Covering the towns of Rhinebeck, Red Hook, Milan and Clinton, the villages of Rhinebeck, Red Hook and Tivoli,
and the Rhinebeck and Red Hook school districts
Vol. CLVIII, No. 38
Thursday, September 22-28, 2005
Single Copy: 75 cents
A horse is a horse
Frances Schoenberg makes friends with Annie, a therapeutic miniature horse from A Horse Connection, during the Baptist Home fair. Turn to Page BIO for the full story. (Photo by Matt Peppe)
The Baptist Home brings fair to residents
By Matt Peppe
Staff Reporter
HORSE HAIR: Pauline Perch combs the pony's hair.
RHINEBECK — Most resi­dents of the Baptist Home can't travel to the fair, so for 10 years the Baptist Home has brought the fair to its residents. The two-day event featured a clown, entertain­ment, contests and animals.
On Friday, Sept. 16 a pair of miniature horses and a calf came to the Baptist Home as part of the fair's agricultural theme.
The horses, Penny and Annie, are two minatures from A Horse Connection, an equine assisted therapy program in the Hudson Valley. Nancy King, an occupa­tional therapist and director of A Horse Connection, said many of the seniors responded well to the animals.
"A lot of them had horses or had backgrounds in farming, so they were able to form connec­tions with the past and with the animals," said King, as she parad­ed Penny in front of the entrance to the Baptist Home.
Dick Weckesser, who brought Billy the Bull Calf from Creed Ankony Farms, said the residents responded similarly to the calf.
Nellie Mielisch, a nine-year resident of The Baptist Home, said she enjoyed petting the hors­es.
"They're adorable, I love them," Mielisch said.
Frances Schoenberg, a two-year resident, enjoyed all of the festivities.
"I love it. They do such won-
NUZZLE: Nellie Mielisch gets a nuzzle from her pony friend, Penny, at the fair. (Photos by Matt Peppe)
Miniature horses good fit for therapy
King said miniature horses are becoming increasingly popular, and are ideal for therapy. She said as an occupational thera­pists, the main concerns are ther­apy and safety. With miniature horses, it is easier to work with seniors than with bigger horses. Many of the residents in wheel­chairs were able to pet the minia-
tures and be pushed along as the horses followed.
Christina LaMont. the activi­ties director for the Baptist Home, said since most of the 120 residents cannot walk to the Dutchess County fair, the staff started the event as a way to give residents their own fair.
"We do it to relax the atmos­phere and bring them happiness, and it truly does." LaMont said.
For more information, contact Nancy King at (845) 417 4646.
PONY KISSES: Nellie Mielisch gives the miniature horse, Annie, a kiss at the Baptist Home.