Therapy mini horses calm nervous flyers at Cincinnati airport

By Ben Hooper  |  May 15, 2017 at 12:53 PM
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May 15 (UPI) -- An airport near the Ohio-Kentucky border is helping to ease the stresses of flying by introducing passengers to a team of therapy miniature horses.

The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Ky., currently employs some of the mini horses from Ohio's Seven Oaks Farm to visit the ticketing area twice a month to meet with passengers.

Lisa Moad, owner of the farm and keeper of 34 therapy horses, said the visits have been a huge hit with passengers.

Moad told NPR that passengers reported "that it made them feel much better, kind of calmed down, took a deep breath. A lot of them thank us for being there at that time because they needed that little bit of support before they get on the plane."

Airport officials said they were initially considering a therapy dog program like those employed by several U.S. airports, until they heard about Moad and her horses. San Francisco International Airport also recently took the less-traveled route by hiring a therapy pig.

Cincinnati airport official Wendi Orlando hailed the horse program's success.

"It's just to ease anxiety levels, put smiles on faces. Clearly that's working," she said. "When you look at the passengers walking by, it just never gets old. They love seeing the horses."

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