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Nonprofit Using Mini Horses To Provide Pet Therapy

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A nonprofit in Newtown, Bucks County is proving that a lot of love can come in small packages.

Bella weighs about 170 pounds and stands just 36 inches tall. She's about the size of a Saint Bernard, but she's a miniature horse, one of seven rescued or donated to Mobile Minis.

Linda Vataha is the founder of the all volunteer group, which takes the tiny equines into schools, churches, nursing homes, hospices and memory care units and more.

"We actually have a reading program as well. It's called Mini Tales," Vataha said. "We take the horses into the library or they come to the barn, the kids sit down with the horse and read to the horse."

The tiny ambassadors even dress up for the occasion, wearing shiny shoes, fancy tutus, boas, and yes, diapers.

Mobile Minis
(credit: Lynne Adkins)

"It's priceless when you're walking off an elevator and you see the expression of these people when there's a horse in building."

Vataha says it's very important for memory care because it can trigger a memory of someone who may have had or known someone who had a horse when they were younger.

The non-proft says the one-on-one or group interactions with its miniature horse have proven to help decrease loneliness and boredom, and help reduce depression.

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