Sabino Recovery’s therapeutic model is designed to heal the whole person, and so to that end, our horses are also used to work with residents on how to have fun, an experience that is often scarce for those who arrive with trauma, addiction or depression. In addition to equine therapy sessions, clients are encouraged to spend time with and care for the horses. This time with the horses outside of group can be powerfully therapeutic in that it provides clients the opportunity to connect with, touch, be accountable and take care of another living being. The process of learning, mastering new skills and, in some cases, overcoming fears builds self-esteem. Many residents report that the simple act of “being with” a horse gives them access to healing that is profound.

In the video above presents the Equine Program and the importance of the healing work of the horses here at Sabino Recovery

Meet the Herd

Big Flirt

Big Flirt

Gelding, Born 2001

Big Flirt used to work as a trail horse in the White Mountains. He had to stay perfectly behaved and obedient to keep his rider’s stay safe and the ride consistent and reliable. A worker at the company decided to buy Big Flirt and bring him down to Tucson to be a therapy horse. She then had to move, and Big Flirt found his way to Sabino. He is still a lover of the outdoors and adventure, and is learning to enjoy a job where he can be more focused on the individuals he works with and develop his own unique personality.

Favorite Quote: “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” – John Burroughs



Mare, Born 2005

Tomboy’s former profession was as a trail horse in the White Mountains. She learned to be very well behaved, respectful, and to be diligent. She did not bond to people as they were only there for a short ride. A worker at the company decided to buy Tomboy and was surprised to find a few months later that she was pregnant. It is not known who sired the foal; however, Tomboy has her beautiful son Lucky. Tomboy was then brought down to Tucson to be a therapy horse and when her owner had to move, she came with Lucky to Sabino. She is dependable, strong, and steady. Although reserved due to the requirements of her previous profession, she loves a good scratch and a snack.

Favorite Quote: “It’s sometimes easier to help others rather than helping yourself. The trick is to listen to your “self” as a friend.” – Unknown



Gelding, Born 2013

Lucky was born to Tomboy in the White Mountains in a trail riding outfit. He spent some time in the mountains, then learned how to be ridden and have manners. When his mother was brought down to Tucson he came with, and grew up as a therapy horse, coming to Sabino when Tomboy’s owner had to move. He is still young, with a playful loving personality and a genuine curiosity for the world. He enjoys affection, snacks, and turnout time where he can run, buck, and play with the other horses. Lucky is a great reminder to cherish every moment in life and to always look for some fun.

Favorite Quote: “Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you decide to enjoy your life.”


Gelding, Born 2014

Shorty is a 7-year-old gelding retired roping horse. Shorty gave all he had to the roping competitions and now thoroughly enjoys a slower paced life here at Sabino. Despite he’s young age he enjoys take the trails nice and slow. He is very affectionate as well and will follow you around like a dog. Therefore, his nickname is “Big Dog”.

Favorite Quote: “Sometimes the strength within you is not a big fiery flame for all to see, it is just a tiny spark that whispers ever so softly, ‘You got this, keep going.” – Unknown


Mare, Born 2007

Star is a 14-year-old mare. She’s use to the trail and spent her previous years doing many various trail rides around Arizona. She is a Tennessee Walker and thinks she is the star of the show.

Favorite Quote: “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh


Gelding, Born 1999

Milton is a 22-year-old gelding that enjoys all the love and attention he can get. Don’t count Milton out when it comes to the trail rides. He loves getting out on the trail once a day! Milton is so affectionate his nickname is “Love Bug”.

Favorite Quote: “To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.” – Unknown