The idea of using horses for human therapy is slowly gaining traction in the world. More and more people are reaping the benefits of spending time with horses, as human beings and horses have a mental connection with one another that is healthy for both.
While most horse therapy takes place in specified equine therapy facilities or horse ranches, Carol Swinford is taking the idea in a different direction. Thanks to her, horse therapy is going to different places like hospitals, schools, and even Walmart.
The Miniature Horse Spreading Smiles
A 9-year-old Falabella miniature horse by the name of Serebella is the reason why so many people at Walmart smiled, when Carol took her for a stroll in the store. Carol, along with her husband Gary, owns 26 miniature horses at the couple’s ranch. She has taken the idea of horse therapy in a completely new direction, taking her horses for a visit to any place that needs a little cheering up.
An Experience for Both
Carol takes her horses to such places because she wants to spread some smiles around, even if they are for a brief moment. People get ecstatic seeing miniature horses trotting about unexpectedly, and pose with them for pictures or gather around to pet them. This is why Carol does this, and her latest therapy session was at a Walmart.
When Serebella came to the Walmart, people who were at the store for their usual shopping runs were all smiles after they saw her. But that’s not all. While this experience is positive for the people, it is also very important for the horses. Carol likes to train her horses in a way so that they are never startled easily. Normally, horses can get afraid or defensive seeing people coming to pet them or children running up to them, and Carol wants to avoid that.
That is why she brought Serebella to Walmart. The bright lights, glass doors, a multitude of people, and colorful products all helped the horse be a little more accustomed to real world surroundings.
A Friendly Breed
The Falabella miniature horses are some of the friendliest and most gentle miniature horses there are. The ranch owned by Carol and her husband, the Shades of Blue Ranch, is believed to be the only one that breeds the rare Falabellas in their area.
This breed of horses is one of the smallest, often reaching a maximum height of 32 inches. They have been bred down from a variety of horse breeds like Arabians and thoroughbreds. Falabella horses have an average age of 40-45 years, and are adored by the people thanks to their pony-like size.
At the moment, Carol has two miniature horses in training. She takes them whenever they are needed to make some place cheerful. This number is expected to soon increase, as Serebella will be delivering foals in March next year.
Horses have always been known to be one of the emotionally connected pets a person can keep, but their true potential for having a positive impact on human beings has only come to light recently. Carol is really taking horse therapy to a whole new level, and we’ll have to see where she comes next with her miniature horses after Walmart.
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