Kiwanis Care Centre resident Maria Pavao was thrilled to meet Timmy, a miniature horse, last Friday at the North Shore residential care centre.

Timmy whinnies his way into the hearts of residents at Kiwanis Care Centre

For the residents at Kiwanis Care Centre who were raised on a farm with horses, a visit from wee Timmy brought back many happy memories.

Timmy, a miniature therapy horse gelding that stands 32-inches tall, whinnied his way into the hearts of the residents at the North Shore residential care facility last Friday. Plans are afoot – or is that ahoof? – for a return visit later in the year.

“He was a hit at KCC,” says KCC manager Anne Moonan-Woods. “Timmy was in fine form as he walked and trotted around the garden and nuzzled in with a few of our residents.”

Timmy with trainer Lora Hargreaves and Kristina Wilson at the Kiwanis Care Centre.

Timmy was accompanied by his trainer Lora Hargreaves of the North Shore Equestrian Centre, which runs a Mini Horse Therapy Program.

“The residents loved him,” said Lora. “After spending a few minutes telling them about him, we took him up to each resident who wanted to pat him. There were many many smiles and lots of questions about his age, if he was a boy or girl (boy), if you can ride him (no), and if he would get any bigger (no).  After circulating, we showed a few of the residents him trotting and gave him an apple. Some residents talked about how they had had horses when they were young. It is equally enjoyable  for us to see the joy and reactions from the residents.”

Chance encounter inspired program

Lora started the therapy program after an encounter with an elderly man a number of months who stopped to pet a pony she was walking.

“It was clear that this encounter had a positive impact on his day and I thought it would be great to provide that experience to a wider range of people,” explains Lora.  “Owners Denise and Peter Kinvig of the North Shore Equestrian Centre agreed to sponsor this project, which is a complementary service offered to the community. ”

To date, Timmy has visited two elementary schools, a preschool, participated in the North Shore Canada Day Parade and visited five residential care sites.

For more information about the program, email Lora at minitherapy@wecreateriders.com.

4 comments

  1. Elizabeth Cheng says:

    I have worked at Kiwanis Care Center since it opened and have seen many Recreation Therapy programs implemented that bring about positive response from the residents. This program was a definite winner! Every resident was in awe and it brought back so many memories for those residents who grew up around horses.
    For those residents who are unable to express themselves verbally it was evident that they could express their love for this Therapy Horse Timmy! Facial expression, gentle stroking of the ponies head showed us that this therapy horse reaches everyone in a very special way! We sure look forward to seeing him return!

  2. Rosabel Sinclair says:

    It was truly a pleasure having Timmy and his human friends Lora and Kristina visit. The expressions and pure joy that we saw on our residents’ faces made it a very memorable experience. We’re looking forward to more visits and we already have Timmy booked for August and September and this time we’ll have visits on our neighbourhoods where he’ll visit residents that didn’t have an opportunity to meet him on his first visit. Thanks again Lora & Timmy!

  3. Antonella Sitnam says:

    This is great…I wish I could have been there to meet Timmy. Too cute! My Mom who is a resident at Kiwanis enjoyed seeing the horse. Glad to hear he is returning in the near future. 🙂

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