Miniature Horses Help Stressed Passengers
Anyone who is lucky enough to own an animal will know how therapeutic they can be. Research consistently shows that interacting with animals helps to relieve stress and lowers human blood pressure. A wide variety of animals are now part of therapeutic programmes to help everyone from military veterans with PTSD to the elderly in care homes. Now animals, including miniature horses, are even helping to calm airline passengers in American airports.
Airport Therapy Dogs
In the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, therapy dogs are being used at more and more airports across the pond. San Jose, California was the first airport to introduce the dogs. The success of this initiative has seen others follow suit. There are now 30 American airports that feature therapy dogs on certain days each month.
But dogs are not the only animals which can be highly effective in calming airline passengers. San Francisco airport features a therapy pig! Now that is quite something! Better still, Cincinnati/Northern Ohio Airport has introduced miniature horses to help calm passengers.
Horses at Check-In!
Providing emotional support to those who pass through the airport, the mini equines help to calm down stressed travellers. The horses visit the airport two days a month and they are found adjacent to the check-in area. The miniature horses are provided by which also offers horses as therapy animals to care homes for the elderly and university campuses at exam time. There are 34 miniature therapy horses at the farm.
In addition to creating the feel-good factor, the horses could be helping to prevent trouble in the airport and on board aircraft. Happier passengers are less likely to lose their cool. Travelling is stressful for a variety of reasons and so airline staff frequently find themselves having to deal with unruly customers who have snapped under the pressure of late and cancelled flights, lost luggage and a fear of flying. An encounter with horses could make all the difference.
What About Calming the Horses?
So, the horses are the helping humans but isn’t the airport a rather stressful environment for the horses too? Carers train the horses to cope with the hustle and bustle of the airport so that they are happy in their work. They are so popular that some travellers are deliberately scheduling their journeys to coincide with the horses’ visits.
Many passengers have thanked the team from Seven Oaks for being there. They have confirmed that horses provided the support that they needed before getting onto the aircraft. The travellers don’t ever seem to tire of seeing the horses which have become a major draw with visitors of all ages. The horses, which include little chaps called Dakota and Teddy, are an innovative move which really works wonders.
Hopefully airline passengers in the UK will be able to enjoy the benefits of therapy animals at some point in the future.