Mini rescue horses bring comfort to people who are suffering
“They can help reduce fear and stress, they lower blood pressure."
By Isolde Walters via SWNS
Meet the troop of tiny rescue horses that bring comfort to dementia sufferers, autistic children and patients in hospices.
Peaches, Mr. Buttons, Tonka, Banshee, Charlie and Idaho were saved from auctions, kill pens and neglectful homes by animal-lover Toni Hadad.
The adorable mini horses now trot into hospitals, schools and homes for the deaf and blind, raising spirits as they go.
“They help elderly patients become more responsive and help them feel less lonely.
“They help with depression.
“They can also help treat patients with anxiety, grief, PTSD and addiction.”Toni Hadad, founder of the nonprofit 'Lifting Spirits Miniature Therapy Horses'
They even don angel wings and unicorn horns to spread cheer among children suffering from cancer and the horses are not averse to taking selfies.
Toni, 54, of Andover, Massachusetts said: “Peaches loves the attention, she is a total diva and she loves taking selfies.
“Mr. Buttons is super chill and he also likes taking selfies, his teeth show and it looks like he is smiling.
“I have wings and unicorn horns custom-made so that when we go into a Ronald McDonald House, the children get to meet a pegasus or a unicorn.
“It really cheers them up.”
The graphic designer started her nonprofit Lifting Spirits in 2017 with two therapy horses.
She now has six mini horses making 150 visits to more than 60 facilities a year.
Toni described how Peaches even soothed parents on the anniversary of their son’s death on 9/11.
“I took Peaches on a visit to an assisted living facility last year,” she said.
“The next day I received an email from a daughter of a patient.
“She told me that she couldn’t put into words how happy Peaches made her parents and added that they are usually very sad that week, as it is the anniversary of their son’s death.”
The tallest of the horses is Tonka, standing 36 inches tall, while little Idaho is the smallest at just 22 inches, weighing just 70lbs.
“My horses are rescues,” Toni said.
“We have saved them from auctions and kill pens where people buy horses for their meat - horse meat fetches 30 to 40 cents a pound in Mexico or China."
“Peaches, Idaho and Mr. Buttons are dwarves.
“Horses with the genetic disorder of dwarfism sometimes die at birth, sometimes only last two weeks and some dwarves are born with deformities like twisted legs.
“Peaches could hardly walk on her hind legs when I rescued her.
“We had to do surgery on her legs and she moved into my house, living on my back porch so we could do physical therapy three times a week.
“By April 2019, she was galloping.”
Peaches, two, Mr. Buttons, one, Tonka, 23, and Banshee, 15, are already working therapy horses while Charlie, 15, and Idaho, ten months, are still in training.
Toni said: “We go to pediatric centers, nursing homes and hospitals.
“We also work with schools for autistic children and special needs kids, homes for the deaf and the blind, VA homes, and Ronald McDonald Houses.
“We do hospice visits and work with schools on their anti-bullying programs.
“Mini therapy horses work the same way dogs do.
“They can help reduce fear and stress, they lower blood pressure.
Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email [email protected] or submit an inquiry via our contact form.
Blindness could be treated with this new fish oil pill
Visual decline in patients with diabetes and dementia may also be stopped.
Scientists develop robo-caterpillar that can slither under doors
The caterpillar-like robot that can move forward, backward and dip under narrow spaces.
Inside this diverse UK street where 70 languages are spoken
"It’s a very happy place."
Nearly half of parents skip meals so their kids don’t go hungry: poll
“We are now seeing the real-world effects of the cost-of-living-crisis."
Simple blood test could predict if patients likely to develop PTSD
"This could potentially reduce the severity of symptoms or prevent the disorder from developing altogether.”
- Work5 days ago
What are the top employee benefits in 2023?
- Pets1 week ago
Half of pet owners consider getting a tattoo of their furry friends: poll
- Health4 days ago
Women reveal reasons why they don’t exercise enough
- Lifestyle6 days ago
Senior got Magic Mike-themed birthday party for her last hoorah
- Animals6 days ago
Australia has discovered another giant spider
- Climate Change1 week ago
How Americans are taking steps toward becoming more sustainable
- Science6 days ago
Building-sized asteroid will fly close to Earth this Saturday
- Art1 week ago
Man renovating kitchen discovers historic 400-year-old paintings