Category Archives: Equine Assisted Therapy

Horses and Mesothelioma: Understanding Naturopathy’s Benefits

From immunotherapy to yoga classes, there are a host of different treatment options for patients dealing with mesothelioma. As science continues to make strides toward better prognoses, patients have choices to make when it comes to their well-being. A unique pathway involves the use of horses. These gentle giants are showing promise for cancer patients where other treatments are failing. Get to know how the equine can help patients through recovery and beyond.

Being Part of the World

Emerging treatments are almost always being tested and approved, but they normally come in the form of a drug. Patients don’t want to be part of an experiment. They simply want to feel like they’re still part of this world and community. By working with a horse several times a week, patients feel a sense of purpose. They might be in charge of walking the animals around so that they can stretch out before a workout. The horse responds to the person with simple gestures, which is all that’s necessary to lift a patient’s spirits and take the mind away from any worries.

Gaining Flexibility

A fascinating aspect to working with horses is the flexibility value. During a visit, patients brush the animal’s mane and other key areas. These repetitive and relaxing motions actually build muscle without the patients knowing it. Their alternative therapies consist of exercise that builds the upper body. As time goes by, the patients feel stronger with extra energy at the end of the session. Fighting off fatigue is one of the hardest parts of mesothelioma treatment. Gaining energy by doing something good for a unique animal is both physically and mentally appealing.

Mental Wellness

For many patients, dealing with a cancer diagnosis is mentally debilitating. Loved ones may support the person, but remaining positive during months and years of treatment can be difficult. Working with a horse changes that situation. The patient looks forward to the encounter with a huge smile on his or her face. Happiness alone has been proven to help patients with increased stress levels, which may lead to complications if worries overwhelm the person. Laughing, smiling and talking to the animal are all good therapies to help the cancer survivor thrive.

Alternative Support

Dealing with a cancer diagnosis is frightening and isolating. Although patients may have a strong support system at home, those loved ones cannot understand every aspect of the struggle. As an alternative support system, patients depend on the relationship that they forge with these gentle giants. A horse has incredibly deep eyes that seem to penetrate a person’s ego. The calmness within the animal makes this patient experience a unique one. Because the animal is calm with a sense of stability in the world, patients feel the same energy as they brush, stroke or walk it around a stable or pen.

Mesothelioma treatment might include other naturopathic elements, such as strategic tea drinking and exercise. Ideally, a combination of different treatments is necessary to successfully fight off cancer. With a little help from the horses, patients can feel better than ever before.

“Buck Off” Championship Benefits Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center

Tuny Page, Ann Romney.

WELLINGTON (February 6, 2017) – The Real Bucking Deal showed who was boss as they captured first place in the exhilarating, crowd-pleasing Floridian Community Bank “Buck Off” Championship that benefitted Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center.

Their victory on Friday night (Feb. 3) at International Polo Club concluded the largest tournament in the eight-year history of the mechanical bull-riding competition.

The Real Bucking Deal, sponsored by Nadine Allen and Sanjiv Sharma, finished with 296 points. The final used the Nations Cup format, as one rider for each of the four teams made up one round.

Every team had one rider thrown by the bull, adding tension to the spine-tingling competition.

After a first-round 0, Matt Goodman and Donnie Mills each scored 98 points for the Real Bucking Deal and crowd favorite 10-year-old Trent Ferreir, riding the anchor leg, clinched the victory in style with a perfect 100.

The costumed Floridian Community Bank Night Racers, dressed in NASCAR-like driving suits and helmets, finished second with a 288, highlighted by Shah Quereshi’s perfect 100 on the anchor leg with a “hands free” ride.

Palm Beach Equine Sports Complex was third with 280, led by Sam Walker’s 98, and The Tackeria, the youngest team in the competition with Kristos Magrini, Oliver Firestone, Christian Weisz and Harrison Azzaro, finished fourth with 278.

Celebrity judges for the final were Mike Smith and PJ Risvi Taylor Doebler and Juliet Reid.

The Floridian Community Bank “Buck Off” kick-started the 30th Annual Vinceremos Dinner and Benefit Auction, whose theme “Come One, Come All” celebrated the triumphs of man and his horse while highlighting the importance and generosity of the community in the center’s success. The gala was hosted by Mrs. Ann Romney.

