Tiny horses with big hearts - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Tiny horses with big hearts

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Friday is a very exciting day here at 13abc. We are hosting the 2013 Hope for the Holidays Drive-Thru Bash. We're asking you donate toys for local children in need. All you have to do is drop off a toy on your way work, on your way home, or as you are running errands throughout the day.

We'll have some four legged friends who will be out front helping. Three miniature horses will be part of the festivities. The minis live at Serenity Farm in Luckey, a place that uses horses to help people deal with emotional and physical challenges. Some say magic happens behind the barn doors at Serenity Farm. The magic comes from horses and ponies of all shapes and sizes. The newest additions to the program are a little on the small size. But never mind their tiny hooves, Thunder, Lightening and Sunny are doing a big job. The miniature horses are part of the equine therapy program. While many of the horses and ponies stay at the farm to do their work, the minis spend most of their time visiting schools and nursing homes,"They are proud to do their work."

Debra DeHoff has been riding since she was a little girl. She spent years competing her own horses and now she loves sharing all of her knowledge with others as the Executive Director of Serenity Farm," To be able to use all those talents to help people find happiness and hope and to have the horses motivate them to want a better life for themselves and to help someone else, it's just amazing." To give you an idea how tiny these mini horses are, Thunder is 6 years old, Pumba is also 6 years old. Pumba is about 64 inches tall weighing 1,200 pounds. Thunder is just 31 inches tall, tipping the scale at 250 pounds.

They've had horses and ponies at Serenity for more than a decade. Thunder was the first mini. He arrived two years ago, followed by Sunny and Lightening a couple months ago, "12 years ago when I started this I had no idea we'd take the journey we have. I am excited for the next 12 years. The programs we've developed, the people we've helped, the visitors and clients who make Serenity Farm what it is today."

While it was all fun and games at Serenity today, the minis will be all business tomorrow as they suit up for the 13abc Drive Thru Bash, "When they are on their own time they will buck and kick up their heels, but when they are working they are docile." Not every mini is cut out for this kind of a job, so they choose each one carefully, "We want personality, intelligence, kindness and a loving spirit to do this kind of work." It's quite clear the work of the people and the animals here at Serenity is making a big difference in a lot of lives.

Here's another impressive fact, Lightening is just 7 months old and already so well behaved! All three of them will be here at 13abc tomorrow for our noon show, then they'll take a little break. Sunny and Thunder will be back around 5. Lightening will only appear once because she is still learning the ropes and will need to relax after her big debut.

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