How did Dolce come to be a part of Let’s Ride?
About five years ago my horse, Lippo, passed away and the women at the ranch got together and said they knew of a horse that wasn’t being ridden. They talked the owner into donating the horse to our riding program, and we went to Burbank with a trailer to check him out. He had been cooped up in a small stall for so long that it took four people to get him into the trailer. He was so scared.
We brought him back to Rancho Tujunga and started training him. We had no information on him – age or breed. Originally the vet told us he was 30, and since then we’ve been told he’s actually 25. I’m pretty happy to hear that we get to spend more time with him.
What are some of Dolce’s personality traits?
He’s quite a character. He doesn’t want to move, although he’s very capable. He’s the first horse we put people on to learn how to ride because he’s very gentle, and he behaves well. He’s very calm and careful with our riders that have disabilities. He tests the seasoned riders more. He always makes us laugh when he does that.
What is Dolce’s role in the herd?
He’s the old grump. Doesn’t really want to be bothered with any of the youngsters, he just wants to be left alone. The other horses respect that.
What are some of Dolce’s favorite things?
Carrot therapy. He hears the vans pull in with our clients, and he knows he’s getting carrots. That’s an exciting day for him. He’s also one of the main horses that we take to the horse shows, he competes with various riders at the Kiwanis horse show for special athletes. Some of the activities include a trail, where he has to stop at different stations and the rider needs to accomplish different tasks, like opening and closing a mailbox and crossing a bridge. He’s very patient with his riders.
What is one of your favorite memories with Dolce?
My daughter got married up at the ranch a couple years ago. We dressed Dolce up for the occasion by braiding his mane with ribbons and flowers and making a lei for him to wear around his neck. My daughter rode him into the ceremony, and all he wanted to do was eat the lei. It was a beautiful day.