When Charlie, the miniature therapy horse steps into his local hospital, you can bet that patients are going to want to see him.
Despite their small size, miniature horses can do all sorts of jobs. They can serve as companions for larger horses, but can also be trained to drive and to give pony rides. Some miniature horses even compete in shows and in jumping competitions. But Charlie, a mini, has a very different job. He's a miniature therapy horse.
Because of Charlie's small size, he can bring equine therapy into areas where larger horses typically can't go. Charlie can be easily loaded into a trailer, and he's so small that he can walk into a hospital to go visit with patients. This miniature therapy horse is so well-trained that he can even ride in an elevator, making accessing the building a cinch. Take a look at Charlie's unusual life.
Miniature horses can make great therapy horses, but like larger horses, not every horse is cut out for the job. Miniature therapy horses need to be calm, obedient, friendly, and patient. A therapy horse can't pull, get anxious, bite, or kick, even when he's in a strange environment meeting people that he doesn't know. He needs to accept unusual equipment, like wheelchairs and hospital beds, in stride. Most importantly, a therapy horse needs to be genuinely kind and like people, otherwise he won't enjoy his job.
Are you interested in seeing whether your miniature horse could make a good therapy horse? It's best to try to find someone in your area who already uses their minis as therapy horses to help guide you. An experienced handler will be able to help you recognize characteristics in your mini that may make him a good choice for therapy.
It's a great way to give your mini a highly rewarding job.