AppleJack Therapy was started in 2015 by sisters Emily and Anna Hoffmann seeking to spread happiness and laughter through the companionship of a miniature horse while raising awareness of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.
Anna has been living with EDS type III hypermobility her entire life. EDS is a genetic disease affecting the soft connective tissue of the body.  It allows for joints to dislocate and causes much pain and damage. This disease not only affects her but her family as well. 

One of the things bringing the entire family happiness during these times is the friendship of horses. Realizing the healing affect horses have on Anna, the sisters purchased a miniature horse training it to provide therapy for others. As a result, AppleJack Therapy Foundation was founded, raising awareness of EDS through the companionship of a miniature horse.


How do you potty train a mini?
          Patience, patience, patience. 

How long do minis live?
          25-35 years

Do minis get along with big horses?
          It depends on the mini, but AppleJack loves our big horses. 

What fun activities do your minis do?
          Sometimes they come inside to watch TV. Other times, they play in the baby pool.
          AppleJack loves water. He'll stand and paw at the water for hours. They also take walks
          in the park or drive a cart. 

How much do minis weight?
          It depends on the size and height, but an average adult may weigh between 150-250

Benefits of Pet Therapy

Therapy in the simplest terms is healing and in pet therapy, an animal assists in that healing. Animals are unique in many ways, starting with their strong senses. Since most animals have built-in survival skills, they are able to pick up on one's individual cues and emotions better than the average human. They are nonjudgemental and accepting which allow for relationships to be formed. Often times, animals are the icebreakers during new introductions easing everyone's nerves and anxiety. Pet therapy not only offers many physical health benefits but also promotes good mental health. The presence and even touch of an animal can lower one's blood pressure by releasing endorphins that calm the body. The act of petting can reduce the amount of medication a patient needs because of the automatic relaxation response. During visits, individuals' spirits are lifted, smiles are more prevalent, and the art of conversation is encouraged. Animals provide comfort while increasing socialization and reducing boredom and anxiety. 

While most pet therapy is provided with dogs, horses have a unique quality about them. Every child sometime in their life has wanted to be a cowboy or cowgirl. When miniature therapy horses are used in children's hospitals, this dream can come true. Their small size and gentle eyes make them easy to approach without any intimidation. Their uncommon presence makes for a special experience they will remember for a lifetime.