Tuffy - 25-yr-old Registered Thoroughbred
The resident snuggle bug at Rural Wonders. Tuffy has a back injury that causes him lameness if ridden. So he is enjoying a retirement which includes his role as head-gelding to our herd and gentle and caring friend to our human visitors. His incredible calmness, gentleness, and patience suit this job perfectly. We are lucky to be his home.
Zip - 25-yr-old Registered Appaloosa
Zip is the alpha-mare of the Rural Wonders team. With incredible patience and talent, she has had a "been there done that" kind of life. She is very good at guiding children in their learning and helping them in profoundly personal ways. The extent of my feelings toward her are impossible to express in words. She will enjoying more retirement days now, and they are well deserved!
Opal - 8-yr-old Registered Norwegian Fjord
Opal is, well, adorable. A model of the Fjord breed, brave and true, she is ready to give everything she does her best. Opal is a draft style fjord, solid and strong and no-nonsense. Opal loves to be close to people. She tries hard to do a good job at everything she does and seems to enjoy forming deep connections with the people that come to visit here, and is always up for a hug! Perhaps the only thing she loves more is food and napping!
Opal is our logo horse, she is just that awesome!!
Lacy - 12-yr-old Registered Norwegian Fjord
Lacy is the other bookend Fjord horse at Rural Wonders because every good farm should have two! She is a VERY intelligent girl and is at the beginning her career. Fjord horses can live for 40 years or more so she is just beginning her journey! Lacy is a performance build Fjord, her movement is very upright and showy. Her potential is proving to be limitless. She is up for any challenge and likes the little details when learning new things.
Prince Charming - 10yr old Welsh Pony Cross
Prince Charming is a master class teacher of EAL, a small boy with a big heart and a confident and exuberant character he will give it his all every time. Light-footed and agile he is often found prancing around. I think his motto would be "why walk when you can run"!
When in the midst of EAL sessions, Prince is always ready to provide his human participant with a great "next level" challenge.
Ranger - 9-year-old Grade Pinto Pony
Ranger is a compact but confident mare that measures 13.2 hands. Her impeccable ground manners make her perfectly suited to ground learning and group exercises that are synonymous with equine assisted learning. She is a very sensitive mare, which can drive observations about sensitivities, trust, relationship building and expectations on and around personal space! Ranger is an amazing EAL teacher!
We are lucky to be Ranger's home!
Cisco - 20yr old Registered Quarter Horse
Our newest EAL teacher, Cisco is a retired mountain trail horse who has logged unknown miles of travel in his 10-year career in Jasper National Park. Time will allow us to learn his areas of teaching strength, for now, he is learning his place in the herd, the flow of a day of EAL and enjoying some rest and recuperation from the travel home from Jasper. Welcome home Cisco!
Gin - 9-yr-old Registered Quarter Horse
Gin was acquired as a sound and fit horse but demonstrated that was not the case. His degenerative conditions appeared and deteriorated quickly, and were likely masked during the time of sale with drugs. It was determined that compassionate pain management was not enough, leaving us with the decision of humane euthanasia. Gin remains a family member in our hearts his situation has allowed us to thoughtfully discuss genetics and poor treatment .
Primary Staff - Sherry Theuerkauf - EAL Facilitator, ECE Level 1, EAL Coach
A lifelong learner and horsewoman with 40 years of equine experience, Sherry continues part-time studies toward her Equine Studies Diploma from Guelph University. Her coursework, in theory, is incorporated in the experiential learning model of program delivery at Rural Wonders.
Participants guide their explorations at each session, supported by Sherry and lead by the equine team. She loves to explore the mysteries of the natural world with clients that join her for sessions at Rural Wonders. The environment of quiet at the farm, the unrushed pace, with ample time to explore through both planned and unplanned experiences, allows for incredible learning in all areas, explored in an in-depth, unrushed fashion at the farm.
Sherry's personal philosophy is guided by experts like Monty Roberts, Jean Piaget, Albert Bandura, and Mr. Rogers. "These great thinkers share a strong interest in compassion as the guide. They recognize that optimally supportive and compassionate environments are the foundation for all learning".
Sherry's has completed both an EAL Coach course from EAL Canada delivered in the fall of 2017 and an EAL Facilitator Certification from Cartier Farms, in the spring of 2018. In the fall of 2019 courses of studies at Guelph University include Equine Behaviour and Equine Nutrition. Sherry holds a current clean CRC with VS, CWC, and current Advanced First Aid and CPR.
Furry Pup Support Team
Max - 13 yr old Golden Retriever
Max passed away peacefully in July 2017) his bio will remain as a tribute to him
We love you, Max!
Max is a beloved family member and has lived with us since he was 5 weeks old. He is a super chill old man. He loves to sit in the shade and offer up free pets to children. When children have completed intense riding or training experiences and need time to debrief Max is there, if you are sad or nervous or just need time to come out of your shell, Max is there. In Max's life he has been a St. John Ambulance Therapy dog, visiting homeless shelters and nursing homes. Max has also been a reading buddy at a local reading program for young and reluctant readers. In our eyes Max is simply "the special"!
Rosabelle - 8 yr old Border Collie/Australian Shepard Mix
Rosie is a wonderful farm friend and working dog. She would love nothing more than to spend her days doing border patrol and rounding up cattle or sheep or goats! But instead, she is rounding up our herd of horses when I need her too and when she feels like it! She also keeps a close watch on the herds of children that visit and happily gives out free pets, snuggles and sneaky farm kisses!
Steve Irwin - 5 yr old Great Pyrenees/Lab Mix
Steve is learning to be the primary border patrol dog from Rosie. He has watched her closely, copied her movements and now he can often be found proudly patrolling the property by himself while she looks on from the comfort of the yard when she doesn't feel like joining him. Steve is a very sensitive dog and always likes to try to do his best. He has a very tender heart and along with Max he also worked as a reading support dog for children.