“There is a pony on the phone for you.”
Many young hospital patients develop a special friendship with a favorite therapy horse over the months of their medical treatment. When the therapy horses can’t physically be with a patient (like after a bone marrow transplant or if they go home between treatments), the horses have made FaceTime calls to check on their young friends.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses is using a home studio to stay in contact with their friends in hospital care across the country. “There is a pony on the phone for you.”
The horses make individual calls and plans are also underway to have a combination of pre-recorded story times and live feed from the therapy horses to play in rooms for entire children’s hospitals. This would use hospital studios that the horses have already been visiting in person for many years.
Gentle Carousel is also recording reading programs because the horses cannot do their regular library and school visits.
Gentle Carousel’s two main fundraisers of 2020 to support the charity have been postponed/cancelled due to the current health situation, including the Walk Like a Pharoah Walkathon and Festival.
Instead of a large, public walkathon, the charity will have a “mini walkathon” fundraiser that can be watched safely from home. Three special horses will make the walk using the track where Triple Crown winner American Pharoah trained at the McKathan Brothers Training Center in Citra, Florida.
Tiny therapy horse Scout, a 2000-pound Percheron named Prince Charming, and The Sundance Kid, a recently adopted mustang who had been living in the wild on public range lands in Nevada, will be filmed while they walk together. The Sundance Kid had been passed over three times for adoption at three separate adoption events, making him a “three strikes” “unadoptable” mustang until he found his forever home.
The volunteers handling the horses will wear masks and keep “one Percheron distance” apart from each other during the walk.
Friends can sponsor Scout, Prince Charming, and The Sundance Kid to support Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses at: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/GentleCarousel.
The “mini walkathon” can be watched on April 27th starting at 7pm on Gentle Carousel’s Facebook page.
Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses is one of the largest equine therapy programs in the world. Teams of tiny horses bring love to over 25,000 adults and children each year inside hospitals, hospice programs, assisted living programs, and with families, veterans, and first responders who have experienced traumatic events. A multiple award winning 501(c)(3), the charity is celebrating over 20 years of service.