Storybook Stables Animal Assisted Therapy 2012

Newburgh Healthcare has welcomed a variety of animals into the building for Pet Therapy including dogs, cats, and animals from Mesker Park Zoo.  However, when Storybook Stables first visited in July, Equine Specialist Mindy Eaves treated us to our largest animal to visit yet – a miniature horse!

Mindy is the owner of “Storybook Stables,” a community outreach program which offers equine assisted therapy and education to residents in long-term care facilities.

Mindy’s horse, Dolly, came dressed for her big day to visit in a pink cowboy hat and tennis shoes customized just for her.  Our residents enjoyed Mindy’s educational presentation, as they learned about the charactaristics of miniature horses and what life is like on the Storybook Stables farm.

After the presentation, our residents enjoyed one-on-one time with Dolly as they had a chance to pet her and even kiss her if they dare!

The residents enjoyed Mindy’s program so much, she has been asked to return each month.  There have been many documented studies which have concluded that interacting with animals has a calming effect on humans and instills a sense of well-being in older adults, making animal assisted therapy an important part of the programming at Newburgh Healthcare.

Mindy has brought a different animal each month she has visited – in July a miniature horse, in August a pig, and in September a bunny.  Our residents look forward to the surprise – next month we anticipate meeting Mindy’s goat!

For more information about Storybook Stables, please visit:

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