Vinceremos is a world-class non-profit therapeutic riding center which has helped hundreds of riders with varying physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. The Vinceremos facility, which includes a large, covered arena, is located in Loxahatchee, directly behind Palms West Hospital.

In addition to title sponsor Floridian Community Bank, major sponsors include Palm Beach Equine Clinic, Tito’s Vodka, Nadine Allen and Sanjiv Sharma, Discount Dirtworks, Palm Beach International Academy, Equisport Division — Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Laas Equestrian Real Estate, Envisian LLC and Carl Schacter with Northwestern Mutual.

Floridian Community Bank has sponsored the “Buck Off” since its inception. This action-packed competition has grown every year, attracting more teams and more spectators. The bank has a history of community service and civic commitment with Vinceremos and other organizations in Palm Beach County.

The Floridian Community Bank “Buck Off” is organized by Eques Solutions ( Eques Solutions professionally handles all aspects of the event, including the promotions and social media, as well as inviting teams and securing the celebrity judges.

About Vinceremos:

Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center ( is a non-profit organization that provides equine assisted therapies for persons with varying physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. Founded in 1982, the VTRC facility is located in Loxahatchee, Florida, directly behind Palms West Hospital. The “Buck Off” and Annual Benefit play an important role in helping Vinceremos meet its financial goals.

Media Contacts:
Bobbi Rottman (561) 227-1537 or via email at
Y. A. Teitelbaum (561) 373-5424 or via email at

Awards for Little Therapy Horse Magic

Therapy horse Magic of Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses received the 2016 Pet Hero of the Year award in Tampa, FL and became a member of the FVMA Pet Hall of Fame.

Magic also received an American Red Cross Hero Among Us Outstanding Service Award in Nashville, TN in 2016 and is featured in the newly released The Book of Heroes by National Geographic.

The tiny horse has helped survivors, medical professionals and first responders of the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, and the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL. She has also worked with the tornado survivors of Moore, OK, child trafficking victims in Washington, D.C., and in children’s and veterans hospitals across the country.

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses, an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) charity, works with over 25,000 adults and children each year inside hospitals, hospice programs and with families who have experienced traumatic events.

Some of Magic’s other honors include:

One of History’s 10 Most Courageous Animals – TIME Magazine
Most Heroic Pet in America – AARP
A Reader’s Digest/Americantowns Power of One Hero
One of the 10 Most Heroic Animals of 2010 – The Daily Beast
E. T. York Distinguished Service Award
One of Seven Most Notable Animal Heroes in the World – The Daily Mirror
Magic is a Deputy with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.
United States Equestrian Federation/Equus Foundation Horse Stars Hall of Fame – 2015

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses

New Movie Unbridled Brings Omega Alpha to the Big Screen

Lindsey Partridge and her horse Soar (Photo courtesy of Wendy Webb Photography and Lindsey Partridge)

Cary, NC (July 29, 2016) — When Omega Alpha Ambassador Lindsey Partridge was offered a role in the upcoming movie Unbridled, inspired by real-life events at a healing ranch for challenged teenage girls in North Carolina, Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals was eager to show its support. The Canada-based producer of equine health products and supplements regularly assists the equestrian community through its sponsorship of elite horse shows and top equestrian professionals like Partridge, and was excited for this unique opportunity to appear in a movie while also raising awareness for a deserving cause. Omega Alpha donated $2,500 to the funding of the film, which is centered on the miraculous healing power of equine-assisted therapy. The movie is eagerly anticipated among a variety of audiences in the faith, equine, and anti-human trafficking communities as it approaches its release this fall.

Unbridled, which is expected to release early in 2017, is a true-to-life story that exposes the atrocities of abuse, neglect, and trauma and the healing and redemption experienced by girls and horses who have suffered the same types of abuse. The story centers around the life of 17-year-old Sarah Miller (Tea McKay), a fictional character based on the more than 100 young women who have experienced the Corral Riding Academy, an equine therapy program in Cary, North Carolina where the lives of both rescued horses and teenage girls are transformed through trauma-focused equine assisted psychotherapy.

