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Horse Hugs

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal-Related, Animals, Human Service Organizations, Human Services

Mission: Horse Hugs is a non-profit, all volunteer group located in North Carolina that uses miniature horses to visit patients in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, assisted care centers, special needs children, at-risk teens, prisons and juvenile detention centers.

Target demographics: We have been concentrating on Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Centers as we have found that this is a greatly over-looked group that can be very lonely and in need of visitors.

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 600 people

Geographic areas served: Raleigh/Cary area

Programs: Visiting seniors and patients in hospitals

Community Stories

81 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I volunteer at Camp New Hope located in Ashe County, North Carolina. We are absolutely thrilled to have Sandy and her wonderfully trained miniature horses come each week to interact with our families. (Each week we host a family who have one or more children suffering from a terminal condition.). These horses, and Sandy herself, are able to enhance the lives of the children, families and our volunteer staff members. To see these children reach out and love on these beautiful horses is healing to all involved. A lot of these children only know pain, medical procedures and limitations but these interactions allow them to experience direct contact with loving animals and they are able to forget their limitations for a brief period of time. Their smiles would melt your heart!

Robyn O.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Horse hugs is amazing so inspiring for the folks at the assisted living homes to hug these beautiful horses

nikki182

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Horse Hugs is a wonderful organization that brings so much joy to each and every person they visit! Sandy and her volunteers are so dedicated and compassionate and are constantly working hard to improve the organization. Their work is truly inspiring!

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have seen Horse Hugs grow steadily over the years, expanding the number of volunteers, the number of adorable horses and the number of facilities they visit. The one thing that never changes is the joy they bring to people wherever they go. There is nothing like seeing the face of someone who is sick, lonely or having a bad day (and even those who are already having a great day) light up when Sandy and her volunteers bring the horses to visit. This is a very dedicated group of hard-working individuals that are truly passionate about giving back to their community. I know that so many residents and families are incredibly thankful for the difference Sandy and Horse Hugs has made in their lives! Keep up the wonderful work, Horse Hugs!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This amazing non-profit organization brings so much enjoyment to all of the people they visit. Sandy and her volunteers work incredibly hard to make sure her minis are ready and able to provide so many people with this extraordinary experience. It’s heartwarming to see all the photos and videos of the touching emotions everyone has when interacting with the minis. I’m sure it’s a much needed distraction of happiness, excitement, and inspiration during otherwise challenging times. And for others, it’s just fun to see a horse walk into a building:) Thank you for all the years of devotion and compassion to your minis and the community!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love Horse Hugs! Animal therapy has become an important part of healthy mental and physical health. When I first made the decision to place my Dad in an assisted living facility, I was afraid that he might become withdrawn and depressed. Instead, he couldn't wait to show me the pictures that he had of himself petting the miniature horses of Horse Hugs. He knew their names and their ages and would tell me all about what they were wearing for outfits. He got such a kick out of having them in his room. I can't say enough about this fabulous group- they are really changing lives. My Dad passed away last year but I will always keep the picture of him hugging the horses because the joy on his face is priceless.

Brittany W.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Horse Hugs have been an absolute delight to have at Forest Ridge to visit our residents. Each time the horses visit, the residents just love it and i love seeing that smile it brings to their faces. Residents find it fascinating to have horses visit them and for them to be able to have their one on one visits with them it means a lot to them. Sandra and her volunteers are great and the time she puts in to her visits and getting her miniatures all dressed up says a lot of how much she enjoys it, she is greatly appreciated for what she does and does great interacting with residents.
-Brittany Winebarger

Cindy75

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Horse Hugs for 3 years when Sandy was living in Raleigh, NC. Horse Hugs is an amazing organization. The opportunity to interact with the seniors as they stroked the horses faces and loved on them was one of the greatest joys of my life! The dedication that Sandy puts into ensuring that all involved feel loved, cared for and adored shows through in the adorable costumes she makes for the horses, as well as her kindness toward everyone. Sandy and the horses now reside in the mountains, where she continues her ministry of sharing her minis with those who will enjoy and look forward to their visits. This was absolutely one of the best experiences of my life. I will always treasure the memories of watching the horses bring such beautiful smiles to the residents and staff of the senior homes. May God continue to bless Sandy and the horses as they continue their quest of bringing joy to those who are often forgotten. Cindy H. Caldwell

