Congratulations Lusco! ~Declan
A 19-year-old Andalusian gelding has been named the American Hippotherapy Association Horse of the Year for 2013.
Lusco, who is registered with the International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association (IALHA), works in Therapy Services at Ride On in Chatsworth, California.
The award, sponsored by American Hippotherapy Association (AHA) and the American Quarter Horse Association, was earned by Lusco for being an excellent example of an equine professional working in hippotherapy. Lusco was one of 10 finalists nationwide for this prestigious award, which was presented at the recent AHA national conference in St Louis, Missouri.
Lusco has been the equine member of many therapy teams at Ride On, providing equine movement and sensory input for patients of all ages and disabilities for more than a decade. He was donated to Ride On by Riitta Saada as a 5 year old.
The Horse of the Year award was established by, and named for, Barbara Heine, a physical therapist, AHA faculty member and horse trainer, who provided and taught about hippotherapy in the US and Internationally. She was a champion of developing excellent performance in therapy horses.
When she taught at Ride On, she recognized the unique qualities that Lusco demonstrated and chose him for teaching demonstrations. He has since taught many therapists new to using hippotherapy what they should look for in a hippotherapy horse.
Lusco performs many roles at Ride On. His job as a hippotherapy horse is unsurpassed, and his willingness, his correctness, his timing and accuracy all represent what an excellent therapy horse should be.
Ride On will be celebrating Lusco’s award on Friday, August 16, at the San Fernando Valley ranch.
Reporting: Cynthia Spanhel / via USEF