Sometimes, when individuals are unable to make their way to LHBH’s facilities in Oracle, we gas up our truck, hook up the horse trailer, and take our minis to them. Each year the LHBH team brings joy and happiness to hundreds of seniors confined to nursing homes, assisted living centers, and hospices. Certain of our horses are specially trained for this activity, and they are fitted with diapers and booties so that when they leave the facility, it is as pristine as when they arrived. In a typical visit, our facilitators lead the minis from room to room, and residents are able to interact with the horses by petting or cuddling them or simply by observing these gentle creatures, which look like giant stuffed animals that have come to life. The fact that LHBH’s facilitators are exceptionally empathetic allows them to make each of these interactions a more personalized and beneficial experience.
Equine-assisted therapeutic programs have proven to be a powerful antidote to the feelings of loneliness, dependency, and isolation often experienced by seniors who are unable to live in their own homes or with family members. In the presence of our minis, even patients suffering from dementia tend to be less withdrawn and more in touch with their feelings. Participating in these visits is one of the most rewarding aspects of being on staff at LHBH. Not soon forgotten are the emotional connections made when our minis come calling. If you are an Activities Director or other healthcare professional and would like to talk to us about a visit, please click here.