Last October, we acquired our first herd of ponies. Their owner, was elderly man who had them their entire lives, but he could no longer care for them. He had seen Chinook Horses on the news and thought we could make the perfect home for them. When Abigail learned about the ponies, she reached out to the Fortin Foundation of Florida to see if they would sponsor the ponies and the costs associated with their care. The Fortin Foundation generously committed to at least two years, hence their name The Fortin Four!
Abigail has been working with horse handlers Emilie Stricker and Lael Berner since early October to help with training the equines for program assimilation. It is paramount to our success that each of our equine partners be comfortable interacting and engaging with our co-facilitators and clients. They need to become desensitized to the props we use in sessions, like pool noodles and hula hoops, and to our clients painting, hugging, and dressing them up.
We are thrilled to report that Schmoozle and Bunny Baby have “graduated” from training and are now ready to partake as equine partners in this summer’s Social Thinking Groups!