Local nursing home resident received special visit from miniature therapy horse


VALATIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A miniature therapy horse from High and Mighty Stables in Ghent visited a local nursing home on Monday.

George Horne is a resident at Barnwell Nursing Home who received bad news from his doctor: he will no longer get to ride horses. But on Monday, he got a memorable visit from a tiny guest.

“Oh, my God, is he beautiful,” Horne said.

Within seconds of meeting Horne, you know he’s a horse fanatic. So he was over the moon to get a huge surprise from a tiny guest at his nursing home.

It was Scout, the miniature horse.

Horne, 77, is originally from Maine. He started riding horses when he was just 8 years old. It wasn’t long before he was hooked.

“I had a golden Palomino; I had a Pinto; I had a Morgan,” he said. “Oh, I had horses. I did.”

Memories of riding and caring for horses is all he talks about.

“They were the good times,” he said. “Just the good times.”

But he’s afraid the good times are over.

“George would come to me every single day with coffee, and we would just chat,” nursing home activity director Bridget Delcoure said. “We’ve just kind of had a bond, and he would always talk about horses. And one day he came to me devastated. He said he went to the doctor, who told him he wouldn’t be able to ride again.”

Delcoure found a way for Horne to create new memories. She called different centers for months until another employee recommended High and Mighty Stables, a therapeutic equine center in Ghent.

“He brought me to tears,” Delcoure said. “Just seeing how happy he was and how much it means to him.”

The center may also be able to help Horne get back in the saddle.

“They can put him right up onto a board or something that would be useful for him, and it’ll feel like he’s riding again,” Delcoure said.

Just like the good times.

“Lot of fun; lots of good memories,” Horne said.

Come spring, Horne may be able to visit High and Mighty Stables and have a chance to ride again.

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