Therapy Pony

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

Standards Equine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
127
Reaction score
465
Location
Alberta, Canada
The weekend before Christmas, we took Jasmine the wonder pony to our local long-term care facility. We dressed her up with garland, a tree-skirt blanket, bows and bells galore. The residents were thrilled. She even did some patient-room visits. With the help of a blindfold and loading backwards, we even got her up the elevator to second floor. It was probably the most special thing I've ever been involved with for Christmas. I think we'll make it an annual tradition.

I'd like to know about YOUR special therapy/service pony/donkey.

We will be pursing having her certified as a therapy animal for future visits in the new year.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1429.jpg
    IMG_1429.jpg
    343.1 KB · Views: 8
  • IMG_1453.jpg
    IMG_1453.jpg
    206.9 KB · Views: 12
  • IMG_1892.jpg
    IMG_1892.jpg
    340.1 KB · Views: 9
  • IMG_2157.jpg
    IMG_2157.jpg
    181 KB · Views: 8
  • Jean Cameron.jpg
    Jean Cameron.jpg
    214.1 KB · Views: 7

ServiceMini

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
102
Reaction score
334
Location
Central New York
Jasmine looks like she did amazing! :)

I have Sodapop, who is a service mini (a bit different than therapy, though I'm sure you're aware of that <3 ) who does medical alert and response, and once she's older, light mobility. Right now she is seven, almost eight months old! She is a red dunn, and her most important task is alerting me to fainting spells before they happen. :) We're not sure how she does this, but I think she listens to my heart rate, as wild horses listen to and sync up their heartbeats with herd members as an early warning system.

1641168309438.png Here she is with a friends service dog, Odin. :) She had zero cares about him lol, just wanted to lay down near him and nap and graze lol.
1641168474587.png Here she is in the middle of a fainting alert, where she'll refuse to move, then start rubbing her chin over me until the episode is over. She also alerts to anxiety and panic attacks now. :)
1641168620001.jpeg Here she is her first time ever going to Walmart to work. :) She did amazing, ignored everybody and alerted and responded to a fainting spell, so I didn't fall.
1641168747850.png And here she is recently at Aldis, in her brand new vest (we're still waiting on the lettering to get finished being made), it's a bit too big on her right now, but she'll hopefully grow into it lol. :)


A few fun facts about her:

She is the third service mini in NY that I've been able to track down.

Her 'mom' genetically can't be her mother; it turns out her half brother and her were switched at birth!

She started tasking on her own at first from watching my service dog

She is only 23.5 inches tall, and a whopping 54 pounds :)
 

Attachments

  • 1641168263548.png
    1641168263548.png
    1.3 MB · Views: 2

Standards Equine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
127
Reaction score
465
Location
Alberta, Canada
Jasmine looks like she did amazing! :)

I have Sodapop, who is a service mini (a bit different than therapy, though I'm sure you're aware of that <3 ) who does medical alert and response, and once she's older, light mobility. Right now she is seven, almost eight months old! She is a red dunn, and her most important task is alerting me to fainting spells before they happen. :) We're not sure how she does this, but I think she listens to my heart rate, as wild horses listen to and sync up their heartbeats with herd members as an early warning system.

View attachment 45548 Here she is with a friends service dog, Odin. :) She had zero cares about him lol, just wanted to lay down near him and nap and graze lol.
View attachment 45549 Here she is in the middle of a fainting alert, where she'll refuse to move, then start rubbing her chin over me until the episode is over. She also alerts to anxiety and panic attacks now. :)
View attachment 45550 Here she is her first time ever going to Walmart to work. :) She did amazing, ignored everybody and alerted and responded to a fainting spell, so I didn't fall.
View attachment 45551 And here she is recently at Aldis, in her brand new vest (we're still waiting on the lettering to get finished being made), it's a bit too big on her right now, but she'll hopefully grow into it lol. :)


A few fun facts about her:

She is the third service mini in NY that I've been able to track down.

Her 'mom' genetically can't be her mother; it turns out her half brother and her were switched at birth!

She started tasking on her own at first from watching my service dog

She is only 23.5 inches tall, and a whopping 54 pounds :)
Thank you so much for sharing! What a wonderful little soul she is. It never ceases to amaze me how these animals fill holes in our lives and put themselves right into useful places. If only they all got the opportunity to be so treasured. I wish you all the best with your little beauty! Stay safe! <3
 

Kelly

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2021
Messages
1,347
Reaction score
3,901
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Stormy will be 4 in April. I have taken him into all sorts of buildings and different department stores. I havent had the opportunity to take him in an elevator yet, but I don’t think he would care, he is really a chill horse. The major challenge with the seniors is for him to NOT fall asleep and keep his eyes open so they can see his blue eyes 🤣🤣
 

Marsha Cassada

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2005
Messages
9,413
Reaction score
8,284
Location
Southwest Oklahoma
The weather is not very pleasant today, but I'm about to head home to pick up Jasmine and take her for a visit at long-term care. My daughter's so upset that I'm not pulling her out of school to do the whole visit. Priorities...
Take her out of school. What she learns with you at the nursing home will probably teach her more than she would learn in class. Ask the teacher if she can write a short essay on the outing to make up for not being in class.
Love to hear how the visit went so please post! I have not taken mine for two years now. It is a lot of work to get them ready, and a little nerve-wracking to be with the folks, but it's worth it.
 

