Interacting with the horse is supposed to act as therapy

SEMINOLE, Fla. - A miniature horse named "Star" visited Freedom Square in Seminole.  Freedom Square is a Five Star continuing care retirement community.  Star spent time with Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

The small horse was made possible by Allegiance Care Services.  That agency provides care for elderly people in Pinellas and Pasco counties.  The therapy horses are trained for a minimum of two years before they can begin working as therapy animals.

Trainers say the horses help keep people active while providing emotional and spiritual healing to everyone they encounter.

The horses are trained to be calm and friendly around groups of new people.  The horses also learn how to navigate indoor environments. They can even walk up and down stairs, and ride in elevators.

Freedom square marketing manager, Sherdette Keefer, says many people commented on Star's shoes.  The horse was wearing colorful shoes and even had shoe laces.

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