October 13, 2018
The Merciful Minis were excited to visit the beautiful Lemont Rehab Center : a relatively new facility within minutes from our barn .We were greeted at the entryway and walked down a bright and attractive hallway decorated in seasonal autumn colors to a rehab room where a dozen of people were anxiously awaiting our visit.
Our beautiful Falabella mare, Mercy, knew exactly what to do as she walked up to each person seated in a wheelchair, stopping for a moment to enjoy the opportunity to exchange pleasantries before moving on to the next person waiting.
There were so many smiles and tender moments of seniors enjoying the contact with a miniature therapy horse. Some relived time in their youth of living on a farm, and growing up with favorite animals. One gentleman exclaimed that this was the first time in his life that he ever came face to face with a blue eyed miniature horse!
The staff members were equally excited and after several minutes of picture taking, we said our good byes, hoping to return in the spring.
Merciful Minis Were Honored Guests at P.E.O., NV
October 9, 2018
We have met some amazing people doing extraordinary things as we take our little minis from town to town sharing their unconditional love with those who may be struggling in their lives.
Last year several team handlers left the little minis to rest in their stable while the handlers attended a Ladies Night Out in the beautiful New Lenox Community Center grounds. There we met a team of women representing the Philanthropic Education Organization, NV as they participated in a fund raiser to help young women reach their goal of attaining a higher level of education.
Linked together with a common bond of helping others, the PEO NV chapter invited Merciful Minis to attend one of their meetings in the home of their Local President. Although raining the entire week, the clouds parted and the sun came out just long enough for the minis to meet P.E.O family members in the host’s beautiful garden. Grandchildren accompanied parents & grandparents; all were excited to meet minis Hawk and Luna Rae.
When it was time to return home, near sunset, the minis and children said their good-byes in hopes of the opportunity of meeting again soon and continuing in their mission of adding joy into the lives of all they meet.
Merciful Minis Evaluated by Pet Partners
October 6, 2018
“Try not to be nervous. Use this experience as an opportunity for improvement. Most two year old miniature horses need a time or two before they can successfully complete their evaluations”.
Although assessments, particularly for retired educators, can be unnerving the dedicated Pet Partner Team of evaluators made the two hour drive to test our Merciful Minis Team on the minis preparedness for therapy visitations. The test was conducted at a site unfamiliar to the miniature horses (a requirement to determine how comfortable the minis are in surroundings outside of their home.)
Throughout the year, volunteers worked diligently in all types of weather introducing the minis to sounds, sites, and circumstances outside the norm. We practiced exposure to wheel chairs, balloons, people shouting, music blaring, folding chairs, young toddlers, bearded elders, wagons, dogs, bicycles, parades, and music of a variety of kinds and volume. We felt we had prepared our minis as best we could and it was now up to them to give it their all.
How unbelievably proud we were as each Handler Team passed the Pet Partners Test in their first attempt!
I am convinced that our success is a result of the overwhelming support we continue to receive from enormously kind people committed to helping the Merciful Minis therapy horses in their quest to improve the lives of others.
Thank You doesn’t come close to our level of appreciation. We are honored and totally humbled to have you share our journey with us.
Merciful Minis Visit Bolingbrook Recreation Program
October 5, 2018
It was our second attempt to visit the beautiful facility in Bolingbrook, serving a diverse group of area residents. Our first scheduled visit this year had been cancelled due to inclement weather.
Throughout the month of September team handlers had focused on preparing for the Fall Pet Partners testing, a comprehensive test of readiness skills assessing a level of desirable social skills needed for each visit. During our visit to Bolingbrook today our beautiful Falabella miniature horse Mercy set the standard on what the behavior of a miniature therapy horse should be.
Holding her head high and indicating to her handler that it was time for “game on”, Mercy walked into a room full of adults, some with special needs, and began to work the crowds. Mercy stopped at each member, gave them time to admire her lovely eyes and beautiful braids, pet her if they cared to, and then continue on to the next person. Laughter and squeals of delight filled the room. Not one bit concerned about the noise level of the room, Mercy continued on and then waited patiently for the photos to be taken before bidding her good byes and exiting the room.
Each participant of todays’ event was in awe at the love and patience young Mercy demonstrated. My eyes fill up with tears when I think about the challenges young Mercy experienced as a filly, and then at the loss of her dear companion, followed by her own life threatening illness. Perhaps, as a result of her early years, Mercy has a sense of empathy for others that only a survivor can understand.
I continue to learn from my experiences with Merciful Minis. I believe each visit enriches the quality of my senior years in unmeasurable ways.