Meet the Team

Jade Dykstra

Owner, Certified EAL Coach (EAL Canada)

Jade grew up riding horses and knowing that she wanted to make a difference in her community.  She starting Lasting Strides in April 2015 after receiving her certifications in the EAL field.  Since then it has grown to be her full-time commitment, and she works hard to ensure you are receiving the best-quality coaching.

Jade was certified as an Equine Assisted Learning Coach in 2013 through Higher Trails and Equine Connection.  In June 2017 she became a founding member of EAL Canada.  She has been working with horses since 2002 and continues her personal and professional development every chance she gets.

The Horses

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FedEx

FedEx is our handsome half-quarter horse, half-Arabian gelding! He was born in 2002 and carries himself like a king - you can often spot him prancing around the pasture like he owns the place, head and tail held high! He is an energetic, forward-moving guy with so many cuddles to give, and oh boy he sure loves to jump! He's a favorite among our thrill-seeking riders as he is not afraid of a challenge and loves to explore and go go go!

Gem

Gem is a quarter horse mare who was born in spring 2008.  Born at a rescue, Gem was well taken care of from day one.  She has been with Jade since she was a yearling, and is trained under saddle and very well versed in groundwork.  She craves hard work and has the cutest sassy personality.  She takes great care of beginners, and challenges the handlers with a little more confidence to step outside their comfort zones.

Montana

Montana is a paint mare, born some time in 2011.  When she came to us in spring 2014 she had not been handled much by humans.  She is now a wonderful riding horse for kids.  This horse isn't afraid of much at all!  Montana is very sensitive to her handler's emotions and is incredibly expressive.  She's also super goofy and loves to play!

Tango

Tango was born in 2008 and was not handled when she came to us in May 2016.  Her personality and friendliness were evident from the first time we met her, so there was no question that she was meant to come home with us.  She has become a special part of our programs, and is a crowd favorite when it comes to liberty groundwork.  She loves attention, and will do her best to get noticed by greeting everyone who enters the field with a big hug!

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Bailey

Bailey is a paint horse mare and was born way back in 1994 - but she doesn't let that slow her down! After many years of taking care of beginner riders at an awesome trail camp, Bailey found herself ready for a bit of a slower lifestyle and came home with us in September 2020! She loves barrel racing, trail riding, and taking her sweet time eating her snacks after work. It's very easy to fall in love with her soft, graying face!

Roo

Roo is a lovely little quarter horse mare that joined our herd in November 2017.  She was born on March 22, 1998.  You'd never guess that she's a senior horse just by meeting her!  This little horse has a lot of love in her heart, and she is incredibly well-trained under saddle.  Roo's sweet, motherly nature and her desire to work hard make her a great addition to our herd!

Ayla

Ayla is a beautiful little quarter horse mare born in 2007 that joined our program in July 2018.  This little powerhouse came to us from a jumper home, and she is loving her new career as an EAL horse!  The kids love her strong presence and calm nature.  She is a joy to work with on the ground and very smooth to ride.

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Jay

Jay is a 2002 quarter horse mare that joined our herd in the summer of 2018.  If you're looking for a horse that will let you hug her all day long, this is definitely your girl.  She can't get enough cuddles!  Miss Jay is known around here for her sweet nature, her occasional half-hearted sassy moments, and her cute little trot.

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Sadie

Miss Sadie-May is our mystery girl!  We don't know her age, breed, or history - but we do know that she is absolutely lovely and that's all that matters!  She can be shy about making new friends at first, but once you've earned her trust she is an absolute doll to work with and ride.  She is known for having the softest fur and the sweetest kisses ever, and her color is a unique one called "Amber Champagne Pinto" - fancy mare!  

Junior

This tiny little guy joined our herd on New Year's Eve 2018!  At only 11.2hh, he is definitely the smallest pony in our herd - and also the oldest!  His age isn't fully known, but vets assessed him to be born somewhere around 1991.  He is gentle and quiet, and he loves all forms of attention.  His blue eyes make him quite a charmer!  Despite his age and his short little legs, barrel racing and pole bending are Junior's favorite things!

