November 15, 2019
Following several days of record breaking cold temperatures relief was in the air, warmer temperatures returned and the Merciful Minis stepped off the trailer to visit their neighbors at Victorian Village.
The little minis entered the beautiful building confidently and were immediately greeted by staff and residents awaiting their visit. Thee minis made their rounds with each person. Seniors had the opportunity to pet each little gelding, some for the first time in their lives.
A couple celebrating 75 years of marriage asked for the opportunity to have a photo shoot with our little golden Hawk who happily complied.
At one point during the visit a Merciful Mini volunteer was overcome with sadness, remembering the loss of a loved one not long ago. At that point Hawk, sensing the volunteers’ grief, walked up to the volunteer and leaned closely to her, head resting against her side. All without the handlers’ prompting.
The visit continued. All said their goodbyes. The Merciful Mini Team left the building knowing that a special connection was made that afternoon reaffirming our belief in the power of the human-equine bond.
November 8, 2019
Chicago’s cold November brings a chill in the air that requires an extra ounce of warmth in our coffee to bring comfort to our volunteers who brave the elements and come out in the cold as the Merciful Minis prance up into the trailer on the way to visit Smith Village Retirement Center in the southwest Beverly neighborhood.
Upon our arrival we were visited by an enthusiastic administrator who greeted us warmly at the doorway to tell us how excited the seniors were to have the minis make a return visit to their beautiful home.
As the miniature horses confidently entered the lovely carpeted room we could hear the giggles of seniors excited at the prospect of horses inside of their home, donned with holiday plaid ribbons on their tales.
The minis visited with each senior. There was a wide range of horse experience in the room; one senior spoke of living on a farm in Ireland surrounded by animals while still others had never touched the mane of a horse in their lifetime. Regardless of their past experiences with horses each senior had the opportunity to feel the fluffy, clean winter coats of a miniature horse meticulously groomed for a pre-holiday visit. Many seniors called for the minis to continue to make more rounds, stay a little longer, and at one point, come up to their room for a longer visit.
It was at this time that I noticed that cold weather was no longer a factor. The minis once again found their way into the warm hearts of all- residents, staff and Merciful Minis volunteers.