GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – An animal therapy program on the Western Slope has been continueing to visit many nearby healthcare facilities, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many nursing homes and other healthcare facilities have not been allowing visitors inside out of concern for the health of residents.
In response, the mighty mini horse therapy program has decided to continue visits by standing outside the window.
“It’s an amazing gift that we have here,” said Manette Steele, owner of the Mighty Mini Horse Therapy Program
According to Steele, her program can “Help with depression and make people smile, feel better, gives them something to look forward to.”
“We always love it when the horses visit, they have such a huge impact on all of our residents, it really makes them feel really good,” said Jonathan Hutchinson, the Executive Director of Mesa Manor.
Residents of Mesa Manor have been under quarantine for the past two months.
“They’ve had restrictions on visitors coming in, they can’t have the usual entertainment that comes in,” said Hutchinson.
Due to the new COVID visiting restrictions, Steele chose to continue showing up without entering the building.
“The first one that we did, I started to cry because people were rushing to the windows, they’re so happy to see us,” said Steele.
While the two mini horses at Mesa Manor, Dream and Goldie, don’t mind being dressed up, their favorite thing is food.
“They’re all about the food,” said Steele, “As far as the costumes, I just think it adds to the whole thing
While these visual visits are not the same as interactive ones, it’s the ideal situation during the pandemic.
“Not quite the same experience when you can’t hug and kiss little Dream here but it’s second best and that’s as good as it gets right now,” said Steele.
Despite the circumstances, the therapy program continues to make an impact.
“We see the difference that we make wherever we go,” said Steele.
If you’d like to learn more about the Mighty Mini Horse Therapy Program, visit its Facebook Page.