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Sage

Meet the sweetest girl around, Sage!  Miss Sage joined us in May 2019.  She was born in the year 2000, but not much else is known about her history!  Sage came from a family who loved her very much and wanted her to find a purpose in life, so they brought her to us!  Our best guess is that she used to be a reining horse way back in the day, and although she hadn't done much under saddle in the 3 years before coming here, she quickly settled in and is a joy to work with and ride!

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Tasha

Miss Tasha is a Spanish Mustang born in 1994!  She came to us in June 2019 from an amazing horse camp where she gave trail rides through the hills and rivers for the past 15 years!  Tasha has quickly captured the hearts of everyone at Lasting Strides with her sweet eyes and sassy personality.  Her absolute favorite activities are being pampered with a good brushing, and playing horseback games like Red Light Green Light and Simon Says!

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Mocha

Mocha is a registered quarter horse mare, born on a ranch in North Dakota in 2005!  We were lucky enough to track down her original owners to find out that miss Mocha has been very well loved since day one of her life.  By no fault of Mocha's or her original breeder's, she ended up in an auction in 2019 where her fear of the ring led to no bidders!  A friend of ours took her home to save her from the meat buyer... only to discover that this mare is so sweet and very well trained!  Mocha is enjoying her new job here and has added so much personality and joy to our herd!

Summer

Beautiful miss Summer is a 2001 paint horse mare that joined our herd in May 2020!  She came to us from a wonderful family who knew that she would be a great EAL horse after a long career of gymkhana and show jumping! Summer has done a little bit of everything and is very well trained - and despite her age and an old injury that leaves her with a hitch in her step, she has the energy of a young horse! She is so much fun to ride and such a sweet girl on the ground. We are very lucky to have her in our herd!

TJ

Mr. Blue Eyes here is TJ! He was born in 2017 and is a registered miniature horse! TJ is just 38 inches tall - and he's almost fully grown! This little man will be used in EAL when he's old enough, but for now he gets to enjoy being a baby and getting all the cuddles and attention. He is sure to give you many kisses and win your heart with his signature smile! 

Tater

Wait one second... that's not a horse! Tater is a miniature donkey, born in 2016! If you've ever needed the cuddle of a lifetime, Tater is your guy... his head is so heavy that he insists someone hold it up for him at all times. If he's really enjoying the face snuggle, he'll even whimper a little bit for you as his way of saying thanks! He isn't used in sessions just yet due to his age, but one day he dreams of officially being the first EAL donkey at Lasting Strides!

Jovie

Jovie is a paint mare born in 1998 who moved to Lasting Strides in September 2020. She spent most of her life working as a trail horse at a great camp that pampered her well - so despite her older age, she is still full of life! Jovie's favorite thing is trotting around with her riders and exploring, and she is so cuddly and lovely to be around on the ground! It's very easy to get lost in her big, gentle eyes when working with her.

Blondie

Miss Blondie was born in the year 2000! She is a palomino quarter horse mare with so much love to give - if you need a gentle, honest ride, she's your girl! Blondie loves to relax with her people, but can be convinced to go for a faster ride now and then! She has an old fence injury from when she was younger that slows her down a little, but with regular PEMF therapy and lots of TLC she gets around just fine!

Techno

This handsome boy was born in 2000 and goes by the name Techno! Tech came to us with a lot of anxieties from some unfortunate events that happened just before we got him - but his previous owners knew this is where he would thrive, and boy were they ever right! Once he settled in, Techno became quite the ladies man and now watches over his own herd of mares out in our field - and wins the hearts of everyone who works with him. He is inquisitive but timid, and tries his heart out for the people he bonds with. We're so glad he's here!

Willow

Baby Willow was born in 2017 - just a young lady! This stunner is not yet used in programs, but when she turns 5 you can bet she'll be the best program horse out there! Willow's favorite thing to do is follow you EVERYWHERE - especially if you have snacks! She's so friendly and loves to investigate everything. We're so excited to see where she goes with some more training and growing!

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