Meet SUMMER - Everybody's Horse
A residential street on the outskirts of Belfast is not where you would expect to find a horse living, but it’s where I was invited to meet Samantha Hayes and meet her miniature horse Summer.
Summer is no ordinary miniature horse, she is one with a very special job, that of a therapy horse. This 11 year old pure bred Falabella standing at just 33 inches tall, may be small in size, but big in heart, and character, and is touching the lives of many people when they may need it most.
Therapy horses are specially trained to provide comfort and emotional support to individuals who are dealing with physical, mental, and emotional challenges. Summer, with her calm and soothing demeanour, has been working as a therapy horse since she was a year old. Her gentle and kind nature makes her the perfect companion for children, adults, and seniors, who have found her visits a comforting presence in their lives.
Samantha, who is well known in the local equestrian community, has been working with Summer as a therapy horse for over a decade. Sam did a lot of indepth training with Summer before she started her therapy career as it was very important she could work safely around a person who may have a cannula in their arm or be incubated, so making sure Summer didn’t disturb anything was vital. Together they have conducted over 1000 visits in the last 10 years, and her work has earned her the sponsorship of Bluegrass Horse Feeds as well as recognition in the local press, with more to come hints Sam.
Summer has been an intregal part of the Hayes family almost all her life as the portrait on the wall will attest to, she will travel all over the country in her converted horse trailer with husband Keith at the wheel, visiting special schools, hospitals, hospices, mental health units and nursing homes, to bring comfort and support to those who need it.
Summer’s work as a therapy horse is vital to the well-being of many individuals. Her presence provides comfort and emotional support to those who are struggling with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, as well as physical challenges and those with life limiting conditions. She is especially effective in working with children, and her gentle and loving nature has a calming effect on them, helping them to feel more confident and at ease, and she has the ability to break through sensory or emotional barriers that nothing else can.
Their work has touched the lives of countless individuals and has helped many to find peace and comfort during difficult times, including those who are in end-of-life care. Their dedication and commitment to helping others is inspiring, and they are truly making a difference in the world.
Summer, Sam tells me, is not just her horse, she is everybody's horse.
We at Bluegrass are committed to supporting the equine community and are proud to sponsor Summer and are thrilled to be a part of her journey.
You can visit Summer's Facebook page here. https://www.facebook.com/summerthehorse