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Jigsaw was a wonderful pinto pony gelding, who brought joy to many during his years.  He was originally a family pony used for trail riding.  Diane Graca bought Jigsaw for her young children, not knowing what a gem she had indeed picked up.  Jigsaw was, without a doubt, one of the best kids' ponies ever born.  He was quiet, patient, kind, trustworthy, and a great size for a child.  He came to live with Diane's sister, Linda Leggette, for dietary reasons.  He needed special feed and care every day in his senior years.  He had a special little whinney that he used for whenever it was feeding time, and he made sure his dinner and treats were not forgotten.  Linda decided to try Jigsaw as a volunteer for MVSRA.  He soon joined the other three on the trailer, headed to Olds every week during the spring and fall sessions.  Jigsaw fit into the program beautifully, and was especially popular with the very young children.  He did his job efficiently, looking after the children like the sweet, kind soul that he was.  Jigsaw went to horsey heaven in the fall of 2015, and is very much missed by sisters Diane, Darlene, Linda, and everyone at MVSRA.


On a wonderful spring day in 1999, a Clydesdale foal was born who would grow up to become a beloved equine companion – Maggie.  That same year would prove to be an eventful one for Maggie’s caregiver as well – the loss of my faithful equine teacher and friend of 20 years – Tao… and although I didn’t know it, that little Clydesdale foal would find her way to my heart as well.

I had been casually looking for a quiet horse to do a bit of trail riding, and decided to try searching online – something I had not done before.  Every time I googled “trail horse” or “Draft Cross” – Maggie’s ad would come up.  Every time.  When I first met “Mags”, as I affectionately called her, I knew I’d be bringing the trailer back for her.  On a fine day in 2010, Mags stepped out of the trailer to her new home west of Sundre.


Maggie was a great combination of 90% steady mind, patience, and willingness… and 10% “Are we done yet?”  Her quiet nature belied an intelligent and quick mind – a hunter of cookies – and a bit of an equine prankster.  One of her favourite tricks out on the trail involved river crossings – she  would wait until about the middle of the crossing then start paddling the water with those big pie plate feet – thoroughly soaking the horse and rider behind her.


Mags tirelessly carried her Special Riding students through their lessons on Tuesday nights for 3 years until she was sidelined in 2014 by arthritis in her hock.  Her leaders always knew when the end of the lesson was nearing (at least the end of the lesson in Maggie’s mind!) – Mags would start a move we affectionately called the “toilet swirl” – quietly walking closer and closer to the arena centre until she figured no one was paying enough attention and then a quick turn and stand in the middle.  “Are we done yet?”…


Maggie left us to go back home on March 6, 2014, after what appeared to be a heart attack or stroke.  

I miss my friend here and now – and I can’t wait to see you again.  Love you, Mags.


Rudy with award blanket_edited.jpg

Rudy, one of MVSRA's most trustworthy, gentle, and longest serving equines, passed away at the incredible age of 34 years in the fall of 2023.  Rudy assisted the lesson participants as both a saddle mule and pulling the wheelchair cart.  A few years ago, he was selected as the Top Equine Volunteer for Special Riding in all of Canada.  

Linda Leggette, who loved and cared for Rudy for 32 years, wrote this about him:  " He was the four legged friend that I loved the most in all my life...He was my best equine friend.  I trusted him explicitly, and we had so, so many adventures....He lived a great life, and I am so very honoured to have the relationship with him that I did.  I often said that if he had been a man, I would have married him."

Rest in Peace, Rudy.

**Linda wrote an article about Rudy a few years back - a copy of it can be downloaded here:

Rudy's Story:

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