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When Horse Hugs was located in Raleigh, I had the amazing privilege of volunteering with Sandy's organization and it was absolutely one of the most fulfilling volunteer positions I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of. Not only are the mini's beyond adorable, but to experience the joy seen on the seniors' faces during visitation would fill my heart with pure delight! Further, just as enjoyable, was to see the elation on the faces of the staff as their residents responded to the horses with smiles, conversation and happiness!

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a great organization that brings a lot of joy to people. They take miniature horses into hospitals to visit patients and to see the joy on the patient's faces during these visits is priceless.

Jennifer Kemna N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Horse Hugs and saw pure joy that Sandy & the horses bring to the elderly. Glum faces light up when they enter the room! Sandy is the busiest lady I know. She constantly gives of herself and spreads love to all within her reach!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found out about Horse Hugs through a neighbor and called them to tell them about my daughter. She had just broken her leg right before she was supposed to go to horseback riding camp and was totally devastated at being stuck home for the Summer. Horse Hugs brought 2 miniature horses over for a visit and my daughter got to brush them and braid their manes and tails and feed them treats. We took lots of pictures and she was very happy showing her friends when they came to visit. One of them even said that she wished she had broken her leg and told my daughter how lucky she was! They are a great organization and the owner, Sandy has such a big heart.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love this non-profit and their mission. I have volunteered for them in the past and hopefully will be volunteering again this Spring. They bring so much joy to people with their adorable little mini horses. I have been on visits with them when I have actually seen people crying tears of joy at getting to kiss and hug these adorable little horses. Keep up the good work Horse Hugs. We love you!

Previous Stories
3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Sandy and Horse Hugs for the last 10 years. I volunteered with the group when I got my first miniature horse. I loved what they did and decided I wanted to do the same. Sandy helped me so much in the beginning and even went on some of my first visits to help. She has helped groups all over the US get involved with visitation. Instead of being threatened by the competition she embraces the idea of spreading the love of little horses. Horse Hugs is truly a great organization.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Sandy and the horses of Horse Hugs, Sid, Lily, and Carmen are amazing. They came to visit after I spent 3 years in bed due to a life altering horseback riding accident. Their visit (s) have literally changed my life. Interacting with them is healing my heart ♥️ and soul.

Debbie140

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An absolutely amazing non-profit that touches so many people of all ages. Sandy Spooner pours her heart and soul into this wonderful organization

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have never met a person who was more committed to helping others. Horse Hugs (Sandy Spooner) work tirelessly to serve the community. Such a great organization!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

Horse hugs has been coming to us at Forest Ridge Assisted Living for a year and half and our residents love Sandra, the volunteers and most of all the miniature horses! How awesome is it to have miniature horses inside to interact with residents! For some of our residents that don't step out to a lot of activities it's such a joy to see them light up and interact and watch their whole mood change. When Sid ( one of the minature horses) in his little cover up and matching harness or other horses come into a residents room it's so special because they get that special one on one time that the residents may need. For some residents especially ones with dementia it's hard to get them to interact or get involved in an activity sometimes but we've learned with therapy animals such as the horses through horse hugs some days that's all it takes is just a visit with them to set their mood and to light up their whole day! Thank you horse hugs your doing a great job!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful group that brings therapy mini horses to people . They really care about others and are wanting to share a little joy. I'm glad to know them and experience the happiness it brings others, especially those in nursing homes. Everyone's day is brightened by seeing these little horses come by to visit. Sometimes they wear a little hat or outfit, it's adorable.

Previous Stories
1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful non-profit that provides a smile and some joy and love to those who need it. Taking miniature horses to visit people in nursing homes and the like. The horses are adorable and brighten the day of those who are visited. The lady who runs it is very thoughtful and does a great service. If only there were more groups like this, that are so service oriented, the world would be a better place.

