Equine-assisted therapeutic program garners smiles at The Cove Apartments
by Marie Nesmith
May 28, 2014 | 1353 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At 27 inches tall, Tess is proof that remarkable creatures sometimes come in small packages. As part of Greener Ways Inc., the miniature horse brought a multitude of smiles to the senior tenants of The Cove Apartments during the complex’s monthly birthday luncheon May 13.

“The ladies are still talking about it,” said Cindy England, a volunteer at The Cove, whose mother resides at the Cartersville apartment complex. “Mrs. Edna, whose children live in Chicago, she told me, she said, ‘Now don’t you post that on Facebook for my family to see.’ That was my cue to post it. So I posted it and she said, ‘Cindy, you just wouldn’t believe — my family is calling me and asking me what in the world I’m doing there.’ She says, ‘I’m

living life.’

“So it’s amazing to see the interaction they had with [the horses] because like Ms. Modene was raised on a farm and she hasn’t been around farm animals in forever. And then there’s Mr. Rob. ... You couldn’t keep that man away from [the] horses,” she said, adding a horse that is boarding at KTR Farms in Adairsville also interacted with the tenants. “He just loved them, loved them.”

In the process of becoming a 501c3, Greener Ways currently is a charitable organization led by Keri Davidson, who is the owner of KTR Farms. Along with Tess, the operation also features about 15 of KTR Farms’ therapeutic horses.

“I own KTR Farms, which we do riding lessons and training of horses and boarding,” Davidson said. “... [One of my employees, Jessica Nguyen] actually is a therapist and we talked and wanted to form Greener Ways as an outreach and a service to the community. So probably about a year and a half ago, we started the organization and it just has been really hard to get it off the ground.

“So then a friend of a client donated the miniature horse that we have and ... that’s who was there [at The Cove Apartments]. Her name’s Tess. Our goal with Tess — she’s a therapy mini — is to go into senior centers and children’s homes and hospitals and just let horses be brought to children and seniors and let them experience that because a lot of people are hospital bound or homebound [and] can’t get out [to] a farm.”

For Davidson, it is “wonderful” to see people of all ages interact with Greener Ways’ horses. Along with the abundance of smiles, she said it was fun to watch the reactions of The Cove Apartments’ tenants when learning Tess was 13 years old and not a small foal.

“A lot of the seniors reminisce about when they were younger, how they [lived] on farms and how they had horses,” Davidson said. “So it brought back memories to them that they just wanted to talk about and share.

“With our youth, a lot of our youth are actually troubled youth or youth at-risk basically. It makes them forget about what’s going on in their situation and they actually want to come back to the farm. They want to brush Tess. They want to braid her mane. They want to lead her around. It just helps them emotionally forget about for [the] time being all their problems and issues that they’re having in their life.”

For more information on Greener Ways, visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/greenerwaysinc/info or call Nguyen at 770-354-0493 or Davidson at 404-392-1103.