Friday, October 26, 2007

Horses visit Meadow Ridge residents


Horse ‘Honey’ with Maura Curry from HORSE of CT SENIORS meets Betty Poggenburg, who is about to turn 99. —Scott Mullin photo
Meadow Ridge residents were entertained last Wednesday by horses that traveled to Redding from their farm in New Preston.

“This is the second year we’ve had horses visit from HORSE of CT SENIORS,” said Joy Hodge, recreation director for assisted living at Meadow Ridge. “They’ve been really wonderful in coming. It’s an all-volunteer group. They interact with our residents. They bring carrots and special cookies for the residents to feed the horses.” The group brought a senior horse and a senior pony.

“These are retired horses and it makes sense that they should be with retired people,” said Kevin Curry, who volunteers with the group along with his brother Patrick and their sister Maura, who is program director. “The horses are also seniors. Coming here to visit senior humans is a nice program.”

“I think this is the most wonderful afternoon,” Peggy Smith, a Meadow Ridge resident, said. “It’s such a fun time because we’re getting to see the horses. And my little granddaughter is coming today. I hope they get here in time to see the horses.”

When spoken to, Charlotte Kelly could not respond because she has a condition called aphasia. “We converse without language,” her assistant said. “She is wonderful. She really is. She loves the horses.” Ms. Kelly was extremely communicative with her smile and her beautiful face.

Another resident, Edith Sutter, said she’s been at Meadow Ridge only two months. “This is a little unusual. I didn’t expect anything like this,” she said. “I think it’s great. A good human touch to it. I did some feeding and a lot of petting.”

Mary Swallen, who also fed and petted a horse, said, “It’s been nice. I had fun.”

“They’re wonderful,” said Stanley Andrysek. “It’s nice to see the horses.”

HORSE (Humane Organization Representing Suffering Equines) of CT SENIORS (Society of Equines Nurturing Individuals of Retirement Status), according to Ms. Curry, is an organization that rescues horses.Next.....