Partridge, who specializes in retraining off-the-track Thoroughbreds and won the America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred competition in Lexington, Kentucky in October 2015, was cast as herself in Unbridled. Two of her horses, Dreamer and Soar, also appear in the film, with Dreamer in the starring role. “My role in the film is to work with the girls as well as show the girls my international champion, Soar, who is 2015’s America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred,” Partridge explained. “We do a display for the girls of some liberty and bridleless riding, and in other scenes I help with coaching the girls.”

With the help of Omega Alpha’s wide range of award-winning products, both equine stars maintained their excellent health and picture-perfect appearance throughout the making of the film. Their daily use of Omega Alpha supplements continues to keep Dreamer and Soar at the highest possible standard in equine health and performance. “The star of the film, Dreamer, uses Respi-Free daily and we have noticed that it really has helped his breathing,” said Partridge. “Dreamer seemed to have trouble opening his airways and would breathe really heavily during light canter work. Now he is competing at full strength, and if he starts to breathe heavy we use Omega Alpha Lung Flush and Airwaves too.”

Partridge feeds her horses a natural diet with high-quality nutrients, and Omega Alpha’s scientifically formulated supplements play a crucial role in helping to maintain the horses’ readiness for competition. “I want to make sure my horses are comfortable, and I don’t want to cause any negative side effects,” said Partridge. “If I have a horse that is sore, I love using Omega Alpha Antiflam because it doesn’t hurt the horse’s gut like other painkillers or anti-inflammatories can when given long-term.”

Because Partridge uses so many Omega Alpha products with her horses, it seemed natural for some of the products to appear in Unbridled. “I did a scene that involved Omega Alpha,” said Partridge. “It is the first scene where the audience meets me. I arrive and greet Cassie (Rachel Hendrix), and during our dialogue I request an Omega Alpha product from Cassie. Cassie shows me that they have Omega Alpha products to share, and we go on to meet the girls.”

Gerald McGlothlin, the executive producer of the film, was excited about the scene. “I just personally watched the ‘rough cut’ of the Unbridled movie, and the Omega Alpha segment was excellent,” he said.

Partridge hopes that audiences of the film will be inspired to learn more about harmony horsemanship as well as the use of equine therapy for healing and emotional growth. “The movie is an incredible story, and I am very grateful to Omega Alpha for supporting this film,” she said.

Omega Alpha is proud to have played a role in the funding of Unbridled and looks forward to being a part of Partridge’s continued success. With more than twenty years of experience in developing natural equine supplements through research-based science, the company offers a wide range of award-winning products including formulas to support respiration, digestion, joint health, hormonal balance, immune health, detoxification, muscle rehabilitation, endurance, and performance. To learn more about Omega Alpha’s range of quality health products, visit or call 1-800-651-3172.

Contact: Patti Hanco
Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center Helps Hope Therapy Riders Prepare for Florida State Special Olympics

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Davenport.

Jacksonville, FL (July 6, 2016) — Ever since mother and daughter duo Marianne and Rebecca Davenport founded Hope Therapy in Middleburg, Florida 15 years ago, they have been working tirelessly to improve the lives of children and adults with special needs by using equine-assisted activities and therapy. This spring, the Davenports turned to the nearby Jacksonville Equestrian Center for help with preparing their riders for the Florida State Special Olympics Equestrian Championships.

“Before going to the Special Olympics, we wanted to get the riders and horses familiar with a big facility like the one we would be going to for the competition,” said Rebecca Davenport, the Occupational Therapist and Program Director at Hope Therapy. “At the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, we were able to set up a trail course and expose them to the different environments and things they would see. Being able to practice with a covered arena was also helpful. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is a beautiful facility.”

The Special Olympics provides sports training and competition opportunities to athletes with intellectual disabilities around the world. When it came time for Hope Therapy riders to compete in the Florida State Special Olympics Equestrian Championships, their training paid off well.

“Our riders collectively earned a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal. We were really excited,” said Davenport. “The whole weekend was wonderful, but the best part was seeing the smiles on the faces of the riders when they held up their medals! They were so excited, just grinning from ear to ear. It was great seeing how happy and proud of themselves they were.”

