In 2006, NMC alumna Deb Schultz saw a story on television about a miniature horse and her curiosity was peaked. She began researching the breed and has never looked back. Deb and her husband Ron now have a full fledged "mini-farm," the Dry Creek Mini Farm.
"There's a saying that minis are like Pringles potato chips, you can't have just one," said Deb. "Well, it was worse for us, we kept finding more that we liked and now we have almost 30 miniature horses."
The couple breeds and raises miniature horses, miniature donkeys, miniature mules, llamas, dogs and cats at their farm in Rock Port, MO.
Following a Passion
Because Deb has a nursing background, her dream has always been to start a miniature horse therapy program. The tiny therapy horses work inside hospitals, nursing homes, hospice centers, children's rehab centers and to other shut-ins.
"Someday, I hope to be able to retire from nursing and just work with the horses, training them to brighten other peoples lives like they have for us. I guess I would still be nursing, in a sense, just not of the physical body but more of the emotional and spiritual body."
It is widely stated that these miniature ponies have an ability to create an emotional connection with people they meet. They can bring a smile to an elderly person's face or fill an autistic child's mind with magic.
The horses can also provide a needed distraction to people grieving or who have just been through a tragic event, as seen in Newtown, CT. The Florida based non-profit, Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses, sent a trio of horses to visit with the children of Sandy Hook Elementary and help begin the healing process.
Although still working as a nurse, Deb and her husband have started their therapy program: Dry Creek's Smidgeon of Sunshine Therapy. They have two tiny trotters, named Midgie and JR, who will be on the road in 2013 making lives brighter and providing comfort to those who need it most.
Deb graduated from the Methodist College of Nursing's Registered Nurse diploma program in 1981. She is currently a Med/Surg Nurse at the Nemaha County Hospital, a critical access rural hospital located in Auburn, NE.
You can read more about her farm at: www.drycreekminifarm06.com.