Home > Senior Activities, Hobbies & Lifestyle > Magic The Miniature Horse Visits Assisted Living Homes And Then Some

Magic The Miniature Horse Visits Assisted Living Homes And Then Some

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

There was an Assisted Living resident in Florida who had not spoken since arriving at the facility some years ago. But that changed after she met Magic. Magic has been transforming lives with her blue eyes, fluffy mane and gentle spirit. Magic is a 4 year old black miniature therapy horse who visits patients in hospitals, Nursing Homes, Assisted living and hospice programs all over the nation. Magic tries to touch the troubled souls of sick and dying patients. Her presence makes them happy, feel lively and forget about their medical complications and the health conditions they are suffering from.

Although she is one of 27 miniature therapy horses owned by the Garcia-Bengochea family, there is something extra special about Magic. She was with a patient when he awoke from a coma and with another who peacefully passed away with his hand resting on her head. She recently spent time with a boy who had just learned his cancer had returned and a woman who hadn’t been out of her room in months. “Magic will meet everyone but then really wants to spend time with a certain person,” owner and handler Jorge Bengocheas said. “She always seems to find the person who needs her most.” The Ocala Star Banner covered and published the story of Magic inspiring the Assisted Living resident to speak again and resulted in AARP using the event to name Magic as the “Most Heroic Pet in America.”

Miniature horses are… by ~Missythemini on deviantART

Since that time, she has gained worldwide recognition and if you can believe it, even has an understudy. News outlets in Argentina, Korea, New Zealand, Pakistan, Latvia, Holland and Thailand have covered stories of Magic. She receives hundreds of emails from people wanting to see her, and owner and handler Debbie Garcia-Bengochea says for many, it is their last wish. Horses have a long history of providing riding therapy for disabled or at risk children. The benefits have proven to be enormous for individuals with all types of disabilities, including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, autism and mental retardation. Research shows that students that participate in therapeutic riding, experience physical, emotional and mental rewards. Because of the gentle rhythm of the horse’s movements, a rider who is unable to walk alone can experience a motion similar to the human gait, thereby improving abilities to be flexible, to have better balance and better muscle strength.

The advantage of the miniatures is that they are small enough to have access to smaller spaces. They can go to the patients, which opens up many possibilities for visiting. The Garcia-Bengocheas started Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses after adopting three children who they rescued from an abusive past. They started using full size horses as a means of therapy for their children, but found the sizes could be overwhelming to children and others. After discovering the gentle nature of miniatures and their less intimidating size, they embarked on what has become one of the most rewarding pet therapy endeavors thus far.

Their stable of gentle minis are housebroken, trained to walk up and down stairs, ride in elevators and stay calm around loud noises and unexpected movements. Star studded, Magic participates in literacy programs at schools and libraries and assists in community outreach programs in crime prone areas of their south Florida community. All one needs to do in order to make clear that Magic and her entourage have not let stardom go to the heads is watch a video of them muzzling, standing close and calm to someone in a wheelchair or gently kissing the face of a child with cancer. Who doesn’t believe in Magic?

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living San Diego and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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