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Garth named 2020 “Heart of the Horse” honoree

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 9:52 PM EDT
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WATERVLIET, Mich. (WNDU) - A long-time member of the Therapeutic Equestrian Center (TEC) in Watervliet Michigan received the “2020 Heart of the Horse” award Tuesday.

This award celebrates the “heart” of horses across the Michiana area and recognizes the impact they make.

Garth was this year’s winner.

“I am so excited that Garth won this award because I have seen him working so hard,” said TEC Instructor Marilyn Bubula Harvey.

“And it was started by Cathy and Bill Alwine from South Bend who lost a horse that they dearly loved,” said TEC Board President and Instructor Autumn Zick.

Every year, the award is given to a Michiana horse who embodies a giving and caring spirit.

“He’s touched more lives than most of us in our lifetime,” Zick said.

Garth is known as the “go-to” horse.

He is willing to do the tough jobs and has a laid-back personality.

Even more impressive? Garth gives gentle nudges to riders as a sign of encouragement.

“You know he is going to build a relationship with that rider and they are going to become a team. He’s just a fantastic horse,” Harvey said.

TEC serves those with special needs and veterans in the Michiana area.

“Horses taught me a lot as a little girl growing up and they continue to teach and amaze me now; and to see the changes they make in people’s lives...you can’t put words to it,” Zick said.

“It’s magic in there...There’s really no words for what goes on in there. It’s very special,” Harvey said.

Garth is semi-retired.

His instructors said he will be hard to replace.

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