Why the long face? Mini horses ease stress as students gallop towards finals


Many universities throughout the country bring in dogs to help students relieve stress during finals, but at the University of Minnesota Duluth they got to pet two miniature therapy horses.

Spanky and Peanut – just 31 and 28 inches tall – were on the university's campus Tuesday as part of the Pet Away Worry and Stress (PAWS) program, UMD says. And they drew a big crowd.

“I didn’t see that coming. That is awesome,” junior Brent Johnson, surprised to find horses on campus, told the Duluth News Tribune. “I kind of wanted to ride, to be honest — but they are still fun to play with, too.”

This embed is invalid

Spanky and Peanut are registered with Pet Partners Therapy Animal Program and ambassadors for The Windchill Legacy, a nonprofit based in Superior, Wisconsin, that aims to end the abuse and neglect of horses. With Windchill Legacy, the two mini horses typically visit schools and assisted living centers.

The horses were also joined by their taller friend Diesel, a dog who stands 33 inches tall, the Duluth News Tribune says. As well as some dogs and cats from Animal Allies, according to The Windchill Legacy's Facebook page.

Animals and pets are known stress relievers and even petting an animal for just a little while can be beneficial to your well-being, animal expert Arden Moore told Today.

Research dating back to the early 1980s supports this idea. Pets have been shown to lower blood pressure, improve recovery from heart disease and other diseases, as well as improve people's psychological well-being and self-esteem, according to Harvard University.

Now back to the mini horses:

This embed is invalid

Next Up

Zach Parise

Ghosts of Wild's past force split with Sharks

Brent Burns and Ryan Donato thwarted a comeback attempt by the Wild.

Avante Dickerson

Top-ranked recruit Avante Dickerson decommits from Gopher football

The four-star cornerback was the highest-rated recruit in Minnesota's 2021 class.

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Limits on in-person court activity extended for 45 days

The statewide order extends current limitations through March 15.

D'Angelo Russell / Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves need more from D'Angelo Russell

The Wolves haven't gotten what they expected since making a blockbuster trade.

oct. 20 snow crash

Spinouts, crashes still happening after snow leaves MN roads a mess

The snow storm caused at least 208 crashes this weekend.


For The Week: Food tips and tricks to get you through the next 7 days

BMTN's food writer Lindsay Guentzel makes life easier for Minnesotans.

snow, plow

Here's how much snow fell in Saturday's storm in Minnesota

MSP Airport had the highest total as of 7 a.m. Sunday with 5.3 inches.

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 3.17.49 PM

No KAT? No D'Lo? No problem as Timberwolves defeat Pelicans

The Timberwolves were without Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, but still picked up a (SCORE) win.

Screen Shot 2021-01-23 at 7.53.44 PM

Spinouts, crashes across Twin Cities as snow gets heavier

There have been multiple incidents across the metro area.

Mason Branstrator

Family, friends raising funds for teen soccer standout with spinal injury

Mason Branstrator of Duluth was injured in a skiing accident.