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R.Weitzel

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Horse Hugs is a great non profit organization. As a previous neighbor of Sandy's, I had the priviledge of volunteering with Horse Hugs and visiting several Assisted Living and Nursing Homes. Sandy's miniature horses are so sweet and gentle and they brighten the day of anyone they visit. During our visits, the elderly were anxiously waiting for Sandy and her minis when we entered through the front door. It was obvious they looked forward to petting, hugging and having their picture taken with the minis. At times they invited their grandchildren and children to visit. Sandy's dedication to this effort has touched so many lives in a special way. Its a wonderful organization.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sandy has done a fantastic job with Horse Hugs. I have helped her in the past and it is amazing how she and her horses bring a smile to the people in assisted living and nursing homes. These elderly people look forward to the visits and spending time together. They are always gathered together waiting for Sandy to come. Its wonderful that she and the volunteers dedicate their time to the meaningful organization.

Patricia R.3

Donor

Rating: 5

My friend Sandy has been working very hard to share the joy her horses bring with those who really need it. Every year she brings them to facilities in her area to share the love. The look on the faces of those who are lucky enough to be a part of this tells the whole story. Smiles on every face !!!!!
This is truly an act of kindness and a labor of love.
Please help support the cause.
Pat

Vicki84

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Its been an honor to volunteer for Horse Hugs. The joy it brings to the residents make them feel loved and comforted. The minis are just the right height to give a little hug and kiss. The smiles and excitement to have a visitors just lightens up their day. What a great organization.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I feel so honored to have volunteered for Horse Hugs and seeing first hand the love and joy the mini's bring to the elderly. Some elderly may not have many visitors and minis bring love and comfort. The minis are just the right height that they can be petted and hugged. also to give a little kiss or two. I enjoyed the stories the elderly would tell on our visits and I loved to see the smiles on every one faces.

Debbie L.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer and member of the local community, I was able to be up close & personal with Horse Hugs on their many visits to Camp New Hope in Glendale Springs NC. One particular little boy, who was confined to a wheelchair, was especially gleeful to see Sid (one of five miniature horses) the day that we brought Sid to the camp. The little boy was unable to speak but the look on his face spoke volumes and brought tears to my eyes. What a great way to enlighten a child who has handicaps!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As one of Sandy's friends and a former neighbor, I got to see close up and personal what a good job Sandy does at every job she tackles, and this organization is no exception. Not only does she rescue these beautiful animals from destruction, but she matches them up with people who will love them and makes deserving children happy. What could be better than that?

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The incredible and consistent work Sandy has done over the years is a testament to her commitment. The miniature horses are a delight to people who can really benefit from the company of these calm and gentle animals.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I began volunteering with Horse Hugs more than two years ago and it has been the most rewarding experience imaginable. Sandy devotes her time and energy to bringing a smile to seniors , special needs children, and many others of all ages and life situations, by bringing her delightful miniature horses to visit. These gentle affectionate animals bring a smile and sense of peace to all who have the opportunity to meet them. They are well trained and calm and can walk directly into a residents room, gently reach over a hospital bed or wheelchair to offer their soft fur or velvety nose for a comforting touch. Sandy takes photographs of the touching interactions and gives them to the residents which extends the benefits of the wonderful experience. The horses receive the best care possible and also benefit from the visitations. It is one of those truly win- win situations where everyone from the volunteers to the residents to the horses benefit from the experience. A fantastic organization !!

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a regular volunteer with Horse Hugs, I have observed first hand the wonderful interactions between the sweet miniature horses and the residents and staff in the facilities that we visit. The horses enjoy being pampered in preparation for the visit and they love all the attention they get from the residents. The residents smile from the first moment they see the horses and many love to snuggle , pet, talk and sing to the horses. The volunteers get to hear amazing life stories that the residents often share in the calming presence of the horses. Sandy often captures these special moments with photographs which she shares with the residents on our next visit. Families, especially grandchildren, want to visit when the horses are coming, so residents enjoy more interactions with their families as well. EVERYONE benefits from the efforts that Sandy expends in making these miniature horse visits possible. What a wonderful organization!!