Hope Therapy is a leading hippotherapy program in Northeast Florida, and is the area’s only Premier Accredited Center of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.). The organization is committed to providing high quality services and excellence in programming, and plans to use the facilities at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center again in the future to provide children and adults with therapeutic riding experiences. Hope Therapy also provides several programs for active duty, disabled, and retired service men and women.

Hippotherapy uses horses as therapy treatment for people with special care needs. The movement of the horse encourages muscle action and can improve balance. Additionally, positive psychological, social, emotional, and behavioral effects can be seen in people who use hippotherapy.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center was thrilled to host Hope Therapy students and instructors as they prepared for the Florida State Special Olympics. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is home to a state-of-the-art, 123,000 square foot indoor coliseum, multiple outdoor arenas, barns with over 400 stalls, and trails for equestrians to enjoy. The 80-acre facility is also part of a recreational park that features an Olympic size indoor pool, an 18-hole golf course, and regulation softball fields.

Located just off of I-95 in Jacksonville, Florida, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center hosts recreational, sporting, and community events year round. For more information about the facility, visit or call Penny Gorton at (904) 255-4227. For more information about Hope Therapy, please visit

For more information, contact:
Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Penny Gorton 904-255-4227
13611 Normandy Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32221

What’s My Favorite Time of the Week? Equine Assisted Therapy at Mane Stream

AJ, Blaze and Miss Gina working on life skills that enabled AJ to enroll in public school in Fall of 2015.

Therapies at Mane Stream is not only a favorite time of the week for many of our participants; it also happens to be the most beneficial activity for many individuals with physical, developmental, emotional and medical challenges.

Parents of children with special needs often struggle to find a breakthrough therapy or activity for their child. Those who find OT, PT, SLP equine assisted therapies at Mane Stream witness first-hand the progress that is made when traditional therapy techniques are coupled with equine movement. Progress is seen in several areas including balance, posture, confidence and most importantly in activities of daily living.

AJ’s story is just one example of a young, vibrant, life-loving child with an extensive medical history and a continuous fight to achieve success with the most basic life skills that most parents take for granted. Even before AJ was born his parents knew that his physical and developmental conditions would make doing things other kids do more challenging so they set forth two top goals for AJ:

#1 – attend public school                     #2 – walk on the beach

After several years of therapy sessions with a variety of therapists and countless doctor appointments, AJ is the first to tell you how much he loves his therapy sessions with Blaze, one of the hard-working horses in the Mane Stream herd.  “Their personalities fit together so well,” says Mane Stream occupational therapist, Gina Taylor. “This really helps AJ’s comfort level and confidence as he takes on more challenging therapy tasks. His progress has been remarkable.”

AJ has made great strides towards those two top goals in the past six years.  His parents attribute the weekly OT sessions at Mane Stream as the most beneficial in his physical and emotional development – so beneficial, in fact, that AJ started public school in the fall of 2015 and is now able to run on the beach.

Mane Stream, located in Oldwick, New Jersey, is one of a few of the Premier Accredited Centers in the state.  Your help is needed today to help us continue to provide novel, engaging, and beneficial services to children like AJ. Please donate now to Mane Stream; all contributions are tax deductible.

If you know someone who could benefit from equine assisted therapy or adaptive riding, consider finding a PATH International Accredited Center nearest you.

About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:

The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) is one of the world’s largest international and national dressage circuits featuring 7 FEI Dressage events, including a 5* and the only FEI Nations’ Cup Series CDIO in the Western Hemisphere. The AGDF offers more than $650,000 in prize money for the seven international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area.

Please visit
or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at
The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

2015 Ariat Win A Grant Winners Announced

Fellow rider & Out Side In’s volunteer vet, Dr. Kristina Baszler, with Janet Jacobs (right) & Stanley, a rescued thoroughbred.

Three deserving equine charities were selected by random draw as the winners of the 2015 Win A Grant program thanks to the dedication of three volunteers and Ariat International, the sponsor of the EQUUS Foundation Champions volunteer program.

Individuals who volunteer a minimum of 24 hours in a year for an equine charity on the EQUUS Foundation Equine Welfare Network are recognized as Champions and automatically entered into a drawing where the winners have the opportunity to select their charities to receive an EQUUS Foundation grant. Thanks also to Ariat, each of the individual winners receive a $250 Gift Card towards any Ariat boots (tall boots, paddock boots, barn boots, endurance boots).

Out Side In & Champion Janet Jacobs
Grand Haven, MI

Established in 2010 as an Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) facility serving a handful of children with borrowed horses, Out Side In today provides over 120 hours of therapy each month to families throughout West Michigan, including veterans, and is home to 16 rescued “off the track” thoroughbreds, which are retrained by volunteers and repurposed into new lives as cherished therapy partners.

Out Side In specializes in therapy services for those suffering from the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), sexual abuse and domestic violence and is widely known as the facility-of-choice for treatment resistant individuals who have unsuccessfully sought other methods of dealing with their mental or emotional concerns.

Over 25 volunteers assist with the day-to-day operations and horse care. Among them is Janet Jacobs, who, at age 60, yearning to return to her life-long passion for horses and their welfare, discovered Out Side In. Not only does she assist with day-to-day operations, but as Director of Philanthropy and Volunteer Services at Mercy Health in Muskegon, Jan uses her professional skills as the charity’s president. She successfully led the effort to launch “Bringing the Out Side In”, a capital campaign to build a larger indoor arena to house their at-capacity therapy programs and their many equine friends. Ground breaking for the new facility is scheduled for this September.

“I have always been kidded about being a rescuer,” Jan says, “but I could not be more personally fulfilled by helping to transition horses from their lives at the race track to their new lives as therapy horses, and in turn, helping those who are struggling to find hope and healing. What a wonderful way to pay it forward.”

Board President Jessica Morrissey (left) & Any D. Bodelin (right), with Ruby
Board President Jessica Morrissey (left) & Any D. Bodelin (right), with Ruby

Horses Healing Humans (HHH)
& Champion Any D. Bodelin
Stonington, CT

Horses Healing Humans exists to help people of all ages and abilities with physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges through Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT).

Established in 2011, Any has been a key volunteer since the first year and “Mom” to its first Therapy Horse, Ruby (UC Broadway Show).

Signature programs at Horses Healing Humans are W.I.T.’s End (Women in Transition) and Equine Services for Heroes (US Veterans/Wounded Warriors) as well as traditional TR, EFP and EAL programs for children and adults.

“Life circumstances brought horses back into my life after a very long hiatus. Horses are just so very good for the soul. It feels like I am reliving my childhood. I can’t imagine a better way to spend my free time,” said Any.

Equicenter & Champion Laura Dustin
Honeoye Falls NY

“I believe ‘everything happens for a reason'”, said Laura Dustin. In April 2012, as Laura prepared to retire after 27 years as a physics and chemistry teacher, she read a story in the Sunday paper about Equicenter. My friend laughed when I mentioned the story to her. She was a volunteer there. Before I knew it, she had me in their barn, and I have been a volunteer ever since.”

Founded in 2005, EquiCenter, a PATH International Premier Accredited Center, strives to foster the personal growth and individual achievement of people with disabilities, at-risk youth, veterans, and their families using a wide range of therapeutic equestrian programs.

Left to Right: PATH instructor Marlowe Cline, Zeus, Laura Dustin & Karen Werth
Left to Right: PATH instructor Marlowe Cline, Zeus, Laura Dustin & Karen Werth

Laura had never really worked with horses, but, she said, “the staff taught me so much about caring for these special, patient animals, and they continue to help me learn how best to work with both rider and horse.”

“I could not have asked for a better retirement. I am often asked, ‘how did I fall in love with the EquiCenter?’ How could I not? In every lesson I see amazing interactions between people and horses – and there is nothing like seeing a rider’s great big smile or watching them hug their horse.”

“What better reason could there be for volunteering? Except maybe more smiles, hugs, and more horse kisses all around.”

