Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding: The Smile Tour
Every week Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to recognize those doing good in the horse world. This week we recognize Robin and Wil Guernsey and the Humane Society of the United States for their efforts to bring joy to seniors in isolation due to COVID-19.
For seniors in assisted living facilities, the stay at home and social distancing orders related to COVID-19 have hit especially hard. Due to the risk at which the virus puts seniors, many assisted living facilities haves shut down to outside guests to avoid contamination. As a result, many seniors are unable to see their families.
In an attempt to ease some of the loneliness and isolation of these seniors, Robin and Wil Guernsey of Cambridge, WI, partnered with the Humane Society of the United States on The Smile Tour. The tour was created to bring joy to seniors living in assisted living facilities who were unable to see their families on Easter Sunday due to COVID-19.
Robin and Wil own five Icelandic Horses and they pictures of the herd to spread positive messages through social media. On Sunday, April 12, 2020, Robin and Wil moved beyond the digital realm and brought their horses to three different assisted living homes with HSUS Wisconsin State Director, Megan Nicholson.
The horses and one rescue dog interacted with the residents behind closed doors and shut windows, to ensure there was no risk of spreading the virus.
Megan Nicholson said: “With the fear and uncertainty that Covid-19 has brought, I wanted to help ease worry and bring happiness to those unable to see their families. With Easter traditionally being a day spent with family, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to spread love and compassion. Plus, who doesn’t love a horse in bunny ears? There’s something magical about horses. They represent freedom, wisdom and have a zest for life. For me and my friend Robin, animals are family and we wanted to share the love they give us. They were the perfect conduit for spreading joy.”
Seeing the residents’ reactions to the animals makes clear that the efforts of Nicholson and the Guernseys were successful.
Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.