(1987 – )
Owned by High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc.
Inducted: 2018


Purposefully bred to be a fast-paced field hunter, Latino, a Shire-cross, was donated to High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center in the late 1990's because he lacked the go power as a field hunter. Luckily it was this very quality that has made him the perfect mount as a therapy horse.

His stoic, unflappable demeanor has provided a myriad of riders with their memorable first rides, others their first independent trot and still others their first experience with an equine of his girth and stature.

If Latino had a life mantra it would be - "...take it slow, you'll get there". Latino works in both mounted and unmounted programs, with participants of all ages, including veterans suffering from PTSD, at risk teens, and children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. Latino likes to work with people in wheelchairs who are unable to ride, but like to groom or lead a horse. He walks patiently by their side and occasionally checks out the controls on their wheelchairs.

A rider with brain cancer, a rare form of muscular dystrophy and bipolar disorder, often arrives depressed, anxious and tired. Latino greets him with a gently nudge and works steadily and quietly under saddle, supporting his rider's independence and fostering self-confidence. Because of this positive interaction, riders leave their lessons with more energy and a big smile.

Latino's dependability enables his riders to focus on improving riding skills, getting exercise, and socializing. Because of his abilities and strengths, his riders are given an additional level of freedom to learn. Latino not only enables his riders to enjoy the joys of riding, he also helps them to observe and learn life lessons such as; building trust, self-expression, self-control and problem solving.

Latino is also known and loved for his excellent ground manners, which enable High Hopes participants to pick his feet easily, hand walk him back to his paddock and lavish him with some extra, well-earned hugs and ear rubs.

"I think he knew what I needed, even before I did," said a High Hopes participant who came to High Hopes in 2016 to attend a program for veterans with PTSD. "Seeing Latino weekly gave me something to look forward to. It gave me hope."

Now a volunteer, this former participant and Latino are like two old friends hanging out together not saying a word and having a great time. "Even today Latino continues to take away my physical pain and feelings of hopelessness and depression when we spend time together. He has a gentle soul that is good for my heart. He has truly helped to save my life."

With a strong, broad back, consistent stride, deep gaze, intuitive nature and remarkable character Latino truly is the ideal therapeutic partner.