JW Ranch’s therapy horses a window to the hearts at Menominee Health Services

The Porterville, Wisc. nonprofit provides opportunities to interact with equine and farm animals.
Published: Jan. 24, 2021 at 11:10 PM EST
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MENOMINEE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Menominee community has offered their extended support to senior care residents in isolation at Menominee Health Services -- with the help of some four-legged friends.

The community arranged a surprise visit Saturday from the horses of JW Ranch in nearby Porterfield, Wisc.

“We had a big outbreak of COVID, so a lot of the residents need some cheering up. So the community came together, some community members from Lloyd Flanders donated some money to get JW Ranch to come here and bring some ponies to do a nice surprise for our residents,” said Life Enrichment Specialist Katie Corey.

“A co-worker of mine was talking about her mom. The residents here have been isolated since March. A lot of residents have been depressed, were in bed -- some up to 14 days,” said JW Ranch board member Steve Erdman, who helped organize the event with Corey.

And so came the ranch with their three equine caregivers to brighten the day, with the ponies greeting residents from window to window.

Erdman would be the first to tell you that there’s more to the horses’ affection than meets the eye.

“A horse can feel your heartbeat from four feet away. So when you’re walking up to the horse they know if you’re excited, if you’re sad, if you’re nervous. For me being a disabled combat vet. It’s actually saved my life, because working with these horses has brought a whole different calmness to me,” he explained.

The therapy horses provide a versatile brand of care service, from working with veterans with PTSD to long-term care residents at Menominee Health Center Saturday.

“And now that they’re all feeling better -- we’re so excited about this,” said Corey.

“What JW Ranch wants to do is provide everyone a chance to work with farm animals, the horses and the ponies. And also to give back to the community,” Erdman said.

Keep up to date with Menominee Health Center HERE.

Learn more about the nonprofit JW Ranch via their webpage and social media pages.

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