‘Horsin’ Around’ at the Dodge County Fairgrounds
They were “Horsin’ Around” at the Dodge County Fairgrounds Sunday afternoon as the Dodge County Saddle Club put on a free event.
Area residents were invited to come to the fairgrounds and learn about horses. There were pony rides for the kids, Bruce Ebnet was giving wagon rides to everyone who was willing to climb on and there were hot dogs, chips and pop.
Bonnie Prestegaard was on hand with two of her miniature horses, Gracie and Pearl.
Gracie and Pearl, along with a third horse, Billy the Kid, are therapy horses, Prestegaard explained.
Like other therapy animals, she said, they bring smiles, happiness and peace to hearts that need healing.
She regularly takes her horses to Seasons Hospice in Rochester as well as various nursing and group homes in the area.
Many of the people they visit had horses of their own at one time, Prestegaard said, and miss them.
Miniature horses are small enough, she said, that they can go into buildings and small places. They even are comfortable taking elevators and doing steps, she said.
The horses put on a little show for the residents, she said, and “give kisses” and allow themselves to be petted. They even have several outfits to wear during their visits.
Not too far from Gracie and Pearl’s trailer, Dave Prouty was showing youngsters and adults how to shoe a horse.
Prouty, who lives in Mantorville, makes his living trimming hooves and shoeing horses.
He learned the trade at a horseshoeing school in Oklahoma and now travels throughout southeastern Minnesota to area to wherever the horses are to remove the old shoes, trim the hooves and nail a new shoe on.