Whispering Manes Therapeutic Riding Center
Whispering Manes Therapeutic Riding Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit located in Miami, Florida. We offer therapeutic horseback riding and horsemanship lessons for individuals with disabilities, ages 5 years old and above. We have programs for children, adults, and veterans. In early 2019 we had to retire one of our long-time program horses. This left a big hole in our program. Bringing a new horse into a therapeutic riding program takes time and we were in the middle of a busy school season.
As fate would have it, around that time we had a visit from Gulfstream Park’s Director of Sponsorships and Community Relations. She put us in contact with Florida Thoroughbred Retirement and Adoptive Care (TRAC). The manager at TRAC introduced us to two horses she thought would be good program horses. We immediately fell for Cool Man Walkin, a 7-year old chestnut gelding. Cool is a quiet, gentle mannered horse who had run his last race in 2016.
In early January 2019, Cool joined our herd at Whispering Manes Therapeutic Riding Center in Miami. After a few weeks of settling in, he started training. It quickly became apparent that Cool loved attention and enjoyed working with the participants and volunteers. His big, gentle personality immediately drew everyone’s attention. Cool is striking horse, standing at just under 16 hands, everyone notices Cool as soon as they walk onto the property. Even the smallest riders wanted to ride Cool in class. He slowly picked up a regular class schedule and in no time he was carrying a full load.
Cool has now settled into his new career and is a wonderful member of our herd. He takes great care of his riders. Riding a big, gentle horse like Cool helps the riders to build independence, confidence, strength, and skill. Whether the rider is a beginner, just learning how to steer, or a more advanced rider practicing posting trot, Cool is patient and helps the rider towards independence.
In case there was any question that Cool was meant to be at Whispering Manes, we recently learned that Cool’s last race was a benefit for a permanently disabled jockey who is paralyzed from the waist down. Cool won that race, so his career helping people with disabilities actually started long ago!
Cool’s racing career left him with joint stiffness, especially in his hind legs. He has benefitted from chiropractic adjustments and stretching. Slow warmups and walking helps to keep him feeling comfortable. He would benefit from adding Platinum Performance joint supplements to help keep him moving freely. At 9 years old, Cool can have a long career at our therapeutic riding center, but his comfort is of primary importance to us. We believe Cool is deserving of this award from Platinum Performance because of the work he does and lives he touches.
Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I am the Program Director at Whispering Manes Therapeutic Riding Center. Two years and a half years ago we were looking for a new horse to adopt and train to be part of our therapeutic riding center. We found Cool at Florida Trac, a thoroughbred retirement program. His calm, friendly demeanor made him the perfect addition to our herd -- Robin Bramson