Friday, April 3, 2015

"Jenny Kiest—Mini Blessings Therapy Horses"

Howdy Friends,

Wednesday I had the pleasure of interviewing Jenny Kiest founder of Mini Blessings Therapy Horses, and I thought I’d share excerpts here for our Coffee Clutch Friends. My full story will appear in my Heartbeats column in the August issue of TrailBLAZER magazine, and you'll want to read it all. There is much more to this wonderful story.
Baybe loves hosting birthday parties
Tiny horses with huge spirits, hearts and healing power make their rounds four or more times a week in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living homes and group homes. In their spare time they visit schools, police stations, fire houses and throw “Pony Parties” for everything from birthdays to fund raisers and events of all kinds. Short in stature, massive in healing, fun and tenderness of giving these little horses change lives every day.

Being a farm girl herself, Jenny found it easy to empathize with residents of a ten story nursing home where she worked a number of years ago, who so often told her they missed their farms, homes and their horses. On a hunch one day, she loaded her Arabian mare, Sissy, and her first minie, Ellie and drove to the complex, inspired by the wishes to once again touch and smell a horse by one of the ladies living there. Jenny knew she could make that happen, so she did. Tears of joy washed down their faces as they loved, hugged and caressed Sissy and Ellie in the parking lot. But Jenny knew she could do even more. There were many residents not able to leave their room, much less navigate the trip to the parking lot. Before the morning had ended Ellie went on her first of many elevator rides (she was only five months old), climbing by day’s end to the tenth floor, and into the hearts of dozens of new friends.

Jenny began taking Baybe, a star in the now much in demand tiny horse healing program, to day care centers and schools, where she organized a reading program for kindergarten and first graders—they polish reading skills reading to Baybe. This program has grown over the years to now include taking minis to a local college library during final’s week to help students relieve stress!

Mini Blessings Therapy Horses currently visits a number of group homes as well visiting seven nursing homes and several assisted living centers, and Jenny says both the children and adults living there respond to the horses in remarkable ways. They also travel to local police stations for Baybe to “sit with children,” in custody through no fault of their own. All too often children find themselves held at the station because of domestic violence, parents arrested for drug violations or other crimes, and the children are terrified and confused.

Jenny’s little horses are now much sought after and busy every day of the week. In addition to school reading classes her horses gather on school lawns offering pony rides, cart rides and loving as a means to gather back to school supplies. The price of admission for these fun days is a donation of school supplies. They hold the same fun and wildly received events for local fire houses and police stations helping to raise much need money. They attend fund raisers nearly every month.

At the farm Jenny not only holds mini horse therapy clinics and parties, but she’s also noticed the need to help others begin their own mini horse therapy programs. She now teaches how to certify mini horses as service animals and how to make contact with people in need. She teaches folks how to potty train the minis, and yes all of Jenny’s horses are potty trained. She teaches all the things important to offering mini horse therapy such going through doors, riding elevators, not fearing loud noises, excitement and too many hands. Giving love is not necessary to be taught, Jenny says minis have the biggest love of all.

Your best bet to learn more about Jenny and her miracle minis is to find them on Facebook—here- “Baybe the mini therapy horse,” she’ll guide you to Jenny.

Thank you Jenny for all you do to help so many.

Gitty Up, Dutch Henry