This Little Horse is a program of This Old Horse, Inc., a private nonprofit sanctuary for retired, rescued and recovering horses in Hastings, Minnesota. This Old Horse, Inc. was founded in 2012 and is accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. This Old Horse has a mission of compassion and service to horses and when possible, our horses give back to their community, too. (www.thisoldhorse.org)
In our This Little Horse program, our horses serve many different roles - some participate in therapy visits, some serve as community ambassadors and some are working on being good citizens and looking for homes. Not every horse that comes into our program will be a therapy horse.
This Little Horse teams offer literacy, socialization and goodwill visits to people in schools, libraries, daycares, long-term care facilities as well as community appearances and events featuring our miniature horse ambassadors.
The teams of This Little Horse are carefully selected and thoroughly trained to assure they have the requisite skills, temperament and manners for their work. Their grooms are experienced handlers, trained to facilitate their work so that the horses and their friends have a safe, comfortable and wonderful experience.
Several characteristics of horses that make them suitable as service animals include their calm nature, great memory, excellent vision, focus, safety orientation (looking out for danger), stamina and good manners.
We work with a "level" model for the miniatures we have in our program. One level is not deemed better than another, rather the levels indicate the type of atmosphere the horse does well in. The "levels" include: Good Citizen, Ambassador and Therapy. Some horses will always stay "Good Citizens", because the horse appears to prefer and do best in singular interaction. Other horses will become "Community Ambassadors" because the horse enjoys parades and is comfortable with more commotion. Our Therapy Horses have been rigorously and reliably assessed and certified to qualify as therapy horses.
TLH/TOH welcomes volunteers of all ages. If you re under the age of 12, you may be registered as a Support Crew or Community Crew and must be supervised at all times by a parent or guardian. All volunteers under the age of 18 must have permission to participate in the program - which is collected during the application process.