Storytime at the Oro Valley Public Library had some very special guests last week. Meet Sir Snickers and J.J. along with their handler and President/Founder of Step Up Into TLC (Theraputic Loving Caballos), Nancie Roahrig.
It was a packed house to welcome the four-legged guests; a miniature and Clydesdale horse. I worried as a large group of children (some crawling, some walking) and parents circled around to see the magnificent creatures. A garbage truck decided to empty the bins not far behind in the parking lot. Rest assured that these horses were pro's, barely batting an eye at the rumbling and clanging from behind them. The children took turns petting and brushing the animals while screaming and cheering (even some in tears), but these gentle boys have seen it all.
Step Up Into T.L.C. make their rounds to group homes, hospitals, retirement communities, schools, churches, and as we were lucky enough to enjoy, libraries, allowing everyone to interact and learn about their beauty inside and out.
Horses, as many know, are often used therapeutically. "The power of our horses is amazing. Providing an unconditional love. Just being present and not judging says volumes and provides a nurturing safe place."
Those who work in equine therapy have long known that these animals have an affinity to help heal the young and young at heart. They help teach trust, confidence, and enjoyment above all.
So Oro Valley, I highly recommend contacting Nancie if you know of someone in need of some horse time. How does a horse drawn cart ride sound? You could set it up for your community. And to all you moms and dads, they also do pony rides for birthday parties. Wouldn't that be a big hit?
Heather Nenadovich has lived in Oro Valley a total of five years. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arizona. Her husband is Canadian so she is a hockey fan by default and so are her two very clever children. When not being a mommy, she enjoys hiking in Catalina State Park, hand building pottery, and gardening. Her favorite things about living in Oro Valley are the towns recognition of art and culture, their commitment to preserving nature and the Christmas parade. (Also anything from GMG Chinese Bistro.)