Delfinia is a registered Norwegian Fjord mare owned by Lift Me Up! She was born on May 3, 1998 and is the typical (and immediately recognizable) brown dun color. Also very typical, she has a dorsal stripe and two-tone mane, (see the Norwegian Fjord in the movie Frozen). Before coming to Lift Me Up! Delfinia was an eventer and pony clubber and you can find her videos on Youtube if you search for her. Don’t be fooled by her diminutive stature (approximately 13.3 hands), Delfinia has a strong neck and shoulders made for pulling a sled or cart, and she can use them to her advantage when she decides to take her handler for a drag over to the nearest patch of juicy grass.
Delfinia recently underwent surgery on her left hind leg, and she is recovering well. She will be out of rotation for a few more weeks, but we hope that she will be back in business, taking care of her beloved riders soon.
Finn is one of two Norwegian Fjord geldings (yes, we have three Fjords in total), and like the other two, has the instantly recognizable brown dun coloring with a dorsal stripe and two-tone mane and tail. Before being purchased by Lift Me Up! Finn pulled a sleigh in Wisconsin - remember that Norwegian Fjord conformation of strong neck and shoulders? This strong little guy can at times have a different agenda than his leader and may decide to change the plan, especially if the grass is greener elsewhere. Being a Fjord, Finn has strong opinions and likes his side walkers to stay close to his rider’s leg where they are needed. If they get too far back towards his hindquarters, he will let them know with a stomp of his hind leg. Finn is on a special diet so please do not give him anything (including hay) without first checking with an Instructor. He prefers to be groomed in cross-ties as he likes his stall to remain just that - his stall.
Houston is a 16.1 hand thoroughbred bay gelding, leased to Lift Me Up! by Lynn Pirozzoli, CEO and Owner of the Black Horse Inn. A very successful and trusted fox hunter, Houston was the Snickersville Hounds Master’s Horse before going on to his current owner who continued to hunt with him for most of his 15-year career. Over the years, Houston has taught numerous people how to ride, including a three year old girl and many gentlemen new to fox hunting. His kind heart and forgiving nature allow him to compensate for rider error, and his sweet disposition and goofy playfulness makes his a favorite character in the barn. Houston has a special skill at untying bows and will often undo volunteers clothing ties. He loves to “ham” it up for pictures and craves to be center stage for photo shoots. He has been the handsome model for many magazines, including “I Do” magazine, "Horse County" and the "Chronicle of the Horse" and has also been front and center for many wedding-related websites and photoshoots. We at Lift Me Up! agree whole-heartedly with his owner Lynn who says “his bravery in and out of the hunt field and his loving and caring nature has touched the hearts of many.”
Jax is a dappled grey registered American Quarter Horse gelding with a white left hind pastern and darker mane and tail. His registered name is "JTW Cowboys Romeo" and he was born on April 11, 2002 in Greenville, Alabama. Owned by Lift Me Up! since 2013, Jax is a chill guy, with that typical QH movement - easy jog and slow lope. He generally likes to hang out by the fan in his stall when the weather gets warmer, but if you want to see him perk up, just offer him some watermelon or a mint candy cane - those are his favorite snacks. Jax has a beautiful fine coat and sensitive skin, so he dislikes being curry combed or brushed roughly, and like Finn he prefers to be groomed on cross-ties. He stands approximately 15.2 hands high.
Jewel is a beautiful grey Irish Sport Horse on lease to Lift Me Up! since 2015. At roughly 16 hands, Jewel is one of our biggest horses in the barn and is loved for her well-mannered, sweet personality. Before coming to Lift Me Up she was a First Flight Hunt horse with the Fairfax/Loudoun Hunt and took wonderful care of her rider. Jewel continues to take care of her Lift Me Up therapy riders, and tempers her big walk and forward disposition when working with them. However, she loves to go on trail rides or over a few jumps at the cross-country course at Turner Farm.
