University Pines residents treated to four-legged therapy session
They say that a dog is man’s best friend, but the adorable mini therapeutic horse that visited Holiday Retirement’s University Pines may be up for the title. The calming, furry friend came from Kindred Spirits Therapy Minis, a nonprofit organization in Okaloosa County, Florida, dedicated to helping those in need feel a connection with these outgoing horses.
This organization aims to provide relief to specific communities, including at-risk youth, children grieving the loss of a loved one, veterans suffering from PTSD, as well as any population wanting to have a connection with these amazing little horses.
While incredibly cute to look at, these horses provide a serious service to those in need. Therapy animals can calm anxiety, ease depression and provide much-needed companionship for the people they visit.
“Our residents’ mental and emotional well-being is a top priority,” said Kathy Matthews, enrichment coordinator at University Pines. “We thought bringing a therapy horse to interact with our residents would be a special way to bring some extra calm and cuteness to their day.”
There were 60 University Pines residents who spent the afternoon petting, talking to and playing with these incredible animals. The event was a huge success, and residents reacted extremely well to their mini visitors.
“It was amazing to see our residents interact with the horses,” said Kathy. “Their faces lit up, and I could see how happy and comfortable they were around their new friends.”
Because there are seemingly endless benefits to pet ownership, many Holiday Retirement communities welcome residents’ fuzzy companions of their own. Pets are such important members of daily life at Holiday that some communities even have pet playdates, where the animals can socialize and residents without pets get the opportunity to play with the pets. Many senior pet owners report a mutually beneficial relationship, in which both animal and human have an increased quality of life.
Residents are eager to have another visit from the mini horses, and University Pines plans to have similar events in the future.
Photos courtesy of Kindred Spirits Therapy Minis.
If you’re interested in other therapeutic events Holiday Retirement offers to residents, get in touch with us today!