About EQUUS Foundation

The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, also known as Horse Charities of America, is dedicated to improving the quality of life of horses, enabling the therapeutic use of horses for those in need, fostering the horse-human bond, and educating the public about the horse’s unique ability to empower, teach and heal. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail:, Website:

Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

Special Ceremony Honoring Therapy Horse Magic

Sheriff Sadie Darnell will hold a special recognition ceremony on Wednesday, April 29th, 2015, at 1 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters located at 2621 SE Hawthorne Road, Gainesville. The ceremony will be to honor therapy horse Magic from the Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses. Magic will be “taking the oath” before leaving to represent the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and all of Alachua County while attending the 34th Annual National Police Officers’ Memorial Week in Washington, D.C. in May 2015.

Magic has been scheduled to make dozens of private and group visits with children whose parent or other family members were killed in the line of duty. She will be with families for engraving of names on the Memorial Wall, attend the Honor Guard Competition and ride the subway to Washington, D.C. landmarks with children. She will even do good night “tuck ins” with children at hotels, leaving stuffed toy horses on each bed. While in Washington, D.C., Magic will also visit a children’s hospital and a veterans’ hospital.

Magic has worked with first responders across the country for many years. From the school children and first responders of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT to the tornado survivors of Moore, OK, she brings her special love where it is needed most. She has worked with law enforcement community outreach programs and visited injured members of law enforcement and their families in hospitals across the country.

Magic received a national honor last month with her induction into the United States Equestrian Federation Horse Stars Hall of Fame. She was honored as a humanitarian for “having a life changing and inspirational impact on the public.”

When Magic is not traveling, she has a one-of-a-kind partnership with the University of Florida Health Shands Rehab Hospital in Gainesville, an acute hospital for patients who have suffered strokes, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, amputations and burns. Magic works with occupational, speech and physical therapists as part of the treatment team.

She has inspired patients in the therapy gym to reach out their arms for the first time and helped patients who are learning how to use adaptive equipment like walkers and wheelchairs. She even demonstrates rehab training stairs and ramps. Magic has inspired patients who have stood or walked for the very first time since their accidents or surgeries.

Please join us in deputizing Magic as she begins the journey to honor individuals who have been injured or killed in service to the public.

From Art Forgey, Public Information Officer for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office

Therapy Horse Magic Inducted into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame

Photos courtesy of Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses.

Gainesville, FL (February 22, 2014) — Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses has received a national honor with the induction of therapy horse Magic into the United States Equestrian Federation and EQUUS Foundation Horse Stars Hall of Fame for 2015. Magic was inducted at the EQUUS Foundation’s Fete Coeval Etoile on Friday, February 20 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida. The Horse Stars Hall of Fame was established by the USEF and EQUUS Foundation to celebrate the extraordinary talent of horses and their magical and powerful bond with people.

Magic was honored as a humanitarian for having a life changing and inspirational impact on the public. From helping children and first responders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT to child trafficking victims in Washington, D.C. and tornado survivors in Moore, OK, Magic brings her special love where it is needed most. She visits children’s hospitals across the country.

When Magic is not traveling she has a one of a kind partnership with the University of Florida Health Shands Rehab Hospital in Gainesville, Florida, an acute hospital for patients who have suffered strokes, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, amputations and burns. Magic works with occupational, speech and physical therapists as part of the treatment team. She has inspired patients in the therapy gym to reach out their arms for the first time and helped patients who are learning how to use adaptive equipment like walkers and wheelchairs. She even demonstrates rehab training stairs and ramps. Magic has worked with patients who have stood or walked for the very first time since their accidents or surgeries. Therapists have seen exceptional progress and motivation with patients teamed with the little horse.

Magic2Working indoors would be a challenge for any horse but Magic makes it look easy. She walks up and down stairs, rides in elevators, walks on unusual floor surfaces, carefully moves around hospital equipment, works in small rooms and handles unexpected sounds like ambulances, alarms and hospital helicopters… and yes she is house trained. Every hospital is different and when Magic enters a new hospital she does not get a practice run. She must be comfortable walking through the door and crowds of people with her trainer no matter what new sights and sounds she encounters on the way.

The inductees were featured in a video and photo gallery accompanied by stories of their achievements.

