Happy House children celebrate birthdays by
painting a pinto and partying with Magic, Peanut and
It was a wondrous day in the neighborhood, with children at Happy House painting a real pinto horse and sharing their birthday celebration with celebrities from Gentle Carousel.
For Morgan, one of the little people at Happy House, it was a treat because she finally got to meet Peanut, the smallest horse in the world. She has a scrapbook of stories and photographs of Peanut.
Morgan recently tried to come to a Library program and she tried to come to the Gentle Carousel Tea Party, but she was in a hospital both times. On Wednesday, she finally got to meet Peanut on her sixth birthday. “We are both little, with big hearts,” Morgan said.
There were separate presentations at Happy House for two groups of children because there is not enough room to put them all in the room at the same time.
Wakanda, a one-year-old pinto, joined three birthday children, Morgan, 6, Alexis, 8 and Sam, 10. Everyone sang “Happy Birthday.”
“Wakanda is a Sioux name, meaning possesses magical power," said Debbie Garcia-Bengochea of Gentle Carousel.
Native Americans painted special symbols on their horses when braves went into battle. The Sioux tradition was explored by Happy House children who were given water-based paints and sketches of the sacred symbols: The Sun of Happiness, The Sacred Buffalo, an Arrow of Swiftness and Buffalo Tracks. Wakanda stood very still for the painters.
This was a new venture for Gentle Carousel, which began as a program to bring miniature therapy horses to hospitals and nursing homes.
A reading program was added, with miniature horses that look like the main characters in children’s books, such as “Run with the Wind,” “Black Beauty” and “Year of the Black Pony.”
At Happy House, Wakanda helped teach children about Native American history and horses.
Each of the birthday children received a present, a book, “Jason and Elihu,” as well as pictures and memories that will last a lifetime.
The birthday program for older children lasted about an hour. A second program for voluntary pre-kindergarten children brought in Magic.
Magic has been honored by organizations across the United States and around the world. A list of her honors is at the end of this article.
Every child, and even the teachers, had a chance to meet Magic and have their picture taken.
Debbie and Jorge Garcia-Bengochea had one more surprise for Happy House – Gentle Carousel will visit once a month with a reading program and one of the miniature horses.
“Jason and Elihu” is the first book the children will read. Teachers will read it to the younger ones.
On the last day of the reading program, Sundance, the horse in the book, will visit Happy House.
Every birthday will be a wondrous day at Happy House, with a special reading program and little horses.
A Magical Little Horse
Magic was named The Most Heroic Pet in America by AARP.
She has been honored by Time/CNN which named her one of 10 of History's Most Courageous Animals.
Newsweek named her Animal Hero of the Year
Reader’s Digest named her as one of the Hometown Heroes.
Look for features in upcoming issues of National Geographic Magazine and People Magazine.
Magic will have her own book, to be released soon.To see Magic and all of the animals at Gentle Carousel, visit www.Horse-Therapy.org
Gentle Carousel Therapy Horses is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity.
Your donations are tax deductible.
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man." ~Winston Churchill
Gentle Carousel Inc.
P.O. Box 358844
Gainesville, FL 32635