Standards Equine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
127
Reaction score
465
Location
Alberta, Canada
@Marsha Cassada, thank you for your thoughts. She did come over right after school and met us while we were visiting in the first pod. She handled the pony for the next three pods and did a great job.
There was a photographer from our employer (provincial health provider) who followed us around taking promotional pictures for a personal-interest story featuring the site. He seemed to enjoy it as much as the residents. Said it was the highlight of his month, he doesn't often get to cover an interesting story like this.
Jasmine was perfect, as always. My only concern was that people keep sticking their fingers in her nose and she keeps thinking they should be feeding her snacks. I observed one gentleman come up and pet her on the forelock and she stayed very still and mellow, no trying to mug for snacks. I think that's how I need to approach visits next, ask people to pet her forelock. But she amazes me, doesn't shy or worry for all the wheelchairs, walkers, food carts, laundry carts, med carts, people shuffling or crowding her, at all!!!
This is probably the most meaningful thing I get to do in my life right now. It's absolutely amazing to share this experience.
 

Attachments

  • Therapony 1.jpg
    Therapony 1.jpg
    151.4 KB · Views: 4
  • Therapony 2.jpg
    Therapony 2.jpg
    116.7 KB · Views: 4

Marsha Cassada

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2005
Messages
9,413
Reaction score
8,284
Location
Southwest Oklahoma
Way to go Jasmine!
I like to ask people to stroke the neck. And mine don't mind having their ears handled so I ask people to feel the ears. I know folks love to pet a nose but maybe ask them to lay their hand on her like patting a baby's head. I've never had any want to stick fingers in noses! yikes.
I have to watch my Dapper Dan closely with fingers around his mouth. The strange thing about him, he nips me all the time but he rarely, if ever, offers to nip old folks or mentally challenged folks. He seems to know they are special. He is so careful around them.a But I watch him anyway!
Thanks for posting about your wonderful visit.
 

Standards Equine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
127
Reaction score
465
Location
Alberta, Canada
Thank you for that advice! I think I will definitely use that approach in the future. We will need to change our approach so that people in wheelchairs can reach her neck to pet her there. By approaching head first, directly on, instead of to the side, it isn't that easy to reach.
Things to try next visit! <3
 

Standards Equine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
127
Reaction score
465
Location
Alberta, Canada
I got a phone call this morning from the site manager of the local hospital. She reports that there's a palliative lady there, her brother shared that it was her life's dream to have a horse facility. So would Jasmine be interested in coming for a visit? I had "We'll be there Sunday afternoon" out of my mouth before she could finish the ask.

Also, our volunteer IDs showed up today. I'm an employee of the provincial body but I get a separate ID for the volunteer role. I have to say, as hilarious as it is for the pony to have her own ID tag, it's such a TERRIBLE picture of her! My daughter was shrieking when I showed her. I think pony might unfortunately chew it sometime in the future... Darn ponies do that you know...

The volunteer coordinator suggested that we write a letter to the local auxiliary group requesting some $$ to offset the costs of coming to visit patients, residents and staff locally. I'll have to think about wording.
 

Attachments

  • Jasmine ID Edit.jpg
    Jasmine ID Edit.jpg
    98.5 KB · Views: 0

minihorse

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
360
Reaction score
346
I got a phone call this morning from the site manager of the local hospital. She reports that there's a palliative lady there, her brother shared that it was her life's dream to have a horse facility. So would Jasmine be interested in coming for a visit? I had "We'll be there Sunday afternoon" out of my mouth before she could finish the ask.

Also, our volunteer IDs showed up today. I'm an employee of the provincial body but I get a separate ID for the volunteer role. I have to say, as hilarious as it is for the pony to have her own ID tag, it's such a TERRIBLE picture of her! My daughter was shrieking when I showed her. I think pony might unfortunately chew it sometime in the future... Darn ponies do that you know...

The volunteer coordinator suggested that we write a letter to the local auxiliary group requesting some $$ to offset the costs of coming to visit patients, residents and staff locally. I'll have to think about wording.
That's awesome, doing rounds in the hospital?
 

Standards Equine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
127
Reaction score
465
Location
Alberta, Canada
The visit went really well. Jasmine is only 4 and sometimes she really acts like a 4 year old. She was a rockstar with being tolerant to all the activity and people touching her and walking into rooms. She was just being nibbly yet. However, having her forelock or neck petted worked really well!!! Jasmine was really interested in the texture of the hospital beds. She was rubbing her lip on the blankets over the mattresses.
The staff were just thrilled too. Although Jasmine has made 3 trips to long-term care (which is attached to the hospital) she hadn't been through the hospital before. I think we visited 3/4 of the patient rooms, all of ER and almost every staff member. The orthopaedic surgeon didn't want to come pet her though, maybe he didn't approve of livestock in the hospital... Oh well.

Safe to say morale was boosted, even if just for one day. <3
 

Attachments

  • Jasmine Room Visit 2.jpg
    Jasmine Room Visit 2.jpg
    155.1 KB · Views: 0
  • Jasmine WHCC.jpg
    Jasmine WHCC.jpg
    183.9 KB · Views: 0

Latest posts

Top