A Second Career for Jake

We often see improvement in the lives of our riders at Miracles. Sometimes, the same can be said for our therapy horses! 

Our newest addition to the herd, Jake, came to us after a career as a reining horse.  Reining horses are known for their athletic skills – doing a sliding stop and spinning (or pivoting) on their hind legs. If you would like to see Jake in action, check out this video.

Jake developed a breathing/lung condition that kept him from competition and was on several medications that cost over $400/month. We took a chance that the living conditions at Miracles might be better for him. Sometimes horses on pasture don’t have the same breathing/coughing issues as those stalled in a barn. It was so rewarding for us to see him explore the pasture and hook up with a couple of other horses to form a small herd. And, best of all, his coughing was no longer an issue. Nor did he need to be on some of the medications he had been taking.

He is the perfect size for us to see if he would make a good therapy horse. We have been working with him individually and in a class setting with one of our volunteers riding him. He’s been doing great!  Jake’s care will cost us a bit more than many of our horses, so we are hoping some of our donors will be willing to “adopt” him or donate to the cost of his vet care and special feed.

We know we are not a rescue (and need to keep telling ourselves this)! But in Jake’s case, it feels so good to provide a second career for this little horse with such a huge heart. By the way, Jake’s registered name is Bit of Whizkey!  

Jake in competition.jpeg

Jake learning to be a therapy horse.jpeg

"Walk On"

It’s hard not to smile when the twins come to Miracles! And it’s hard not to miss the “Whoa” and “Walk on” when Rosalie is asking her therapy horse to stop and go. Charles & Rosalie have different reasons for riding at Miracles and their approach to their horse is as unique as their personalities.

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Rosalie’s love of horses includes her stick horse that she will readily ride around the arena! Charles is more reserved, but no less engaged in riding his therapy horse. They also engage with our volunteers before class pointing out the horse they will be riding in the class. (It’s these kinds of interactions that keep our volunteers coming back to the farm!)

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Their mom, Jane, notes that in addition to the enjoyment the twins get from coming to their adaptive riding class, she can see the improvements the class fosters. Rosalie is more focused and calmer; Charles sits up straighter and has strengthened his core.


Those of us at Miracles know it just makes us smile when we see them coming to class! Your donations to Miracles support our Adaptive Riding classes for all the riders like Charles and Rosalie. You can see Rosalie and Charles in these short videos of their adaptive riding classes:

Adaptive riding video 
Whoa video 
Donate to "Walk on"  

Boo: A Huge Success

October 15, 2022 was the 5th Boo at the Barn. Attendees enjoyed games, a horse costume parade, food, and a chance to be at Miracles on a lovely fall day. Here are some photos from the event. 

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Horse Shelters

This April and May, Rinderknecht Construction came to build two new horse shelters. Miracles needed additional shelter space so that the herd can be moved into different pastures as the grass grows and gets grazed. The construction crew worked quickly and through some very hot days. Thank you.

Spring Gardening

The Cedar Rapids Garden Club, at Miracles President Lauren Crippes's request, came to clean up the flowers by the farm house. And what a job they did. If you come to Miracles now, you will see that the plantings are thriving. Members of the club come to Miracles from time to time to deadhead flowers and remove a few more weeds. 

Growing at Miracles

You helped Miracles grow! Thanks to all who donated a tree and/or attended our Grow with Miracles event on April 30.

Despite a cold and windy day, attendees came to say “hi” to our three miniature horses, Lucky, Little Guy, and Mr. Sea; planted a few seeds (in line with our “grow with miracles” theme), and took home manure tea bags. Tree sales exceeded our expectations! At least 13 were sold, with promises of a few more. And more than 20 kids and adults participated in a scavenger hunt for horse-related items. 

Miracles Began Its 35th Year

At the beginning of April, Miracles began it’s 35th season of providing adaptive (therapeutic) riding lessons to those with challenges!  At last year’s Upmier Arena dedication long-time volunteer, Jackie Wallace, shared  the story of how Miracles came to be.

Thoughts from Incoming President

I’m so delighted (and a bit nervous) to take over as President of the Miracle’s board for 2022. Having started out as a volunteer, then board member, and now incoming president, I’ve been so impressed with the depth of community support for our organization. Just this week (early December), our Director of Operations, Deb Leichsenring, and I attended three events where we were presented with checks to help with the property, horse care, and mission. The Greater Cedar Rapids Housing & Building Association is helping to fund new shelters for our horses through their Building Our Community Program. (And it is possible through connections at their banquet, that they will help with the actual building of the shelters!) The PGI Riders/Paternal Guardians of Iowa donated to support our mission and American Legion Riders Post #166 from Shellsburg will be sponsoring one of our therapy horses in 2022 [see photo below]. It was a great week (with the exception of both Deb and I coming up with flat tires in all our travels!)




Thanks for all you do. This has been such a great program for Hazel and you have amazing people who make it possible!

We are truly blessed to have been a part of this program and hope it’s just the beginning of a new regular, she loves it so much!

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This has been such a great program for Hazel and you have amazing people who make it possible!