Mrs. Butterworth

Photo courtesy of EQUEST
(1969 – 2012)
Owned by EQUEST
Inducted: 2013


Photo courtesy of EQUEST
Photo courtesy of EQUEST
Photo courtesy of EQUEST
As did George Washington, Clara Barton, and Mother Theresa, Mrs. Butterworth devoted her long life to serving others and making an impact on their lives. As a youngster, Mrs. B was trained as a Hunters pony. Because of her quiet nature she quickly became a lesson horse. When Equine Assisted Psychotherapy riding was added to the lesson program, due to her extraordinary patience level, Mrs. B became the mount of choice for those special riders. Mrs. B served Equest and her special riders for 22 years.

Mrs. B was willing to devote every ounce of her sorrel hay bellied body to our riders. She was over the top on her giving level. She taught more riders to take their first steps of independence than any other horse in Equest history. Mrs. B never expressed the slightest impatience in having rings hung from her ears, balls tossed around her head, therapy bolsters on her rump, or paint brushed all over her. Whether the rider was walk-only with three volunteers assisting, a Hippotherapy client being long lined, or a student learning to canter, Mrs. B. was able to sense their needs and adjust accordingly. She was a huge confidence builder. It was as if Mrs. B knew that patience and time do more than strength or passion. She certainly possessed the patience and gave decades of her time. It seemed that Mrs. B’s personal goal was to make each of her riders maximize their potential. She did not care what her riders looked like or what they knew or did not know. She was the shoulder they could always lean on and the forgiving spirit they could always learn on.

Versatility was another one of Mrs. B’s superlatives. Sports riding of the walk, trot, or canter nature, low jumping, hippotherapy, longlining, working trail, showmanship, dressage, and western pleasure riding were all in her repertoire of skills. All of which are utilized in Equest’s therapy program. Whatever the job, she was up for it. Her patient and wise personality made her the perfect horse to use for volunteer training. "Newbie" volunteers were assigned to Mrs. B because she would build their confidence and she had a patience level that was unbeatable. She was an exhibitionist as well - being a member of the Equest drill team. When Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne of Great Britain, came to visit, Mrs. B was front and center with ears pricked, standing square, proud as a peacock and definitely complying with royal protocol. Mrs. B was honored as the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International Equine of the Year in 2004.

What was Mrs. B’s greatest contribution? It would be impossible to give only one example about a horse that has given multitudes of riders enough trunk stability to take their first walking steps, enough stimulation to riders to speak their first words or laugh their first laugh, enough confidence to "green” volunteers" to pick up her hooves.

During Mrs. B’s tenure as a therapy horse, riders were born, flourished, and became adults. Four U.S. Presidents held office, two for eight years. Six summer Olympics occurred. The Berlin Wall came down. With the passage of each decade, Mrs. B continued to perform her job flawlessly with grace, kindness, and courage, changing numerous people’s lives for the better and sending them down a better path. She is a once in a lifetime therapy horse.