Healing Horses, Helping Sandy Hook Victims
LAKE CITY - We could say these little therapy horses with big hearts from North Central Florida initiated the healing process for the Sandy Hook victims in Connecticut. The non-proft of mini horses saw thousands of family and friends of victims. As well as first responders. The community welcomed the mini horses with open arms and showed their gratitude in numerous ways.
The original plan was to go to Connecticut and come back in a week.However, Jorge Garcia-Bengochea the Executive Director of "Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses" says the trip was extended after Newtown asked them to stay a second week in order to help more families. "People were very patient and wanted to meet with the horses. We saw that their disposition when they were meeting with the horses, they were laughing... The children were laughing, the adults were laughing, taking pictures. The children were hopping and skipping as they left," Garcia-Bengochea says.
Both, Governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut and Florida Governor Rick Scott sent letters to the non-profit thanking them for their work.
Garcia-Bengochea says, "One event that we did attend was at the Newtown Booth Library, we were told that there would probably be 3-4 chidlren coming out to attend... There were 600 who came out to visit with our horses that afternoon."
Catherine Hubbard was one of the children lost in the Sandy Hook Elemenrary tragedy. With her parents blessing, one of the charity's foals was named Catherine in memory of their six year old animal lover and equestrian."Catherine has red-hair and our Catherine also has red hair, a really sweet horse. Catherine enjoyed animals and she was also an equestrian... She was a horse back rider, a jumper... Very accomplished rider at 6 years old," Garcia-Bengochea says.
After the minis gave so much in Newtown. Here at home the oaks in Lake City will be giving to beck them by providing them with training and housing.
Garcia-Bengochea says he feels like the mini horses made a difference because of their connection with people. He adds, "People told stories, about what they were feeling... About what they had been through. They were talking to the horses, they were talking to us as trainers and volunteers. You could tell that people... Really it made a difference that the horses were there."
Well and that's not all for these tiny horses. Newtown has asked Gentle Carousel to come back. They are planning to return in April and stop at childrens and veterans hospitals along the way. If you'd like to help make that trip happen check out their website.
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