Minis and Friends is in its 9th year and it only gets better and better! Recently we visited at a local Children Shelter for Abused and Neglected Children and had a break though with a little boy who was even afraid of the dogs that visited, he was just afraid of everything they said. With the gentle connection by our volunteers and Remington, he not only walked him but gave him a hug at the end of his time with him. This month (we go bi-monthly), he asked specifically for Remington and his volunteer Hilary and we were so very proud of him wanting to work again with Remington and going the extra mile to ask for him specifically. One step at a time, to open doors and bring hope and healing, and breakthroughs!
I run an organization that seeks out volunteers making big impacts on lives in Central Texas, and helps tell their stories. Minis and Friends was one of the most delightful encounters I've ever had in 3+ years of doing this - after hearing countless stories from volunteers as well as those they serve I now truly believe that these little minis really are magical!
I have been a Mini owner & volunteer for several years now. I do it because I love to, not because I have to. Over the years I have witnessed so much gratitude from the people we visit. You will never know unless you witness it for yourself. Having someone or a relative of someone thank you so much for what we do will put a tear in your eye at times. We are not a cure for anything. All we ask for and hope that people can give us is a smile. That's reward enough. God bless the people we visit because they are the one's that put smiles on our faces too.
I have been a volunteer Mini Owner for a few years now and have seem success over & over again with the children & adults that we visit. This is my success story:
I few years ago we were at a Children's Shelter where these children were taken away from their families due to some sort of abuse. While there I noticed a young little boy with his head down and no expression on his face. He was new to the Shelter and you could tell he was very sad. We asked him if he want to pet the little horses and with his head still down, he just shook his head- NO (We don't force any of our Mini's on anyone). The Councilors told us "Oh that is little ?????, we have tried everything with him. Nothing works.
A few minute later you could see this little boy standing next to one of the MIni's and we was petting him with the back of this hand.
Well a few minutes later again, this same little boy that the Councilors could not get through to, was jogging around the Courtyard with one of the Mini Horse. He was smiling and you could see happiness on his face once again
Right before my eyes I saw this little boy that was going through something no child should go through come out of his shell and be a child again. Smiling, laughing and playing.
That is why I do what I do.
Minis and Friends has been great training others to deliver pet therapy service
For 12 years I have worked with full size horses and children with physical and mental handicaps. I loved my job and felt a special connection with the animals who helped not just children but persons of all ages who traveled to our facility. In December 2010 I moved my herd of horses to a beautiful facility in south east Austin where I had the most fortunate of luck in meeting founder and director Sally. I immediately fell in love with the minis, as does every one who meets them! My first exposure to the minis and the public came in the form of the United Way day of caring. The response to the minis by the 45 plus corporate employees brought tears to my eyes, you could feel these participants stress and anxiety lift! I was hooked!
I have now have worked with the group closely for a few years and its always just fantastic to be involved! The visits are handled with such care and professionalism, you can see that there is love and only love that goes into this fantastic opportunity in our local community. The most powerful and profound moments I've had include memories and tears shared by our Alzheimer's patients to having non verbal cases where families have never heard the voice of their child or grandparent. To make such powerful impact with persons and families is a blessing. I'm so blessed to be a witness to truly the most heartwarming and unique therapy available.
My name is Diane McBee and I attended the miniature horse equine assisted interaction training offered by Mini and Friends. As the director of a miniature horse therapy program, Knee High Mini Tours, I was impressed with the knowledge of the volunteers and the compassion displayed toward the clients. I was able to participate in many different types of training activities and gained first hand experience working with the miniature horses and clients. Safety was paramount, as was providing meaningful experiences. My experiences have shown Minis and Friends to be a caring organization committed to sharing the love of their miniature horses by reaching out to others and bringing joy into their lives.
My name is Lynann Centers. I attended boot camp in March 2012. I have a nonprofit organization called HeavenSent Half-Pints, which does similar work as Minis and Friends does. Boot camp was very helpful for me.
I am so happy to write a review for Minis and Friends. My name is Laurie Demitry and my daughter and I have a mini therapy group here in Northern Virginia called NOVA Therapy Minis. Sally and Ellen have been invaluable to us in getting our program off the ground. They have been incredibly generous with information and resources which has saved us much time and extra effort. We have a ways to go before we're reaching and touching as many folks as Minis and Friends does but we are well on our way thanks to Minis and Friends. I can't think of a more deserving group !!!!
The Austin Minis and Friends is constantly bringing smiles to many faces, both small and large. They are a very professional group with the leadership and volunteers needed to be a successful non profit organization. Sally and her trainees have visited our farm on several occasions and we found them to be quite wonderful!
I can't say enough positive things with this organization. They are constantly on the move with there Minis bringing education, joy, and self esteem to children and adults alike. They are a big supporter of the Brackenridge children's hospital and many other associations. The world needs more non profit organization that bring light with their humongouss changes in people lives. I am a big supporter of Mini & Friends.