer brought them from Rotorua to Taupo and we travelled up from Hastings with a class of children to bring them the rest of the way. She’s more friendly than Gabrielle and is happy to ‘do stuff’ with people.
If donkeys were clowns, Nudge would be among the best of them. He came to live with us in 2018, destined for a new home in Wairarapa, but his giant personality saw him being boomeranged back to Leg-Up. He got his unglamorous name from his habit of nudging people in a way befitting a slapstick comedian. In fact, he's quite the gagster and is loved by all.
Nibbles arrived with Nudge and is his best mate's stooge. He’s happy to go along with his mate’s antics and together they add much colour to Leg-Up. They even go to church once a year to feature at the pet blessing service. Both donkeys once lived, almost forgotten and unhandled in a farm paddock, and nobody could have guessed what characters they were.
Paddington was born in 1995 and is on permanent loan from a good friend of Leg-Up. The classic biblical donkey, he sports a glorious cross and is much admired. He works beautifully with people in wheelchairs of all ages and loves the attention he gets. He is very protective of Gabrielle and Rebecca, so the other two male donkeys live in another paddock.
Pretty palomino Jester is on permanent loan to us from dear friends in Northland. He arrived in early 2021 and has settled into life at Leg-Up as to the manner born. A Welsh Kaimanawa cross, he was born in 2012 and is well used to children. He is also renowned for keeping naughty horses in their place. Ask Legacy - he's been put kindly but firmly in his place...