CHAMPAGNE, ill. (WAND) – Miniature Horsepower is a program in Champaign that focuses on developing children’s mental health while combating negative childhood experiences.
Founder and director, Sarah Nixon first discovered miniature power in 2019. At the time, it was just a concept. Nixon pitched the idea to a panel of judges in the Carle Illinois College of Medicine’s Health Make-A-Thon competition for healthcare innovation, and won.
Subsequently, Nixon received a coin worth ten thousand dollars in seed money, and Miniature Horsepower was created.
Nixon is passionate about research to better understand the relationship between small horses and small humans. She also says how exciting it is to see children connecting with animals.
“With miniature therapy horses, you don’t ride. You interact with them and you build a relationship. A relationship of trust, trust and connection. Those are all really critical things when you have a situation where a child or an adult has been traumatized and may have withdrawn a bit and may be struggling with trust, connection, even eye contact,” Nixon says.
The company went to the Siebel Center for Design on the University of Illinois campus, the Joy of Illinois Farm, and they’re still open to visitors here in Champaign.
“I have discovered that miniature horses are often overlooked when it comes to animal-assisted therapy modalities for children. There is a growing awareness of their great compatibilities and wonderful abilities as “therapy animals, so more and more organizations are using minis. We’ve been the big horse,” Nixon said.
You can book Miniature Horsepower or find more information here: miniaturehorsepower.org
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