Can any miniature horse be trained to become a therapy horse?
No. Just like not all dogs can become guide dogs or rescue dogs, not all miniature horses are suitable for therapy work. For a miniature horse to be suitable as a future therapy horse it must have the following traits:
- Sociability: it must be a very friendly horse that truly enjoys interacting will people of all ages and that actively seeks human contact.
- Temperament: above all, it must be calm, patient, not spooky and well balanced. The temperament is given by the genetics of the horse. If the temperament is not suitable, no matter how much training is invested, that horse can never become a good therapy horse. Therefore we pay great attention to the temperament of our breeding stock, both mares and stallions, maximizing thereby the possibility of breeding foals suitable as future therapy horses.
- Resilience: must be high. A horse with great resilience recovers quickly after having been exposed to an unpleasant stimulus.
- Physical health: the horse must be healthy. The absence of pain and illness is an essential criterium for the horse´s welfare.