Afternoon Delight

(1993 – )
Owned by Elizabeth M. Stone
Inducted: 2016


Afternoon Delight (Violet) has made an impact on literally thousands of newcomers to horseback riding, and for each and every rider, was patient and kind. Every rider dismounted with a smile and left with a great memory of riding a horse. Some of those newcomers will become riders and some will never ride a horse again, but they all had a great experience on Violet.

Violet is the "go-to" horse for every beginner rider's first lesson at Cornerstone Farm in Foster, Rhode Island and for pony rides as part of her 4-H community service and at Time To Ride events.

It's no surprise that Violet was named the first recipient of the SmartPak School Horse of the Year Award in 2015. With a tremendous work ethic, earning the nickname "Auto-pilot Violet", she always gives 100% whether her rider is able-bodied or has special needs, a nervous first-timer or a confident rider polishing their skills.

As a camp horse, she has taught hundreds of young campers to post to the trot, circling the ring endlessly until they felt the rhythm. She has taken care of her riders on trail rides, and stood patiently for hours while campers braided her mane or located the "parts of a horse" and marked them with a sticker.

As a therapy horse, Violet brings freedom and independence to riders with a wide range of physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities at the New Horizons Center for Equine Assisted Therapy, based at Cornerstone. She is a role model for disabled riders - having had her left eye surgically removed in 2012. Many riders nervously mount Violet for their first ride, and, as she gently and obediently responds to their cues, their confidence and self-esteem blossom and they dismount at the end of the lesson with fearlessness and a swagger that John Wayne would envy.

Riders with Cerebral Palsy or other physical disabilities come to Violet stiff and rigid, and her warmth and gentle movement help relax and tone their tense muscles. Riders with Autism and other cognitive disorders quickly become comfortable and confident with her unconditional acceptance. Riders with anxiety and other emotional disabilities become confident not just in their riding, but in their lives.

As an athlete, Violet has been successful in the show ring year after year with many young riders. Her quiet, willing nature helps calm her rider's "show ring jitters", and her pleasant expression and way of going help showcase her rider's talents.

"We have all met people who say, 'I rode a horse once, but it (bucked, kicked, bolted, threw me, etc.) and I never rode again'. That breaks my heart, because they are missing out on something truly magical. No one who ever rode Violet would make that statement. She really is an "equine ambassador". I think that is what makes her so special," said Beth Stone, Cornerstone Farm's Manager and Instructor.

Violet has touched many lives, introducing many to the joys of horses and riding. She is everything that is wonderful and therapeutic about horses, all rolled into one cute, chestnut package!