A tiny miniature horse who works as an equine therapist has received a prestigious award for her work.
Mystery, a nine-year-old grey and silver dapple miniature horse, is the recipient of the Washington International Horse Show Honor and Service Award, sponsored by the Equus Foundation. Mystery is only 26 inches tall but despite her small stature, the impact she has had serving those in her community is quite large.
Mystery — registered name “Houck’s Islay Mystery of the Gospel” — works for the Soul Harbour Ranch in Barrington, Illinois, and became a registered team member with national animal therapy organisation Pet Partners in May, 2013. Mystery and her handlers have visited hundreds of places including hospitals, schools, hospice, community events and libraries, spreading comfort, joy, and solace wherever she goes.
“We can’t think of a more deserving little horse. She is truly priceless,” said Jodie Diegel RN, MBA, Founder/President of Soul Harbour Ranch. “What makes Mystery truly exceptional is her willingness to trust in her handlers and handle various environments, even new, without hesitation.”
Mystery has had a life-changing impact on the many children and adults she serves and helps the Soul Harbour Ranch achieve their mission of enriching lives by promoting the unconditional love and healing of the human-animal bond, while advocating for animal therapy standards of excellence.
The WIHS Honor and Service Award was created in 2013 following the induction of Klinger into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame in 2013. Klinger, a member of the Caisson platoon of the 3rd United States Infantry (The Old Guard), was the inspiration for the award and its first recipient. The Honor and Service Award recognizes a horse, individual, or organization that best demonstrates the values of honor and service as embodied by Klinger.
Mystery will be recognized at the Washington International Horse Show, which is being held October 21-25, 2020 at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina.