A Special Bond
Somewhere in time’s own space
There must be some sweet pastured place
Where creeks flow on and tall trees grow
Some Paradise where loved ones go,
For by the love that guides my pen
I know great horses live again.
During this last year, Merciful Minis has lost several members of our Family: human, equine, and feline. We are comforted by many fond memories, the support of those remaining, and our commitment to continue to help others throughout life’s journey.
We are grateful for the generous support of others, living and those now deceased. Donations received by the Merciful Minis Therapy Program go directly to providing health care for our therapy minis. Our work is a testament to those before us who showed us unconditional love in our everyday lives. They gave us confidence to meet challenges, providing comfort during troubling times, and modeling hope for a better day.
To all of our Family and Friends, Thank You.
In honor of JoAnn Berry Manka
Merciful Minis: Featured Guests at
Homer Glen Library’s Picnic With The Ponies
July 24, 2018
Merciful Minis attended a read aloud activity for young families on a freshly cut lawn overlooking a beautiful perennial garden at the Homer Glen Library. Enjoying treats distributed by the library staff, young children sat on blankets eagerly waiting for the opportunity to sit on bales of straw and have their pictures taken with the tiny, young miniature therapy horses, Hawk and Rae.
One by one, the children took their turns petting the minis. Parents and Grandparents smiled with delight as their children had their special time with the young horses .Handlers fielded questions: “How old are they? Can I ride a mini? What do they eat? Where do they live? Can the minis come back to the library?”
With the promise of a return visit in October, the handlers led the minis back on to the trailer for the ride home, satisfied that the young miniature therapy minis completed their task of reaching out to others with great success, following in the hoofprints of our beloved Molly and Mercy, the incredibly awesome foundation of Merciful Minis Therapy Horses.
Merciful Minis Visit Orland Park’s Extended School Year Program
June 23, 2018
…Be grateful for the gift of sharing your earthly span with creatures who comfort. Animals are our spiritual companions, living proof of a simply abundant source of love.
-Simple Abundance; A book of comfort and joy
Merciful Minis returned to visit Orland’s Extended School Year Program, this time on the grounds of Center School. We were blessed with another beautiful morning as our pretty little Falabella mare, Mercy, waited patiently for groups of young students and staff members to exit the school building and then greet the Merciful Minis team members on the shady school grounds.
The children were seated on picnic benches as Mercy and her handlers walked calmly to each child, giving each student an opportunity to experience first hand the joy of interacting with a miniature horse so eager to provide comfort and love to all.
The students smiled as they touched the little mini, were in awe at the beauty of Mercy’s blue eyes, and giggled at the long braid and pretty purple ribbon and pink bow tie on the long white and black tail almost reaching the ground.
One by one Mercy met each student and at the conclusion of the morning visit the children and staff members said their goodbyes hoping for another time to experience the unconditional love of a miniature therapy horse.
A Visit To Lincolnway Special Recreation Camp
July 18, 2018
Merciful Minis enjoyed a first time visit to the beautiful Lincolnway Special Recreation camp in New Lenox, Illinois. The weather was perfect for our handler teams; sunny, a steady breeze, moderate temperature. While sitting alongside bales of straw, the team members introduced each camp participant to our mini cadets, Rae and Hawk.
While each camper had the opportunity to pet a mini, some chose to admire the miniature horses from an arms’ length. Lincolnway campers had experienced visits from other therapy animals in the past, however a whinny from a mini was quite a novelty for both students and staff.
When all of the classes had an opportunity to meet the Merciful Minis we said our goodbyes and loaded back into the horse trailer for a brief ride back to the stable. While enroute home team members took the opportunity to reflect on our visit. We are so grateful for the opportunity to meet so many awesome people doing extraordinary things for the benefit of others. In addition, we are so proud of our miniature horses; pint sized equines with an enormous ability to connect and share their unconditional love with people from all walks of life and abilities.
July 13, 2018
Merciful Minis Team returned to Shady Oaks Camp. We were greeted by more than forty enthusiastic members waiting anxiously to greet Mercy, our blue eyed Ambassador of Goodwill. Throughout the visit it became more apparent that our miniature therapy horse understands her role as she carefully takes time to visit each member and makes adjustments needed to enable each person the opportunity to pet her mane and admire her pink nose and gorgeous blue eyes. Looking forward to our return visit in two weeks to meet another awesome group attending the Shady Oaks Camp.
People You Should Know
At our recent visit to Harvester Place in Burr Ridge WGN News and Radio was present. Here are the feature TV and Radio stories that came from this visit. Congratulations Merciful Minis and Co-Founder Pat Ulbricht for an amazing interview.
Homer Community Fest Parade, June 23, 2018
“You want to do what, with whom?” This was the reaction of some when our Merciful Mini Handler Team began preparing our Mini Stars for the Homer Community Fest Parade. But we knew our minis, and several of the handlers have had experience riding horseback in past events/festivals. The Mercifuls were ready, set, go…. Our two year old boyz , Rae and Hawk did not let anyone down….in fact, they surprised all with their minimal size, confidence, stunning red, white and blue décor, and fondness for little spectators. Even Mercy wanted to join us. She whinnied when we left the barn but after her television debut yesterday we thought she merited an afternoon of rest even if she didn’t agree.
We were #30 in parade position. The Little Boyz watched the High School Band march by, military vehicles and personnel lined up driving and making their way north on Parker Road, antique cars tooting their horns, scouts waving their flags, fire engines and ambulances sounding off their whistles, karate kids slamming their boards, candy flying left and right, and even Uncle Sam swerving in and out of the paraders on bike. Absolutely NO PROBLEM for the two year olds minis. Nobody was going to rain on their parade!
The Mercifuls achieved their mission of letting Homer Glen know who we are and what we are all about. Imagine our joy when the Master of Ceremony stood at the Grandstand and introduced the Merciful Mini Miniature Therapy Horse Team to the hundreds in attendance.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, this team of little horses have a big job throughout our area. They bring joy to the sick, less abled, veterans and schools”
While our boyz may not have understood the official’s words, I am convinced the minis knew they were important.
First parade for the littles: BIG success!