Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses. Photo by Brad McClenny/Gainesville Sun.

Tiny horses head to Newtown to help

Cross-posted from the Gainesville Sun

WRITTEN BY CINDY SWIRKO

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses. Photo by Brad McClenny/Gainesville Sun.
PHOTO CREDIT: BRAD McCLENNY / GAINESVILLE SUN.
Mikaylee Hambidge, 6, of Ocala, reacts to being surprised from behind by Hamlet, right, from Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses, during the Celebrating Literacy Day at O’Leno State Park in High Springs in Gainesville on Sept. 8.

Survivors of the Connecticut shootings are hoping a tiny black horse can work her magic again.

Magic is the name of one of several equines from Gainesville’s Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses that will be traveling to Connecticut at the request of organizations there to help soothe the emotional pain and fear that some in Newtown are feeling after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, said Debbie Garcia-Bengochea who, with her husband Jorge, founded and operates Gentle Carousel.

“There are some significant things that we are going to be doing. We know we are going to be working with children, families and first responders,” Garcia said. “We do a lot of work with at-risk children and in schools and reading programs at libraries, so the horses are kind of a match for this situation.”

Gentle Carousel is an all-volunteer nonprofit charity. The teams of horses and volunteers work with more than 18,000 adults and children yearly at hospitals, hospice programs, assisted living programs, schools and libraries primarily in Alachua and Marion counties, Garcia said.

Four horses will go to Newtown this week, including Magic, a black mare with blue eyes who has won honors for her work from Time magazine, AARP and other organizations, Garcia said.

In one case, for instance, a woman in a nursing home who had not spoken in years started laughing and speaking when Magic laid her head in the woman’s lap.

“Magic has been in the right place at the right time for a lot of different situations,” Garcia said. “She is well-known internationally, so they requested that she come on this trip.”

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4 thoughts on “Tiny horses head to Newtown to help”

  1. The Horses to the Rescue, would we have expected anything else ????? They are truly healers of the mind !!! Conn. is in such good Hoofs !!!!!! God Bless our four -legged healers !!!! Who again and again are ready to heal us !!!!!They have that Magic !!!!!!!

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  2. Thank you Vivian for this post! My heart warms, as I know all in Newton, CT. will, to the caring, the *knowing, the healing power of these horses. The LOVE. And this will gain more media coverage for the healing and healers, the horses. Blessings to the twenty-one little angels, those who grieve, those who gave all they could to help. Now our beloved equines. <3<3<3<3

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