10 May Meet Maverick, the mini horse
They say good things come in small packages and that was certainly the case when Maverick the miniature horse paid a neigh-bourly visit to Uniting aged care residents in Canberra.
Measuring at just over 70cm tall, this pint-sized pony compares more with a dog than a horse. And though he may be tiny, Maverick the ‘therapy horse’ drew a big crowd when he popped in to see residents at Uniting Mirinjani aged care home in Weston.
Leisure and Lifestyle coordinator, Jo Sumner, said many of the residents fell in love with Maverick’s tiny shoes. Unable to find any horse shoes small enough for him to wear, his owner has bought teddy bear shoes instead.
Maverick was unfazed as he was led around from person to person as the residents gave him cuddles and kisses. One lady even sang to him.
As he made his way around the aged care home, the care team were thrilled to see the reactions of typically reserved residents.
“Residents who often spent their days asleep or in their rooms came out to join in the fun. Many started talking about rural life or pets from years ago. Everyone had a smile on their face,” said Jo.
The two-year-old horse has been training as a therapy horse for the past 18 months under equine experts Nerida Winters and her daughter Ellen who say the aim is “to brighten people’s days.”
“We wanted to share the experience of horse therapy with people who are in a situation where they may not get opportunities to interact with animals,” said Nerida.
“A number of the people here rode horses to school. Horses have been a big part of their lives and to be able to interact with a horse again and see the look that comes over them when they do – it’s just amazing.”
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Sections of this article originally appeared in The Senior. Image by ABC news.