Mini therapy horses visit Memphis preschoolers

Mini therapy horses visit Memphis preschoolers

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A group of Memphis preschoolers had a little visit Friday that left a big impression.

Students at SRVS Kids & Families Play, Do, Learn Preschool learned about farms the past few days, so Friday the farm came to the students. Two mini horses from the group Minis on the Move visited the children.

“The biggest things we’re doing is helping them develop language related to farms,” said Lorraine Ford, preschool manager. “So we have used sign language for ‘cow’ and ‘horse.'”

Play, Do, Learn is one of the only all-inclusive preschools in the state. Kids with and without special needs are grouped together in the same classrooms.

Teachers see at a young age most of these students have the same experiences and learn a lot of the same things.

“For some of our kids, this is the first time they’ve ever seen a horse,” said Ford.

The mini horses are trained as therapy animals. They go everywhere from preschools to high schools and nursing homes.

“We chose the minis because kids are able to adapt to them because they have dogs at home,” said Holly Duckworth, executive director of Minis on the Move. “If we brought in a large horse the kids would be terrified.”

These mini horses stay calm among a lot of commotion, and the interaction can help with stress relief. For a lot of these kids, it gives them a new sense of confidence.

“It makes me cry every time,” said Duckworth. “I love it.”

For more info on Play, Do, Learn Preschool, including an upcoming fundraiser, click here.

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