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‘Who let the horse in?’

‘Who let the horse in?’


Diego Ranch introduces Community Compassion Center residents to ‘equine therapy’ By John Rech Animal Therapy often brings smiles to those that need it most. Most think of specially trained dogs making rounds at a hospital, but the residents at Community Compassion Center in West Memphis were delighted when a donkey and a pony showed up for some neck hugs and pets.

Arkansas Home Hospice Providers collaborated with Diego Ranch to bring equine therapy to nursing home residents, Tuesday morning. Michael Jackson, President of Diego Ranch led the horse named Peanut Butter and donkey named Maggie into the dining room Tuesday morning.

“Who let the horse in?” exclaimed one resident as the pair of four hoofed friends circled the dining room Monday morning between meals. About three dozen residents beamed big smiles and petted the pair as the circled. Some even leaned forward in their wheelchairs to hug the necks of the big critters.

“We run an equine assisted therapy program for kids and adults with disabilities,” said Jackson.

It was the latest visit for the traveling pony show from Jonesboro which had been featured in news on television, print and radio around the state. The interactions with miniature horses proved again an aid to help seniors re-ignite there senses and movement abilities to respond.

Soon, the ranch hopes to open new avenues of therapy for those special needs, veterans groups and those that need some stress relief after trauma.

Mission accomplished for Diego Ranch. The visit proved once again that opportunity for some warm blooded affection goes a long way to brightening the day.

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