OHIO — Do you know that there are “therapy horses” that can be beneficial to people? The Therapy Angels, based in Columbus, Ohio, help others with the help of their miniature horses.
Judy and Danielle Cunningham are the Therapy Angels. They originally started out doing trick training and pony parties for kids. They were always being asked to go to nursing homes. They began taking their miniature horses to the nursing homes 17 years ago and it was a “big hit!”
The Therapy Angels explain that miniature horses have natural healing abilities and are emotional animals. The horses can sense emotions and literally lift your spirits. The Therapy Angels have 12 miniature horses that are a little over two feet tall.
Butterball is one of those special horses. She is the smallest of the therapy horses. She has her own book that the Angels read to children in daycares and schools. The book promotes healthy eating and reading.
“Butterball has so much charisma, too, that everyone falls in love with her at first sight,” says the Angels. Butterball lives in the house and is house trained.
The Angels told about a visit to a nursing home that was very successful. An elderly lady was blind from a stroke and had not spoken for two years. The Angels went to her room and told her that a therapy horse wanted to visit. She put out her hand and the horse laid her head on the lady’s lap. “Not more than a few seconds later, she was trying to mumble out words,” they recall. “Needless to say, we made frequent visits to see her.”