Marie Koder manages the horseback riding lesson program at Last Chance Ranch. Her program is English based, with an emphasis towards Dressage. All the students have the option to ride in an English or Western saddle, so they get to choose what makes them most comfortable. Since Last Chance Ranch is a rescue facility and not considered show-oriented, lessons are geared towards giving students a solid foundation in all the basics including how to groom and tack/untack a horse. Students can apply these essentials to any riding discipline, advancing to a show-oriented barn or getting their own horse.
The lesson program runs 5 days a week, Tuesdays through Saturdays with a varied schedule. The program has grown vastly over the years and ranges from first-time beginner riders to students who have adopted an equine and want to sharpen their skills.
Part of our mission at Last Chance Ranch is to rehabilitate and train adoptable equines and we are lucky to have some great stars in our lesson program!
Cobalt Cobalt and Triple
Cobalt is a 23-year-old Pony of the Americas who was found running around the streets of Philadelphia with another pony. He has been a part of the program for the past 5 years. He is super sweet, who takes care of his riders while making them work hard. He teaches all the little kids how to ride as he can be quite lazy! He has many nicknames, but the one you will hear him called the most is “Coco”. Cobalt has done it all- birthday parties, dressage shows, cross country schooling, parades and has participated in our open houses. He is a very brave steed and not much phases him other than the noises from people popping bubbles while chewing gum and using clippers.
Triple Triple and Frosted
Triple Sec, fondly called Triple, he is a 20-year-old Arabian gelding who was an owner surrender. He has been in our program for the past 9 years! He will happily tote around beginners of all ages and then will pick up the pace and jump a course with more advanced riders. Even though Triple is perfect to ride, he does have some quirks! He can be spooky, especially when ridden on the trails. Plastic bags and paper are super scary to him no matter how much desensitization work we have done.
Finn Finn and Cobalt
Finnegan, fondly called Finn, is a beefy Percheron/Standardbred cross who is the biggest horse in the program. Despite his large size, he is athletic! He has started going to some dressage shows this past year and loves all the action/attention he gets at the shows. Finn is only 10 years old, and we got him from auction in 2017. He has one of the best personalities and is like a puppy dog! He will put just about anything in his mouth and is always game to try new foods. He loves different foods like watermelon, banana, Doritos, pop tarts, etc.
Frosted came to our program in April 2019 as an owner surrender. He has turned out to be a fun lesson horse, who is used from beginners of all ages through advanced riders. His favorite things are jumping and going for trail rides! Frosted is a very sweet horse who is always looking for attention. He has joined Finn with attending dressage shows and hopefully will be able to go to more this year!
Cinnamon is a new addition to our program. Cinnamon was obtained from auction in December 2020. She came to us very underweight, and quite shut down. She would not take any treats or grain by hand or a bucket and did not want to be caught in the field. After giving her time to settle in and realize that things were not going to be bad here, she has slowly started to come out of her shell, and we are seeing just how sweet of a horse she is! Cinnamon has a calm demeanor and is enjoying the attention from all her students. She has learned that treats are a good thing, and her favorite is carrots! A fun fact about Cinnamon is that she has a cool lace pattern along the top of her backend and as she gets older, it is supposed to get bigger. Cinnamon does have a lip tattoo, and by the order of the numbers/letter, she was a racing Quarter Horse who is 12 years old.
Brisk is the newest addition to the program and the youngest at only 7 years old. He is a cute pony that came from the Amish and was the kid’s pony. He has a fantastic personality and is always the first one over to us in the field. He craves attention and is happy to do anything we ask of him. He is still getting into shape for the program, but he will make his debut soon!
Have you ever dreamed of learning how to ride a horse? Whatever your age, it is never too early or too late to start! Contact us today to sign up for a lesson: https://www.lastchanceranch.org/programs/
Posted: February 25, 2021, by Jill Roggio