GODFREY — Residents at the Beverly Farm development and training facility on Airport Road got a rare treat Monday with a visit from Heartland Mini Hoofs.
“The residents are having an opportunity to spend some time with therapy horses throughout the morning,” Beverly Farm Director Julie Arnett said. “Our residents don’t have a lot of chances to get out and see or enjoy animals like the mini-horses. They love it because they’re animals and they have a very calming effect, so for a lot of them it really lifts their spirits.”
Big smiles came across residents’ faces as they stepped outside to see and pet two miniature horses, Bailey and Jasper. For those who could not come outside, the minis were taken indoors.
“We enjoy bringing the mini-horses to facilities like Beverly Farm for the residents to have a chance to see these animals up close,” horse owner and trainer Andra Ebert said. “The horses are trained and worked with constantly to be therapy horses. Horses are animals that are prey for other animals, so they have a natural instinct to be fearful or startle easily. We work them around sounds, people and equipment to help desensitize them.”
Heartland Mini Hoofs is a nonprofit organization near Springfield. For information about therapy horses, contact Ebert at (217) 825-3747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.