Life With Horses

Being a "horse person" has different meanings for each of us, but we all share a desire to stay attuned to the world of horses.

Miniature Horses Comfort Newtown Families

Gentle Carousel Horses visit Sandy Hook memorial to the slain children and teachers.

Gentle Carousel Horses visit Sandy Hook memorial to the slain children and teachers.

The Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses left Newtown, CT, recently left Newtown after a busy two weeks of interacting with families and first responders.  A team of miniature therapy horses  traveled from Florida to Connecticut after the Newtown community sent a special request for the little hero horse, Magic. The horses visiting with Magic were selected for their experience working in schools and libraries. They are trained to walk up and down stairs, ride in elevators, walk on different floor surfaces and carefully move around hospital and classroom equipment . . . and, yes, they are house trained.

Magic visits with children in Newtown, CT, following the tragic shooting.

Magic visits with children in Newtown, CT, following the tragic shooting.

Magic was named by Time magazine as one of History’s Ten Most Heroic Animals (the only living animal on the list).  She is also AARP’s Most Heroic Pet in America, a Readers Digest/Americantowns Hometown Hero and was one of Newsweek/The Daily Beast’s Ten Most Heroic Animals In America.

Originally scheduled to stay one week, the therapy horses extended their stay to an additional week. They visited schools and spent private time with families and first responders. Magic met more than 600 people at the Newtown library.

Beryl Harrison, assistant director at Newtown’s Booth Library, hosted a children’s program with the horses and said the excitement surrounding the event seemed like the beginning of a return to normalcy. “It seemed typically chaotic,” she said, “and it seemed like a step forward after weeks of grieving.”

Students and families from the Sandy Hook Elementary School had their own time with Magic and friends at the Newtown Youth Academy Sports and Fitness Center.  Magic met with survivors and parents for almost four hours.

Hampton Inn, American Airlines, Fed Ex and Avis–as well as private donors in Newtown and around the world–helped cover travel expenses for the therapy horses.  School children from as far away as South Africa, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Australia sent money to help.

The Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses stayed as guests at The Ridge Equestrian Center in Newtown and were able to play in the indoor arena to relax after the daily interactions with grieving Newtonians.  The Da Vinci Equine Emergency Transport from Maryland brought a heated horse ambulance to Newtown so the Florida horses would stay warm at night.

Magic visits with a Newtown first responder.

Magic visits with a Newtown first responder.

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses is an all volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity.  The tiny therapy horses work with more than 18,000 adults and children each year in hospitals, hospice programs, assisted living programs, schools and libraries.  From visiting a child with a life-ending illness to working with Alzheimer’s patients, the horses bring their special love where it is needed most.

For more information contact:

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses

PO Box 35884

Gainesville, FL  32635



Categories: For Kids, Horses in the Media.

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Comment Feed

3 Responses

  1. Awesome! The minis are so beautiful. It is a lovely thing that they came all of the way from Florida to comfort the Newtown families and first responders!

  2. What a lovely story and so uplifting. Many thanks to all of the corporations and businesses that made this possible.

    We can all always make a difference in the lives of others if we just try.

  3. This is wonderful!! thank you for doing this-I wish i’d have had my horse trained for this type of care. I’m a senior citizen and have a paint horse that is awsome…but, not quite ready for therapy work….
    Our hearts go out to those in Newtown. judy

    judith spettelJanuary 17, 2013 @ 4:27 pmReply

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