Meet Our Gentle Giants

Ember — more formally known as “Amigo’s Smokin Ember” — is our 12 year old Rocky Mountain gelding who absolutely adores people. Before moving to Heaven’s Gait Ranch, Ember belonged to Deb & Chris Becker in Wisconsin Rapids. The loving couple enjoyed taking him horseback riding on camping trips with their grandchildren.

After frequenting campgrounds and trails all over the state, Ember’s curiosity at Heaven’s Gait Ranch is unlike any of our other horses. As our gaited alpha on the ranch, Ember is our fearless leader out on the trails, and he sets a good pace for the rest of his herd. FullSizeRender

Ember was purchased in the summer of 2016 by Heaven’s Gait Ranch with the help of Howard and Judy Edison.

Ember is anonymously sponsored through 2018. 




Our 20 year old Quarter Horse gelding named Jack is about as gentle as they come. Donated to Heaven’s Gait Ranch by his owner Jackie Vana, Jack has been able to connect with a variety of riders, families, and volunteers. With his quiet eyes and calming demeanor, Jack is so intuitive he really moves at the pace of his rider’s wishes. hgr-first-rider-11-25-16-mpz

Formerly trained for reining, Jack’s joints aren’t as nimble as they used to be so his days of making tight spins are now over. However, he found a forever home at Heaven’s Gait Ranch, and he is now one of our most trusted program horses. He’ll absolutely make you fall in love with riding.

Jack is currently sponsored through fall 2018 by Wilson & Gail McClaren.





“Mac-ee-boy” is a been there, done that kind of horse. Formally registered as “Woody B.A. Hancock,” Mac is a 17 year old Paint gelding who is our go-to guy at Heaven’s Gait Ranch for both new riders and new volunteers. Originally from Wonewoc, WI, Mac came to us from 100 acres of pure serenity. His previous owner Jenell Snyder had taught her children how to ride on Mac, and he proved not only to be an excellent instructor but also a trusted partner and friend. img_1990

After teaching many young people how to ride over the years, Mac also showed in holiday parades, and served the Mounted Patrol for the Midwest Horse Fair. Now a permanent resident of Heaven’s Gait Ranch, he serves kids with special needs and veterans with disabilities.

Mac especially thanks Jim Zirngibl, Susan Wilson, David Zirngibl, Laura Witt, Mark Zirngibl, & Nicole D’Astice for their generosity in bringing him to Heaven’s Gait Ranch.

Mac is currently sponsored through 2018 by Susan Wilson & Jim Zirngibl. 


img_1997Denali (aka “Levi”)
Denali is a 15 year old Morgan gelding more commonly known around the barn as “Levi.” Because Morgans were historically bred to be cavalry mounts, their breed is known for its high intelligence and endurance. Always curious yet also alert and willing, Levi loves positive reinforcement from his riders, and it won’t take long for him to start searching your pockets for little goodies once you meet him. img_1998

Before coming to Heaven’s Gait Ranch, Levi was trained in a variety of disciplines. From hunt seat, English, dressage, and cross country/stadium events to trail riding, driving, and showing saddle seat, Levi has seen it all. Staying here while his owner Samantha Vian is away at college, Levi is leased by Heaven’s Gait Ranch to serve riders in our therapeutic riding program.

Thank you, Samantha Vian, for sharing such a special part of your life with us!

Levi is anonymously sponsored through 2018.



Simpson is a 15 year old grade Appaloosa gelding who arrived to Heaven’s Gait Ranch from Amberg, WI with the help of Andy & Lisa Munao.

With a big heart that is eager to please, Simpson loves affection from his trusted handlers. Having always been at the bottom of the pecking order in the herd, Simpson floats from one social circle to the next, waiting for his true friends to come to the ranch: the riders. Because he has had a hard time making friends with some of the other horses on the ranch, Simpson particularly enjoys his humans who give him their undivided attention. With a little love from new friends, Simpson is happy to have a job serving individuals with disabilities in our equine-assisted activities and programs.

Simpson is currently sponsored through 2018 by Helene Meyer. 



Ellie with Cheri for website Spring 2017Ellie Mae

Formally registered with the National Spotted Saddle Horse Association, Inc., Ellie is formally known as Drifters Midnight Eclipse. As our 22 year old Paint & Tennessee Walker, Ellie Mae is proud to be the first female therapy horse at Heaven’s Gait Ranch. Although all the boys love her, she is a smart girl who keeps her cool, which is why everyone at the ranch adores her. A quick learner with a gentle spirit, we think Ellie was born to be a therapy horse. Generously donated to our therapeutic riding program by her owner Cheri Eberhardy, Ellie Mae loves teaching children how to ride, and standing tall at just 14.3 hands, she is the perfect fit. Every day at the ranch Ellie proves she is an old soul who is still young at heart, and with so much more to give, Heaven’s Gait Ranch is blessed to have her as part of our therapeutic riding program.

Ellie Mae is currently sponsored by Ella Jors through 2018. 
Ellie with Hazel 2017