2016 Miniature Horse WORLD Issues December 2016 Volume 32, Number 6 - Page 25

The first “World of Miniature Horse Therapy Symposium” was held July 22-24, 2016 at the Holiday Inn in Crystal Lake IL. The weekend offered an opportunity for those seeking educational information and hands-on training regarding AnimalAssisted Interactions/AAI’s (both animal-assisted activity/AAA and animal-assisted therapy/AAT visits) with Miniature horses. The symposium was hosted by Mane in Heaven, a 501c3 that visits throughout the Chicagoland area. President and Founder Jodie Diegel commented, “Why a Symposium? Animal-assisted interactions are built upon a foundation of trust, confidence, understanding, patience and competence. Our goal was to put together a phenomenal weekend of education and training to mentor and empower future teams regarding this foundation.” Friday, kicked off the start of the symposium with a Pet Partners Handler course. Mane in Heaven Miniature therapy horses and volunteers (all registered Pet Partner teams) ® demonstrated key training and evaluation behaviors at the hotel. Saturday provided a day of phenomenal education. The symposium keynote speaker was Mary Margaret Callahan, the Senior Mini Hay Pillow® Slow Feed Hay Bag; Designed Specifically for miniature horses National Director of Program Development for Pet Partners. Additional presenters included Robyn Hart, the Director of the Child Life Program at Rush University Medical Center and Attorney Vince Incopero. The afternoon session followed with a presentation by Jodie Diegel and a board panel discussion by the Mane In Heaven Board of Directors. The day ended with hands-on demonstrations where the attendees and the Mane In Heaven therapy horses worked together with registered handlers in the hotel conference room! Sunday, included more extensive hands-on training at the farm. All attendees were then invited for a visit to the Shades of Blue Ranch, a Miniature therapy horse breeding farm in Hebron IL, which included a driving demonstration. Overall, the symposium was a fantastic way to realize that our goals and missions are all similar…to bring joy, laughter, smiles, unconditional love and healing to others through our Miniature therapy horses. We were able to learn from and provide input to other like-minded future and present animal-assisted therapy teams who are shaping the world of Miniature horse therapy. Watch for information on another training seminar for your Miniature Therapy Horse in March 2017! Hosted by www.maneinheaven.org. The Mini Hay Pillow® enables your horse to eat in a natural grazing position. Offered in 1/2”, 3/4”, 1” & 1 1/4” mesh sizes. Visit TheHayPillow®.com to view our entire product line for horses Big and Small! 888-489-0022 D E C E M B E R 2016 AMHA_2.25x6.75.indd 1 Miniature Horse World 23 8/29/14 3:42 PM