Safe Haven Horse Rescue Center helps horses and people (VIDEO)

safe haven horse thorner crestview pegasus

Crestview resident Melissa Thorner strokes the nose of Pegasus, a miniature horse, during a recent visit to Safe Haven Horse Rescue Center in Laurel Hill. Thorner — who is recovering from a double mastectomy — found visiting with Safe Haven’s horses to be therapeutic.

Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 04:50 PM.

LAUREL HILL — Safe Haven Horse Rescue Center rehabilitates and finds homes for abandoned and neglected members of the equine species, but the horses themselves can help rehabilitate and provide comfort for those in need.

Safe Haven can care and provide shelter for 15 to 20 horses at a time on its 20 acres of land.  

WATCH Jim Bryan train a horse>>

Jim Bryan, the center’s director and a decorated military veteran, said interacting with the horses is therapeutic for disabled residents and those recovering from surgery.

Melissa Thorner — a Crestview resident who recently received a double mastectomy with a reconstruction procedure — can attest to that. She found her experience at Safe Haven, shared with her 16-year-old son, Quinn McCardie, peaceful and therapeutic.

"It was pretty amazing," she said. "(The horses) are amazingly gentle.”

A compression sleeve that helps with blood flow in Thorner’s right arm has elicited public stares, but that’s not the case at Safe Haven.

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