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Camp New Hope is a 501c3 non profit no charge facility for children who are either terminally ill or have a life threatening illness. My name is Randy Briwn and I am the director. This was our first year with Horse Hugs and what a positive experience it was. The children loved the horses and Sandy is just awesome. She is so patient, living and kind to these children and their families. The tiny horses are just wonderful. I wish that everyone could experience Horse Hugs! We hope to continue to partner with them for years to come. Just can’t say enough of good things about them.

Emily B.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’m a volunteer with this non-profit and it is amazing to see the looks on peoples’ faces when they get to pet these cute little horses. It brings me so much joy to see older people who may not have any other form of joy light up with happiness when they see us coming towards them! Horse Hugs is an amazing organization that i am so happy i have been able to be apart of.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of Horse Hugs for many years. I have watched the organization grow and the good that it does for the community. Sandy brings joy and happiness to the elderly and children. I love hearing the stories of the Nursing Homes with grandchildren showing up to see the horses --- and grandma and grandpa too. Sandy brings pure joy into their lives and they talk about the horses with their friends and can't wait until their next visit.
One other thing Sandy does is Horse rescues --- she gets in her car with her trailer and saves horses from sometimes terrible situations. She nurses them back to good health and then finds them a new home where they are loved. The animals and people that she touches truly don't know how lucky they are. But for me, I know that I am lucky and blessed to have her in my life!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for the last year and I really enjoy the experience. Horse Hugs is a great organization and brings joy to many people!

1 KyleClark19

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a downright great organization! Sandy is a great person doing great things in the community through Horse Hugs. Over the past few years, I have had the pleasure to volunteer with Horse Hugs and see first hand the benefit it brings to the community. Horse Hugs lifts up the spirits of those it serves and helps brighten the day of so many people. Horse Hugs is a great cause and you can not wrong offering your support.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with Horse Hugs on and off and every experience has been a great one. Sandy is a great leader and genuinely enjoys bringing happiness to those around her. Every time we bring the horses to a nursing home it seems to make the residents' day. I would highly recommend getting involved with Horse Hugs. It is a great organization that truly makes a difference. And getting to interact with the adorable mini-horses is just a bonus!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I think horse hugs is a wonderful nonprofit. The joy and smiles they bring to our residents when they visit are priceless. The family members and everyone in the building enjoys when they visit

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Horse Hugs and can see the joy that the horses bring to the nursing homes. Horse Hugs not only helps those in the nursing homes, it also brings joy to me as I serve our community. Thanks for all you do!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I must say that this is one of the most heart warming organizations that I have had the pleasure to both volunteer and watch in action. The people who volunteer have hearts of servants and work tirelessly to bring joy and happiness to others. This is an amazing organization with incredible volunteers.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Fabulous organization! Just seeing the look on a resident's face says it all.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering with Horse Hugs in November 2016. I had previously volunteered in Pet Assisted Therapy with my Basset Hound. So when another volunteer told me about Horse Hugs and told me that I could also volunteer, I was ecstatic and immediately called Sandy. From the first visit these little horses brought great joy to their clients. I have worked with Sid and Teddy and they both are little gentleman. They give so much that just being with them brightens anyone's day. The whole team has rekindled my love and passion for Animal Assisted Therapy.

