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Shetland ponies attract people of all ages

Tucky Howard

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[media-credit id=30 align=”alignnone” width=”400″]Shetland ponies attract people of all ages[/media-credit]

McNiel leads Zachery (white) and Patches (donkey) to kids at SJCC on Oct. 26.

DeamPower Horesmanship celebrated National Disability Awareness month at San Jose City College.

This event was a big hit near the Student Center. Martha C. McNiel, DreamPower director, provided the main attraction of Shetland ponies on Oct. 26.

The national effort to educate the American public about relating employment to disability began in 1945, when congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.”

Congress changed the length from a week to a month in 1988.

In 1962, the word “physically” was taken out to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities.

“A horse healed me from a brain injury I had last year,” said Kim Chen, an Instructional assistant for our disabled students program.

She said she believes in the healing power of horses and other animals.

The horses,Trigger, Patches, Zachry and Choco ate their hay, walked around the horse pen letting SJCC students and children pet them.

Michelle Loredo, 22, majoring in early childhood education stopped by the event and pet the horses.The horses were “so cute,” Loredo said.

With soft thick hair and cute appearance, the horses won the crowd over and many could not resist petting and talking to them.

“It was a nice break from a chaotic day,” Loredo said. DreamPower has been in business since 2002. They go to several disability and senior facilities to help patients enjoy life, feel better and help socialize.

Sometimes agencies come to the DreamPower property, located in Gilroy, to see the horses and other animals.

The feeding and care of the DreamPower animals is provided by volunteers and paid employees.
Sofina Valdez, 23, is new to the DreamPower team. This was her first week volunteering and she said, “I love volunteering with the animals.”

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Shetland ponies attract people of all ages