Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center horizontal divider Meeting Carmella

Mini Troopers Program

The Mini Troopers program utilizes a miniature horse and outreach team to facilitate the well-being of special needs populations who can benefit from the human-animal bond. The Mini Troopers program is designed to educate and provide human-animal contact for children and adults resulting in a multitude of documented benefits.

The Delta Society (2007) reports that animal assisted activities (AAA) may provide the following benefits to adults and children: empathy building, outward focus, nurturing skills, rapport building, acceptance, entertainment, socialization, mental stimulation, physical contact and touch, physiological benefits, and feelings of meaning in connection to the physical world. AAA, such as bringing a trained miniature horse to meet with participants, is meant to facilitate growth in the aforementioned categories as a natural source of healing in our community.

CTRC’s miniature horse, Carmella, is a registered member of the Delta Society’s Pet Partners program, which upholds standards of professionalism in the field of animal-assisted activities (AAA). Carmella has also been specially trained in the Parelli Savvy System, a method which "allows horse lovers at all levels and disciplines to achieve: success without force, partnership without dominance, teamwork without fear, willingness without intimidation, and harmony without coercion" (Parelli Natural Horsemanship, 2007).

Carmella and her outreach team are available for visits to community groups, schools, assisted care facilities, nursing homes, and other community partners. Educational programming on the human-animal bond is also available. Contact , for available scheduling, fees, and more information.

"It was so wonderful to watch the residents interact with Carmella. The smiles on all of their faces when it was their turn to pet her was heartwarming. She was so calm while inside our community, that it made for such an enjoyable experience for not only our residents, but our staff."
— Kelly M., Sterling House of Brighton  

Oh, the places I have been...

  • PetCo (Longmont)
  • Boulder ManorCare
  • Petite Academy (Louisville)
  • Central Elementary
  •   Prairie Ridge Elementary
  • The Bridge, Assisted Living
  • Tiny Tim
  • The Marriott (Longmont)
  • Sanchez Elementary
  • Bear Creek Elementary
  • Bright Horizons   • Our Childcare Center
  • Boulder County Fair   • First Presbyterian Church
  • Frasier Meadows   • The Sterling House
  • Colt Repro   • Lafayette Elementary
  • CSU Early Childhood Center   • Sunrise Assisted Living
  • Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence

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Carmella on 9 News Storytellers

Carmella and Scarlett featured in the Longmont Daily Times Call! In the News

Facts about Carmella:

  • I'm a miniature horse
  • I am 30" tall
  •   I weigh 250 lbs
  • I love to eat hay and grass
  • My birthday is April 1, 2002
  • In my free time, I like to play with my daughter, Scarlet

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