1 Donna169

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In my case it's hard to tell who benefits more from the work Horse Hugs does in the community, myself or the sick and elderly we visit. I know I personally enjoy working with the mini's, but more important is the smiles and hugs we receive from those we visit, some of whom may rarely receive visitors. To see their faces light up and to engage them in conversation and a memorable experience is ten times more important than whaevert chores I didn't get done at home that day because I was volunteering. Horse Hugs is medicine for the heart . . . mine and those we serve.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There is no better feeling than to help bring a smile to the eyes of the sick and elderly. That is what I saw one year ago on my first experience as a Horse Hugs volunteer. Many residents in senior residences or continuing care units get few visitors. For them to see the Horse Hugs miniature horses walking down their halls or coming into their rooms to visit, often dressed in costumes (hand made by founder/owner Sandy Spooner) makes that senior's day, plus gives them something unique to share with their families, friends and grandchildren. To help bring this experience to this very special group of people is very rewarding. I hope to participate in Horse Hug's mission as long as I am needed.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Horse hugs is amazing. I saw firsthand the joy her horses brought to residents of an assisted living home. Sandy and her crew run a top notch program. The horses are well behaved, clean, happy, healthy and many times in costume for different holidays or events. The kind hearts and nature of this program truly lifts the spirits of those blessed with a visit.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Girl Scout troop had the pleasure of working with Horse Hugs this spring. Sandy runs a top notch organization. She is compassionate with her animals and the patients. Her horses are well trained and treated extremely well. She's also so creative in making costumes for the horses to wear for the different seasons so that return visits are always different. Not only was it a great experience for the girls to get to participate in, by helping prep, handle, and guide the horses, but it also showed them the value of just spending time with those who might need a little cheering up or are feeling lonely. It was such a win/win visit. The patient's spirits were lifted and the girls were inspired. Sandy and her horses are great role models in this community. We are lucky to have them! Sincerely- Heather Hartzog, NC

June N.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Horses have special powers over the human psyche. This organization has tapped into this for a wonderful community service to help others. Help them to keep on course for this amazing project.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the tremendous pleasure is volunteering with Horse Hugs for the past three years and it has proven to be the most profound opportunity of my life. The sheer delight that illuminates the faces of everyone in the room when Sandy walks in with the horses is simpy unforgettable. There is no better feeling than to leave the facilities and your heart is so filled with joy that you can't stop smiling.

2 Carol164

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love the look of joy on the faces of residents when they receive a visit from the wonderful miniature horses. The photos are worth a thousand words. The Horse Hugs volunteers with their mini horses are second to none.

Previous Stories
2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I think Horse Hugs is a wonderful organization. Their visits to senior citizens in assisted living and nursing homes fulfill a huge need in the community. The little horses bring such joy to all those that they visit; they truly are a blessing, as are the volunteers who work so hard to bring about this helpful and joyful service.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Sandy, her volunteers and her sweet and gentile horses bring joy and smiles to many. I have been privaleged to witness the excitment of having Horse Hugs visit the community where my elderly parents live! The picture below says it all! It was a special moment in time. Thank you Sandy for your generous spirit! Thank you Horse Hugs for sharing your love!

3 Greg66

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sandy, the founder of Horse Hugs, is a rare gem in this world. Her love and respect of life is more than a character trait it is a force of nature.

I am a full time farrier and take care of the minis' feet. Her animals are some of the most well cared for horses I have the opportunity to work with. They have wonderful personalities and love their field trips! They have a custom built trailer designed and tailored just for them.

I simply cannot say enough good things about Sandy, all the horses of Horse Hugs and their mission!

4 Margaret77

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I live in the area that Horse Hugs serves, and I am very familiar with the amazing work the organization does with cheering up the lives of the thousands of lovely people who live in our senior communities...from the active to the bedridden. I have seen how faces light up when they pet the noses of the beautiful animals. It thrills everyone just to see them prance around looking so very adorable. Imagine! Most have never seen such marvelous creatures up close...what a treat it is. I can't imagine a better way to brighten a day!

3 Tammy119

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of volunteering with Horse Hugs as they visited a few Cary adult daycares, and assisted living centers. Wow! What a beautiful gift this organization provides. The smiles, laughter, and actual horse hugs filled my heart. The horses were sweet, and the owner and other volunteers were so friendly and caring.

2 Alison38

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing people providing an amazing service with clean well kept horses. Thank you for your dedication.....

