Military kids get Little Blessings working with miniature horses

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 7:53 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The military kids program at Little Blessings has only been up and running for a couple of months, but it has already impacted dozens of people. It’s all possible thanks to an army of volunteers and a herd of miniature horses.

Inside the walls of an arena is a place of friendship and healing for children who have family members in the military.

There’s a lot of happiness too.

“We’ve watched the kids react differently. Some get angry, some are withdrawn and others have trouble at school,” said Natalie Bruck, whose husband is serving overseas right now. “The horses help calm them down and reason through feelings they don’t know what to do with.”

There are three six-week sections, focusing on feelings, team work and community.

“It teaches us about feelings so you can stay calm and deal with it if you are mad, sad, angry or any other feelings,” ten-year-old Dustin Slinger said.

“To help them unpack that baggage by dealing with it, talking about it, addressing it and naming it. Even that can be cathartic and help them heal,” education specialist Kit Miller said. “[One boy] was minimally verbal. Not sharing or talking a lot and physically posturing in a ‘don’t look at me’ way. Now he sparkles. He’s a leader and speaks out all the time.”

That transformation is thanks in part to the miniature horses that are putting smiles on little faces and leaving tiny hoof prints on a lot of hearts.

“I don’t understand what the horses do. It is almost magical.”

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