Magic the Therapy Horse
She might stand less than 34 inches (86 centimeters) tall, but her sleek, ebony coat and the snow-white blaze streaking down her nose will catch your eye. And once you gaze into those gentle, blue eyes, you'll be hooked. Magic the miniature horse isn't a model, however, but a therapy horse. She visits kids and adults in hospitals and hospices, at assisted-care and Alzheimer's programs, and even in high-crime neighborhoods alongside law enforcement personnel. And her presence is, well, magical [source: Garcia-Bengochea].
One resident in an assisted-living facility hadn't left her room in six months. But after meeting Magic, she made her way into the lobby to wait for the equine on her next scheduled visiting day. A woman in an assisted-care facility hadn't spoken a single word in three years, but began talking to Magic the day she first visited — and hasn't stopped talking ever since. These stories are part of the reason Time magazine named Magic one of the Top 10 Heroic Animals in History, one of many similar accolades the tiny horse has received. Magic is part of a group of more than one dozen miniature horses at Florida's Therapy Horses of Gentle Carousel, which provides therapy services to some 45,000 people annually [sources: Garcia-Bengochea, Therapy Horses of Gentle Carousel].