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Horse Hugs is a special organization that brings smiles to many faces. For many of the elderly folks, they not only enjoy the Horses, but the side benefit is the grand-kids show up to see the Horses along with grandma or grandpa. The joy that it brings them with family and Horses makes a very special time. Sandy and her volunteers warm the hearts of many. I am very proud of them and what they do. It is wonderful to see a charitable organization that just gives pure love and never asks for anything in return. Keep it going!!!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently had the pleasure of meeting the tiny horses of Horse Hugs. They came to visit my Dad in hospice. He had had the pleasure of getting to know them for the last couple of years while he was a resident of a local Cary assisted living center. That was one of his last requests- to say good bye to these horses. Horse Hugs is a wonderful organization that gives a lot of joy to our elderly population.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I first found out about Horse Hugs from some photos my Mom had. She has alzheimers and has become very withdrawn and depressed. I had gotten used to her sullen look until I saw how much she was smiling in these photos. I found out that these horses came into her facility often to visit and everytime they came they took photos for the residents. I was very surprised to find out that the owner of Horse Hugs did all this out of her own pocket. When I talked to her she told me that visiting was great but giving them a photo made the experience last much longer. I think she's an angel and I made a donation to her organization because the photos I have of my Mom smiling are worth a million dollars..

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Horse Hugs is a phenomenal organization that visits our retirement community often. Our residents light up when the horses visit, it is so therapeutic for our residents especially in our memeory care community. The horses are calming for our residents and enjoyed by all.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My 3 kids love to help Mrs. Sandy and work with Horse Hugs. They visit senior citizens and get to bring smiles to their faces! Two of my kids are Middle School Students and it's a great way for them to give back to the community and earn service hours for their school.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have helped Sandy and Horse Hugs two times and I loved it. The horses are a lot of fun to bathe and brush. When we get to the nursing home the people there are so happy to see the horses that it makes me very happy also. I love Horse Hugs and I wish I could help more often but I am usually in school when they go on their visits. I hope they have a camp this summer.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Horse Hugs is a wonderful organization that makes such a big difference in the community. They have been visiting our facility for over 2 years and have delighted our residents with the company of their adorable little horses. They are very professional and sincere in what they do.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with Horse Hugs has been a wonderful experience. At the end of a visit, I feel I have really helped make a difference in someone's life. It is beyond rewarding to see how the miniature horses light up the faces of everyone they encounter! Horse Hugs has also helped me grow as an individual- from learning to be more compassionate to learning leadership skills. I am truly thankful to Sandy, the horses and Horse Hugs for providing me with such a great volunteer experience.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working as a volunteer with Horse Hugs has been wonderful. Sandee has such a rapor with the residents, and the horses bring them so much joy. I am proud to be part of the organisation!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love this group. They did a presentation to my university about the role animals play in healing and about their experiences visiting hospital patients. They are so sincere and have so much compassion. The horses are just so cute but also have such a calming effect on the patients. I plan on volunteering for them when I get out of med school.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer once a week with Horse Hugs. It is what I look forward to the most each week. I love how people's faces light up when they see these beautiful horses being brought in to see them. The way Sandy interacts with the horses and others is a delight to watch. I am proud to be part of such an amazing and rewarding opportunity.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer with Horse Hugs once a week and absolutely love it! It is a delight to volunteer with Sandy and the other volunteers. The mini's are super sweet and great around the residents. The joy the mini's bring to the resident's faces is simply amazing. I enjoy being a volunteer with Horse Hugs because a visit brightens the resident's day and puts smiles on their faces!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We love helping Sandy with the mini horses! What a treat for us. My 8 year old loved helping wash and exercise the horses after school. It's been a pleasure getting to know Sandy and this amazing outreach to the elderly population.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Horse Hugs has been coming to Glenaire, a continuing care retiremenent community, for several years. The owner and her volunteers always go out of their way to dress the horses up in cotume, take pictures and visit as many residents as possible. The horses are always exceptionally groomed and clean. They are also well behaved and patient with the residents. They always bring lots of smiles and joy to the residents. We are so grateful for Horse Hugs and all that they bring to Glenaire.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I really have enjoyed Horse Hugs because you get to give joy to some of the people that really need it. You also get to have fun by bringing around the miniature horses to the nursing homes. One time we even had people come to the house and look at the horses, miniature train village and some even went to the garden next door.

