Peaches is a 2-year-old dwarf miniature horse that we rescued in 2017. She was 7 months old when we rescued her and had many medical issues with walking and her hooves. After eight months of rehab, physical therapy, and surgery, she came through like a trooper. We slowly trained her for therapy work and didn’t know how she would do. Well, she is amazing at it!

We did not realize how many lives she would touch and people she would affect. Most of the children and adults we visit have severe disabilities, dementia or Down syndrome. Because Peaches is a special needs horse due to her genetic-disorder dwarfism, patients can relate to her and bond with her. They see themselves in her as she does them. Horses are mirrors.

One particular visit covers why Peaches is so special. This was the letter we received:

My mom and dad are at Ashland Farm in North Andover, where Peaches made a visit on Sept. 10, and both my parents got to meet and pet her.

I cannot tell you in words how happy my parents were—I have proof pics with huge smiles on their faces. This makes me cry with joy because my parents are usually really sad that week because their son (my brother) was killed in the World Trade Center. It’s a very difficult week for them but to see how happy they were and what joy they experienced from having a visit from Peaches just made my heart melt.

[READ MORE: Denver’s urban youth find healing through horses.]

[READ MORE: Rescued horses rescue at-risk youth at Charis Ranch.]

Please give Peaches a hug from me, and let me say thank you to you for all that you do. You probably know already, but it’s really meaningful work and I just love what you do for others.

Love, Wendy M.

This letter brought tears to my eyes. I knew Peaches was special but didn’t realize how special until this letter.

She is also part of a national bullying campaign, Just Say Whoa to Bullying. Since our presentations in schools this past fall, we have had so many children and parents approach us regarding how they have been bullied in school. Peaches has helped children come forward and open up about their experiences. She has also taught them how to become an “upstander” not a bystander and to just say WHOA (We Help One Another) to bullying.

—Toni H.

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