Training needed to do nursing home visits.

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New Member
Aug 13, 2022
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Burbank, IL
My mother is going to be entering a independent living facility and I would love to be able to take my mini up to visit her and the other residents.
I am curious about how to get started doing this. Is there are good training guide to help me make sure that I have covered all training he would need?
I would love any tips about getting started.
Foremost in my mind dealing with pooping issues. I know for a fact that this mini pooped in the previous owners home when she brought him in once and he needs to get used to things like crutches, wheel chairs, and walker. He did really well meeting my mom in the barn when she was on her scooter - he was not horrible when it was moving but definitely needs work.


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Apr 20, 2005
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Southwest Oklahoma
Good for you! One of mine has never made a mess indoors or a parade. Others have. It is embarrassing, but not a deal breaker. What I would suggest is taking him for a walk before going into the building. Walk around the grounds a little while and let him get over the nervousness. Take a plastic grocery bag along to clean up, just as one would for a dog. If the floor is tile, be sure he has boots on, or wrap vet wrap around the hooves so he feels secure walking on slick surface.
Most facilities are welcoming to little horses.
Trailering to a visit, as many piles as there are in the trailer I always wonder how the horse could possibly produce any more--but he can!
I have a new horse that will possibly make visits. No idea how he will act. Maybe I should bring him into my house first and see what he does. I'll wait till husband is away, though...

Standards Equine

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Dec 30, 2021
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Alberta, Canada
@MustangMary That's just a wonderful idea! My daughter and I take our mini mare, Jasmine, to several sites for regular visits. It's amazing what it does for morale for the residents, their families and staff too!
I would recommend taking your little anywhere that animals are allowed. I'm in Canada so my options may be a little different but places like Peavy Mart, UFA (farming supply store), PetSmart, are all animal friendly. Taking them in there will give them great exposure to people approaching them, carts moving like walkers and wheelchairs do. If you can get the opportunity to do elevator training, that is incredibly helpful as well - the only thing Jasmine has a hard time with!
I would suggest getting a harness of some sort that indicates a therapy animal - in training, and treating it the same way they do for training service dogs. When the harness is on, the expectation is specific and consistent. We also put bells on Jasmine's legs. Some of our friends we visit are blind of very poorly sighted. But they remember the sound of Jasmine's bells!

As far as messing, well, it's not like continuing care centres don't ever deal with poop on the floor....
We take a bucket and small shovel with us. Jasmine has peed in buildings twice, only ever pooped once. The bucket lets me catch the mess. But no one has ever made an issue out of it either. Just grab a mop and clean it up. You can get little poop bag slings that go on them. I haven't gotten to that point yet. But there's 2 of us usually when we do visits.

Anyways, my thread is TheraPony where I share regularly about Jasmine's visits. Please feel free to reach out if I can be of any assistance!



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