Kelsey G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am proud that I was able to be a part of Horse Hugs. I really enjoyed bringing the minis to the nursing homes and seeing the smiles it brought to all the patient's faces. Horse Hugs has been a great experience that has turned into my favorite memories. Unfortunately they moved out of California or I would still be volunteering there today. I recommend it to anyone who wants to get involved in their community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Kinzi and I am a high school student. I was looking for a fun way to help the community. I found Horse Hugs online and decide to volunteer. When I walked in to Mrs. Sandy's backyard for the first time it was like walking into a fairy-tale. There was a cute little barn and an amazing train layout. The miniature horses were just walking around the yard eating this lushes green grass and I knew this is were I would be volunteering from now on. Mrs. Sandy and the other volunteers were so sweet and kind. I felt right at home. Unfortunately I'm moving. I will miss volunteering so much! If you ever get the chance I would chose Horse Hugs! It's absolutely amazing!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am an activities director for HeartFields at Cary which is an assisted living and memory care community. I am always looking for unique and fun ideas for my residents to experience. Sandy, with Horse Hugs, contacted me to see if she, her volunteers and 2 mini horses could come and visit our residents. It has been over a year now and Horse Hugs is one of our most popular activities. The horses are so sweet, well mannered and help bring a sense of peace to our residents. Their outfits make us smile and we always look forward to seeing the latest holiday fashion. Sandy, Cindy and all the volunteers bring such kindness, love and happiness to our residents. They are extremely professional and patient with our residents allowing the residents as much time as they want to tell a story or ask questions about the horses. One of the residents' other favorite thing about Horse Hugs is the pictures that Sandy and Cindy take of the resident and horse. It's a great reminder of what they get to experience. HeartFields can't express how much Horse Hugs means to us! Even our staff love the horses and volunteers. They always brigthen our day!

2 Shane8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Ireland and I am 9 years old. I've been volunteering with Horse Hugs for 2 years. I am going to walk you through the process.

When we go in the horses will be wearing a costume matching each season or special holiday. Every volunteer will be wearing a Horse Hugs tshirt which will be provided every time you volunteer.

I personally like it because when you walk the horse to the people you get to see their eyes light up and see their warm smile. It makes you feel happy that you are doing something with your free time instead of sitting at home watching TV. Volunteering will also give you a good job and college scholarships.

We normally go to nursing homes but sometimes we go to day camps. Sometimes if we go a little early we walk them in the park before we go to the nursing home. We get their their giggles out because we have to be slow and quiet. That way we don't get the horses riled up. We talk a lot to the seniors. Some of them tell us stories of their life.

I love volunteering because it is a nice thing to do.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Horses for Hugs is a great program and Sandy does a great job of facilitating seniors and disabled people to truly interact with her miniature horses. Children and adults can't help but smile when they see those beautiful horses. We look forward to our visits with Horses for Hugs every time.

Barbara105

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sandy is a giver through and through. Her minis are so sweet and good natured, just as their owner. Sandy is consummate professional with them too, knowing and setting expectations is a real talent. The looks on the senior's faces is priceless. Many of them have never seen a Mini, or at least never touched one! They are like stuffed animals....so cute they look unreal. Such a treat for many folks who are not able to get out very much anymore. I am sure many seniors look forward to their next visit...who wouldn't? Just a fantastic experience!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My entire family use to volunteer with Horse Hugs. Sandy, the owner of Horse Hugs, puts so much heart into the organization. We would visit nursing homes with the minis who were always dressed their very best. During the holidays they would have themed costumes – Santa hats, bunny ears, you name it! Some patients don’t get very many guests, and it was such a joy to brighten their day with a visit from the minis. Since then, the organization has moved from California to North Carolina, and I truly miss it. Volunteering with Horse Hugs will always be one of my fondest memories!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a great non-profit that stays true to its mission.

The volunteers of Horse Hugs take adorable miniature horses to visit the sick and the elderly. These visits can really make a difference and cheer up people who feel ill or lonely. The horses are often costumed according to the season, and they look so cute! I am sure that it really lifts the spirits to be visited by Sandy and these loving animals.

I think it is such a nice thing that Sandy is doing with Horse Hugs, bringing happiness to lots of people!