Miniature Horse Visits VA Hospital

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COLUMBIA - A miniature horse named Cookie made a visit to the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital Friday.  The small brown horse spent time with residents led around by owner Carol Parmenter.  Parmenter owns Butterfly Hills Farm in El Dorado Springs, Mo. She said she's been doing therapeutic visits with her horses for nearly eight years.

"It gets them talking, gets them reminiscing about their past," Parmenter said. "Kind of gets their minds off some of their physical and/or mental challenges and it just brings a smile to people's face."

The hospital has been a host to dogs, choirs but never a miniature horse like Cookie.

"Time goes kind of slow you know, and these excitements move things right along you know, makes a difference," VA resident Robert Brauer said.

Parmenter also takes her horses on visits to schools, pre-schools and nursing homes.