Rygambo (AKA Gummy Bear) is a Delta therapy horse. She is not an equine riding horse thus people do not ride her. So what does she actually do?
She inspires, entertains, provides comfort and the experience of being with a horse. And she loves.
For many of the patients and long-term residents at Boulder City Hospital, visiting with Gummy brings back sense memories. Many had horses throughout their lives while some had never interacted with a full-size horse before. But all were excited to take a field trip to visit with Gummy at her stables.
Seven clients were driven to the stables and had a full experience with three horses. Gummy is the only Delta horse, meaning she has been passed the rigorous Delta evaluation and deemed safe to be with the public, thus she the only horse they could physically interact with. But there were other horses they could observe from a distance with demonstrations of riding bareback barrel jumping.
But Gummy was definitely the star because everyone could touch her, feed her and love on her. And she was meant for this work.
Gummy is twenty three years old and so well suited for this new career. Her temperament is solid and steady, her love for people is palpable and her attention to her owner stellar. Gummy’s owner has three Delta Dogs as well and is very comfortable working with the public and has the ability to interact with people while 100% watching over her animal.
One client, who had horses in her life, did not want to go near Gummy or touch or feed her. She sat quietly in her seat watching the others. What was going through her mind? Perhaps it was too sad for her to be near a horse so like those she had loved in her past. Perhaps it brought back too many happy memories and overwhelmed her. But by the end of an hour she stood up and slowly walked towards the front of the fence where we let everyone greet Gummy. She reached out her hand for us to give her the carrot for Gummy and the biggest smile crossed her face. She was ready to meet this exquisite horse and the day was deemed a true success as everyone had now experienced the love of this amazing horse – close up and personal.
The Boulder City Review was there covering Gummy’s visit for the newspaper and everyone was so excited to be “interviewed.”
Gummy will have many more field trips scheduled to meet her as well as visits to bring her to other locations. Las Vegas’ first Delta therapy horse has her work cut out for her and she is most certainly up to the challenge.