Photo — Scout at Brookdale Chambel Pinecastle, an assisted living facility in Ocala, Florida.
Therapy horse Scout usually visits hospital patients and residents of assisted living programs from room to room. When those facilities close to visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic, what is a 100-pound horse to do?
He brings his 2000-pound Percheron friend Tiny Prince Charming to visit waiting residents through the windows while human volunteers hold up signs with messages of love. Scout could not go inside and residents could not come outside, but they still touched each other’s hearts. Scout and Tiny Prince Charming put their noses on the windows when patients put their hands on the glass.
Scout is a member of Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses. For the last 22 years their teams of tiny horses have been bringing 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.
The therapy horses are also still working in children’s hospitals by using prerecorded programs combined with live video from their farm.