Tiny, adorable horses are making people feel better

Sep 21, 2015 at 12:57 p.m. ET
Image: Rdparis22/iStock/Getty Images

Adorable miniature therapy horses are bringing happiness and comfort to those who can't ride a horse or get to a stable. Just thinking about that is making me feel better about the world.

Nonprofit organisation Gentle Carousel uses miniature horses in therapy sessions to bring all the beauty and comfort of a horse to those who need it, but in a much smaller, less intimidating package.

Gentle Carousel is run entirely by volunteers, first opened in Florida almost 20 years ago and now has branches in New York, California and Greece.

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The teeny tiny horses are carefully bred and have many years of training, which makes them suitable for people who want to get close to a horse but can’t do it in the usual way, such as those who have limited mobility.

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Founder Debbie Garcia-Bengochea explained to Huffington Post why patients love the miniature horses so much: “While a large horse can be intimidating to a small child or fragile senior, the miniature horses were easier for them to trust and befriend.”

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Gentle Carousel has around 25 horses who bring joy to over 45,000 adults and children each year, visiting patients in hospitals and hospices, tornado survivors, child-trafficking victims and children in orphanages.

One of their most popular equine therapists, Magic, was even featured in Time magazine's list of the top 10 heroic animals in history.


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