Congratulations to the 2022 Therapy Horse of the Year: Elliot!

Here’s his story:

“Mom has dementia. Some days are good, and some are really bad. Dad had three emergency heart surgeries and ultimately almost lost his foot to an infection. Those weeks Dad was gone, Mom didn’t know us or him. 

After a bad visit with dad at the hospital where mom didn’t recognize him or me, the ride home was torture. My wife told me to bring Mom to the barn. I introduced Mom to Elliot and the moment they looked into each other’s eyes and snuggled, memories flooded back in waves.  She remembered nearly everything; we were all in shock!  To say the rest of the day was the best in years is an understatement. 

They both now frequently visit Elliot when possible to continue therapy, and progress is indicated by the smiles. Elliot’s door (I mean stall) is not just open for the elderly, it is always open. I frequently walk into the barn during a session with a little girl having a bad day, cuddling it out with him as he lays down with them to listen to their problems.

As a police officer, I can say sometimes it’s hard to work through some of life’s experiences on your own but Dr. Elliot is always available and listening intently; with a snuggle he lets you know it will be ok and then it’s off to his next patient! I was never a horse person; actually, I was scared of them. Now what I am scared of is not having Elliot in our lives.”

As the winning therapy horse, Elliott—and his human friends—will receive a year’s supply of Nutrena Feed horse feed, a $250 gift card to Tractor Supply Co., and more! Thank you to everyone who entered! And thank you to Nutrena Feed and Tractor Supply Co. for supporting Hope in the Saddle and putting together an awesome prize package!

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