Blind horse changing lives

Posted: Updated:

MESA, Ariz. -- A safe haven for children going through some tough home situations has added a new member to its family. Sunshine Acres in northeast Mesa has more than a dozen horses that are used for therapy. Recently, they welcomed Tilly, a blind horse.

Tilly is a former race horse with more than 20 trophies under her belt. At the age of 20, she’s gone blind because of a disease called uveitis.  But the disease hasn’t stopped her.

“ She’s a miracle horse,” said Rhane Shults, a child who lives at Sunshine Acres.

Tilly is part of the Two Hearts Horsemanship Program that’s on the ranch. The program helps the children rebuild their relationships.

“They’ve learned adults can’t be trusted," said Cindy Jones, the director of Two Hearts Horsemanship. "Through the horses, we’re able to bring them into a situation where they can interact with a horse that will provide unconditional love,”

Jones says the children who live on the ranch come from difficult childhoods, and being separated from their parents isn’t easy.  Through horse therapy, especially with Tilly, they’re able to feel loved and important again.

“Being blind, you can’t see. So Tilly has a lot of trust in you. It’s really a big responsibility and an honor for a horse to trust you so much,” said Kaley Brown, a child who lives at Sunshine Acres.

The children who live at Sunshine Acres can stay as long as they need. The organization runs solely on donations and it's always looking for volunteers.

For more information about Sunshine Acres or to get involved, visit SunShineAcres.org or call 480-832-2540.