Our next new member of the VVMA Animal Hall of Fame is Needles,
a 29 year old Quarter horse owned by Sandy Nunn. Needles lives
on Freedom Farm in Jericho, VT and was nominated by VVMA member
veterinarian, Dr. Steve Barningham.
Needles helps perform physical and mental therapy for disabled riders.
Her first rider was Paula who was referred to Sandy for therapeutic riding by the Sterling Association in VT. Paula became disabled due to a serious accident. Her mental processes, memory and balance are all severely affected. Needles tolerates difficult and awkward mounts and dismounts, constant weight shifting, leg swinging and arm movements without complaining. Sandy originally thought that Paula could only be led around for her ride; however, after working with Needles, Paula is now able to ride without assistance. She can steer, stop and avoid obstacles all on her own and her balance has improved dramatically.
Needles has proven to be such a tolerant and helpful horse to disabled riders she now has 4 disabled riders in all. Needles has also changed Sandy's life in that Sandy is now pursuing certification as a therapeutic riding instructor.
The VVMA would like to induct Needles into the Vermont Animal Hall of Fame in the Therapy Animal Category.