Our world just hasn’t been the same since a pandemic hit and even our team of mini therapy horses felt the impact of this virus, cutting us off from doing what we enjoy the best: sharing our unconditional joy and love to those in need.
Today the spirit of resurrection came early. The minis were invited to The Legacy Ranch to participate in meeting the Easter Bunny followed by an Easter egg hunt at Legacy’s beautiful grounds. Cally and Lolly, now four years old, dressed in their new halters and ribbons and waited patiently for each child to have their picture taken, complete a craft in the heated arena, and then gather outside for an Easter Egg hunt on the grounds.
There was joy everywhere! Young and old felt the relief of finally returning to traditions put on hold until our world could open its doors and regain enough strength to allow others to enter in. The love our minis showed was amazing! They nuzzled, kissed, hugged and even playfully nudged the head off the Bunny, to the delight of a young child who up to that point was overcome with fear of the bunny. I could watch the minis eyes as she seemed to say “Look, It’s just a Mom with a silly Bunny Head costume”!
When it was time to return home The Merciful Minis confidently walked into the trailer. They were so pleased to be among people who genuinely care for others, and who give so freely so others can be happy. I have never been more proud of our team.
The Merciful Minis returned for a visit in the beautiful gardens of Park Place in Elmhurst. Although the late morning temperature was rising, more than thirty seniors awaited the arrival of our amazing team of minis, Hawk and Rae.
One by one the minis stopped to visit with each resident and staff member. The horses’ coats were shiny and clean; their manes and tails were groomed with ribbons and braids to the delight of the admiring seniors.
Many of the residents requested a return visit. Several Elmhurst seniors praised our volunteers expressing appreciation for the work of each volunteer. “It’s wonderful to meet a team so committed to caring for others, human and equine”
Thank you to our amazing core of volunteers and to all of those who have reached out to support our program.
Our “gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow”.
An excerpt from the Gratitude Journal, Simple Abundance
After a year of Covid lockdown the Merciful Minis made a visit to Smith Crossing in Orland Park. More than fifty seniors and staff experienced the joy of sharing the unconditional love of our minis.
We are so proud of our human and equine team! Without a moment of hesitation, the beautiful miniature horses accompanied by their handlers walked proudly to the seniors waiting outside, greeting each as perfect charming gentlemen. Little Hawk and his team entered the building confidently to visit those who were unable to join the residents outdoors while Rae worked the crowd with his sweet loving demure.
The minis were absolute rock stars, performing their therapy responsibilities in a manner that would make their Shades of Blue parents proud. Having said our good byes, Rae proudly bowed and the Mercifuls boarded the trailer with their braids and ribbons waving in the air, for a short ride home.
We are so grateful for the help of our volunteers and the generosity of our supporters. We are blessed to experience the joy of traveling our life journey with you and our Merciful Minis.
We recently received a message on our Merciful Minis web site.
“Would it be possible during this challenging covid time for the minis to visit our Motherhouse?”
Mindful of the recommendations of scientists and those in the medical field, we explored possibilities of how this may work.
The weather was perfect for an autumn visit outdoors. Hand sanitizers and masks were available and in continual use and the speaker maintained a social distance. The visit was brief but the Sisters were so thrilled with the minis, their size, their behavior, and their beauty.
Giggles, laughter and clapping prevailed. The minis performed like seasoned therapists.
Would we return? How soon?
We were humbled to be among a core group of women who committed their lives to God and the service of others.
Our Merciful Minis Team had been eager to visit new schools and meet new friends as we introduced Just Say WHOA to Bullying to students in area school districts. Our calendar was full of engagements. We were excited to return to senior centers for another Meet and Greet. Our therapy evaluation dates were set and the Minis were “spot on” ready to go.
Unfortunately a world-wide virus spread throughout the area and our team was unable to do what we love the best: providing joy and unconditional love to others. All of our scheduled dates were cancelled.
Gradually things are starting to return to an ounce of normalcy. Volunteers are grooming and exercising the minis. Young children have made short visits and a horse trainer has begun working with our team, teaching all that is necessary to safely drive a pony cart.
We will soon begin modified off site visits ensuring the safety of all. We would like to thank those who have continued to support and care for the Merciful Minis throughout this challenging time. You have been our Angels of Mercy.
We are proud to share the honor Mike recently received from the Nascar Foundation for his outstanding contributions toward improving the lives of children in his community.
The 2020 year of the pandemic has been particularly challenging for non-profits. The needs of the sick and elderly are significant and we continue to receive inquiries about when the Merciful Minis can return to sites to help those in need, young and old.
Throughout this period Mike has continued to help in providing care for the animals: good nutrition, exercise, shelter from the elements, fresh water, fence repair and daily training.
We are closely monitoring the health of those in our area and are very anxious to resume our visits when it is safe to do so.
In the meantime, we are very thankful for the work of our volunteers and support of our community members. Thank you and CONGRATULATIONS MIKE BERRY!
In honor of National Kindness week, Merciful Minis (Hawk and Rae) affiliated and registered with Pet Partners had the honor today to visit Lincoln-Way East High School. Special thank you to wonderful students and staff that welcomed us and made our visit a success. The smile on the faces of all warmed the hearts of those who attended. Until next time.
Merciful MinisRecipient of a Grant Acknowledging Community Involvement
Merciful Minis Miniature Therapy Horses is very honored to receive charitable donation money from The American Institutes for Research for the positive impact the handler teams have made throughout the southwest Chicagoland area. The nominated charities were voted on by employees in order to receive the funds.
Teams of miniature horses and handlers have visited area schools, libraries, senior citizen centers, rehab centers and scout groups with the primary objective of enriching the physical and emotional well-being of those we visit.
We are excited to continue visitations as we begin planning for the 2020 year. We are so grateful for the support of our volunteers and for the generous contributions made by those believing in the value of helping others.
The Mercifuls were thrilled to have a special guest join them during their visit to Smith Crossing in Orland Park, IL.! Mrs. Santa Claus took the afternoon off from baking Christmas cookies to join the Merciful Mini Team as they visited a very enthusiastic congregation of seniors eager for a repeat visit from the very furry little mini horses.
One senior in particular couldn’t get enough of her time with the minis, remembering youthful days of riding her own horse at her family’s farm.
The minis visited each senior giving all the opportunity to rub the manes or pet the soft noses of the young therapy horses.
We were so grateful to have the help of our skilled handlers, taking time out of their busy holiday schedules to assist making sure that the visit runs smoothly, questions are addressed, photos are taken, and the horses safely get on and off the trailer during cold, sometimes snowy conditions.
We are also grateful for volunteers who come to the barn during the week to help exercise and groom the minis, necessary to maintain the wellness of each animal.
When it was time to leave Smith Crossing we said our good byes, making sure that we wished all
While the Merciful Minis are winding down our 2019 visitation schedule we are simultaneously preparing for our exciting 2020 calendar year. Working closely with Pet Partners we have targeted Spring Evaluation dates for handlers and minis. This means winter is practice season for veterans and those newly interested in working with the minis.
We work as the weather permits. Our goal is to give the minis the opportunity to be exposed to different situations and to develop a special “friendship”, element of trust, with each handler. It’s not all work for the minis. They love the cool weather. They love to roll, romp, and chase one another in the snow covered pasture, with a zealous love of life and abandonment. For those of our followers who may be considering helping with our therapy program, we invite you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
And for those of you who have helped us through donations and referrals we send a heartfelt THANK YOU ! Your generosity has enabled Merciful Minis to add joy into the lives of those in need.