Miniature therapy horses make for sweet visitors inside Naples assisted living community – NBC2 News

NAPLES, Fla. – Alice Taylor has spent more than 20 years living within the Vi at Bentley Village senior living community in Naples. Never before has she received visitors like the ones she got last week. 

“Well look at that,” Alice exclaimed as the guests trotted in.

They were a pair of miniature horses from the Naples Therapeutic Riding Center. 

Alice, who now resides within assisted living at Vi, couldn’t stop smiling by the visit. 

“My favorite part is when we come in and everyone gasps with joy and excitement,” Missy Lamont, the NTRC executive director, said. “That’s all it is – just bringing that moment of joy.” 

Since their arrival at the center earlier this year, the horses have been visiting several senior communities in the Naples area. “Horses live in the moment,” Missy said. “They don’t think about what happened to them last week or yesterday and when you’re with a horse you have to be in the moment as well.” 

Smiling next to Alice throughout the visit was General Bernard Weiss, a fellow assisted living resident. He moved into the facility two months ago after losing his wife. 

“It’s been lonely,” Bernard said. “You can’t be married for 65 years and not be lonely after your spouse leaves.” 

But once he saw a miniature horse trot in, he couldn’t help but feel less lonely. 

“You see something like this, you smile,” Alice said.