Mirabelle is a Morgan/Quarter Horse cross, with a beautiful deep-chestnut coat and a big white blaze. On lease to Lift Me Up! since July 2015, Mirabelle was previously a Fox Hunter and Hunter/Jumper show horse. A wonderfully sensitive and intelligent mare, Mirabelle takes her cues from her rider and leader very well. If handled with sensitivity and confidence, Mirabelle is a brave and dependable girl. Like Finn, Mirabelle is on a special diet, so please check with Instructors before feeding her any treats. Mirabelle came to Lift Me Up on July 8, 2015 by Debra S. Arthur. She stands approximately 15 hands high.
Rocky is a 3/4 Thoroughbred and 1/4 Clydesdale, bay gelding with a white star. Before being leased to Lift Me Up! Rocky was a fox hunter who traveled up and down the East Coast and hunted with at least 12 different hunts. An extremely successful and accomplished competitor, Rocky won the North American Point-to-Point Association Light Draft Horse on the Flat; was a semi-finalist in the North American Field Hunter Championships; and won many ribbons doing judged trail rides and hunter paces. Rocky is a pretty laid-back guy with a puppy-dog personality. He likes to lick you and will carry his own lead-rope if given the opportunity. He loves people, attention and treats - especially grapes. Just don't bring any umbrellas near him. He thinks they will eat him.
Shimmy (a.k.a. "Shim-Shim") is a grey Percheron/Oldenburg gelding and the largest horse in our barn, standing at over 16 hands. Prior to joining Lift Me Up!, Shimmy received dressage training and is capable of some lower level movements. Inclined to be a little pushy until you know him, Shimmy is a truly kind and sweet-natured horse. He takes great care of his riders and has been known to stand like a rock when needed - even though he is a very forward horse who likes to be on the move. His BIG walk gives his riders a lot of movement input, and his bouncy, metronome trot is a great teacher for those learning to post. He loves to spend time with his favorite volunteers and enjoys being groomed. A sensitive boy, he does notice things that some of our other horses ignore, but he handles himself well - he may prick his ears forward and open his eyes a little wider if something surprises him, but he’s sensible and listens to his rider or leader. Being on a special diet, Shimmy is not allowed to have treats. Apples in particular cause an allergic reaction which will give him hives.
Sky is the newest member of the Lift Me Up family. He is a registered American Quarter Horse palomino gelding and having been born in 2002, is one of our younger horses. He was born in Tennessee but bought by his owner, Elizabeth, when he was three and moved up to Long Island, New York where he did some work in various disciplines including dressage, hunter-jumper and some trail riding. Elizabeth and Sky then moved down to Virginia where she switched him to western tack and started exclusively trail riding him. Recently, Elizabeth developed some physical limitations which have made riding Sky increasingly difficult and decided he might be happier coming to play with us! She is happy she can come visit him whenever she likes and was thrilled at how easily he seems to have transitioned to being a part of the LMU herd.
Tina is a stunning liver-chestnut Dutch Warmblood mare, with a large white blaze and two white socks. Prior to retiring from fox hunting and being leased to Lift Me Up, Tina was a high-level show horse and competed at some of the country’s top venues including Madison Square Garden, in New York, and the Washington Horse Show, in DC! Her extraordinary experience in the show ring has given our riders the thrill of taking home many ribbons as well as Division Winner from the annual Therapeutic Riding Association of Virginia (TRAV) show and she was honored with the title of TRAV Horse of the Year 2016. Tina has advanced dressage training and is capable of many of the higher dressage movements, but being one of our "grande dames," we keep her work level appropriate. However, Tina has been known to offer up a beautiful half-pass when asked for a lateral movement across the arena.
The third Norwegian Fjord at our barn, Titan is also the newest and youngest horse. He just turned 7 years old on August 16, 2018, the day before his official "gotcha" day at LMU!
Though he is not yet officially in the rotation to be used in therapeutic riding lessons, we have high hopes that he will be a fantastic therapy horse, after he passes all of this "tests" to qualify. In the meantime, the instructors are enjoying getting to know him better.