Owners of the honored horses arrived from around the country. Therapy horse Magic attended the ceremony and met with fans and guests indoors during dinner and events. She also played with Harry de Leyer, owner and trainer of the famous Snowman (Eighty Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse Who Inspired a Nation) after the ceremony. Both Magic and Snowman were inducted into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame. “I will never forget you, Magic,” Mr. de Leyer told the little horse.

Magic’s other honors include:

One of History’s 10 Most Courageous Animals – Time Magazine

Most Heroic Pet in America – AARP

A Reader’s Digest/Americantowns Power of One Hero

One of the 10 Most Heroic Animals of 2010 – Newsweek/The Daily Beast

2014 Winner of the E. T. York Distinguished Service Award

A children’s park in Greece named after Magic and dedicated by former Prime Minister of Greece, Kostas Karamanlis

One of Seven Most Notable Animal Heroes in the World – UK’s The Daily Mirror 2014

Featured in 125 True Stories of Amazing Pets – National Geographic Kids 2014

Featured in her own book, The Power of Magic – DT Publishing Group/New York, 2014

Magic and Gentle Carousel partner Hamlet immortalized with their own 2014 Breyer Portrait Horse Models.

For more information about Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses:

Six Goal Polo Player Sugar Erskine Joins Horses Healing Hearts as Polo Ambassador

Wellington, FL – January 16, 2015 – Horses Healing Hearts (HHH) is the only non-profit organization in the country that provides an equine facilitated learning program designed to help children dealing with addiction in their homes. Now, the national organization is proud to announce that the internationally successful six-goal polo player Sugar Erskine has joined the growing nonprofit organization as their second Polo Ambassador. His first action as an HHH Ambassador will be co-chairing the 2015 Hope through Horses Golf Tournament alongside Lisa Jacquin this February 23, 2015, at The Wanderers Club in Wellington, Florida.

HHH teaches empowerment and life-coping skills, and the organization helps children build self-confidence by learning about horse care and riding. Each week, over 50 children are served from the greater Palm Beach County community.

The organization’s mission hit close to the heart with Erskine, who had no difficulty in recognizing the potential struggles that can take place in a home with addiction. His own triumphs over addiction have led him to want to give back to children who may be struggling due to their home environment.

“I couldn’t find a better way for me to do justice to what I did. That’s the way I see it. Now it’s up to me to give [the organization] the attention it needs and the respect it deserves. If that’s the service I’m able to do in this world, that’s something,” said Erskine. “Being able to give [the children] a little bit of hope if they see my story, or my idea, or the way it was, they can have a little bit of hope that it can change for them as well. It can be something that they can at least have a dream about.”

The unique approach the 501(c)3 charitable organization takes by educating through horses really stood out to Erskine, since many of the children who become involved in the program have very little exposure to horses prior to joining. Without a background in horses, many of the children come in with a limited understanding of their behavior, but they are quickly able to relate to the connections the horses and humans make.

“Just the fact that we have the horses there to learn from is a huge part. I always talk about the horses, but that’s because I’m so involved in them. When they see that connection with the horse, it’s real – that’s the glue that binds us all together when we’re there,” Erskine described.

Erskine is very excited about co-chairing the golf tournament, which is one of his other passions. Jacquin breathed life to the event last spring after becoming HHH’s first Show Jumping Ambassador, and Erskine has pledged to help get other players involved in this charity event. This fundraiser will complement HHH’s other major function, the Fourth Annual White White West Party, which will be held on February 20, 2015.

“I love golf; I’m a fanatic. I’m useless at it, which is the worst part!” laughed Erskine. “I’m trying to organize the sponsors and the players; all of us polo players all kind of do favors for each other, and there were a lot of people who were there to support me during my time of need, so I know that they will support an organization I feel such a connection to. HHH hits pretty close to home for me, so it’s not a hard thing for me to talk about or be involved with.”

Lizabeth Olszewski founded Horses Healing Hearts as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization in September 2009 in Wellington, Florida. To help Horses Healing Hearts with donations of time or money, or to learn more, visit or e-mail Liz Olszewski at or call (561) 713-6133.

Media Contact: Kendall Bierer
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386