On September 8, Helen Woodward Animal Center lost a dear friend. On that day, Therapeutic Riding horse, Affy, passed away. He was a friend to staff and volunteers, an inspiration to others and a close companion to the children who rode him. He will be missed by the staff and volunteers of the Center who knew him, and by the client families he served. He always brought a smile to our faces and he was much loved by our Therapeutic Riding team.
Thank you so much to everyone at our Equine Hospital for watching over Affy and doing everything you could for him.
Affy, or “Afrika,” was a 20 year old Haflinger pony with a light chestnut coat and flowing flaxen mane and tail. One of Affy’s favorite pastimes was nuzzling his young riders after their lesson. His lighthearted and forgiving nature was perfect for our most involved lessons. He could often be seen taking his rider around the arena surrounded by side-walkers and staff, patiently enduring the feel of many arms and bodies bumping into him as he went along.
And, of course, the Therapeutic Riding team loved his “apple butt:”
Here are some sentiments from Therapeutic Riding staff and volunteers:
“Affy was perfect for this program not only because of his size, but also because of his wonderful personality and disposition which made him a favorite of all that worked with him. He had a way of bringing a smile to a child’s face even when they were afraid of horses. He would cuddle with the little ones and march off with the big ones. We are so happy that he got to experience such a meaningful life.”
“We will miss him very much, but I know that he is over the rainbow bridge being a happy, silly pony running over the hills.”
“I am so sad to hear of the loss of such a great little horse. Affy will be missed by all the volunteers as well as the students whose lives he touched.”
Rest in peace, Affy, and thank you for all you gave to us.