Magic – Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses

Owned and trained by: Jorge Garcia-Bengochea

Breed/Discipline: American Miniature Horse / Therapy Horse 

Date of Birth: 2008

Location: Ocala, Florida


History, Career Highlights, and Future Goals

Therapy horse Magic works with Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses, an award winning 501(c)(3) non-profit charity celebrating 25 years of service in 2022.

Magic was called in to comfort survivors and first responders of the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC and the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL. She helped the tornado survivors of Moore, OK, victims of the fires in Gatlinburg, TN, families in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, families and first responders after the condo collapse in Surfside, FL and visits thousands of patients in children’s and veterans hospitals across the country each year.

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses have also been asked to visit Congress in Washington, D.C., Arlington National Cemetery and the 911 Memorial in NYC. They helped teach a class at Columbia Medical School, were invited to meet the twin baby pandas at Zoo Atlanta, have been on the concert stage in Nashville, Tennessee and performed with the Dance Alive National Ballet.

Working indoors would be a challenge for any horse but Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses make it look easy, even in high rise hospital buildings. The therapy horses walk up and down steps, ride in elevators, walk on unusual floor surfaces, carefully move around hospital and television studio equipment, work in small patient rooms and stay calm around unexpected sounds like ambulances, alarms and hospital helicopters… and yes they are house trained.

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses go through a two year basic in-hospital training program but are always learning new skills. The horses work with medical professionals in oncology units, the ICU, and with occupational, speech and physical therapists as part of the treatment for patients who have suffered strokes, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, amputations and burns.

Read more about Gentle Carousel in the bestselling book Mini Horse, Mighty Hope: How a Herd of Miniature Horses Provides Comfort and Healing (Revell Publishing), a #1 New Release in Inspiration & Spirituality Books, an Amazon Bestseller, a Bookspan Featured Selection, a Bookspan Bestseller and an EQUUS Film and Arts Festival Literary Winner.

Magic works with medical professionals in oncology units, the ICU, and with occupational, speech and physical therapists as part of the treatment for patients who have suffered strokes, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, amputations and burns.

Magic was in The Magic of the Nutcracker on stage with the Dance Alive National Ballet for children who are blind or deaf. They experienced the all-time family favorite by sitting right on the stage, feeling vibrations through the floor and speakers, and touching the costumes and dancers to see the art through their fingertips.

Gentle Carousel’s literacy program Reading Is Magic, with teams of volunteer educators, inspires young readers and “brings books to life”. Magic and her equine friends work inside schools, libraries, with mentoring programs, at literacy events and at education resource centers in high crime neighborhoods with a focus on at-risk readers. Therapy horses from Gentle Carousel are featured in many of the children’s books used in the program.

Some of Magic’s Honors:

Magic is a Breyer Portrait Model Horse.
One of History’s 10 Most Courageous Animals – TIME Magazine
Most Heroic Pet In America – AARP
Reader’s Digest Power of One Hero
One of the 10 Most Heroic Animals of 2010 – Newsweek
2014 E.T. York Distinguished Service Award
One of Seven Most Notable Animal Heroes in the World – The Daily Mirror 2014
125 Stories of Amazing Pets: Inspiring Tales of Animal Friendship and Four-legged Heroes by National Geographic -2014
Honorary Deputy – Alachua County Sheriff’s Office
Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition
Autism Paws of Honor Award
Pet Hero of the Year – 2016
American Red Cross A Hero Among Us Outstanding Service Award – 2016
The Book of Heroes by National Geographic – 2017
Ronald McDonald House Caring and Sharing Award – 2017
The Dog in the Dentist Chair: And other true stories of animals who help, comfort, and love kids by Paraclete Press – 2019
Haven Hospice
Volunteer of the Year Service Award – 2019
Animal Superheroes by Scholastic Books – 2020
Shining World Award – 2020
Florida Veterinary Medical Association Hall of Fame
United States Equestrian Federation/Equus Foundation Horse Stars Hall of Fame
Heroic Animals by Hodder & Stoughton Publishers UK – 2021
Mini Horse, Mighty Hope by Revell Publishing – October 2021
CNN’s The Good Stuff – 2022
Officer Magic – Ocala Police Department
Certificate of Senate Recognition
Flag flown over U.S. Capital for Service to the United States – 2022
Can’t Get Enough Horse Stuff by National Geographic Kids Books – 2023
Bronze Plaque on the Walk of Champions – Autumn of 2023
Magic is a Breyer Portrait Model Horse.
2023 Rikki Mitchell Memorial Animal Achievement Award – The Florida Bar
Hero Horse: A Magical True Story – 2023 Manhattan Film Festival Award Winner

Featured Media:

National Geographic, Animal Planet, USA Today, CNN, TIME, Newsweek, Today Show, Woman’s World, NPR, American Profile, Inside Edition, Access Hollywood, Fox News, CBS News, ABC News, PBS, AARP the Magazine, NBC News, The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Business Insider, Daily Mirror, Animals and You, Blaze, People Pets, Reader’s Digest, The Dodo, Dogster, Daily Mail, Little Things, Closer, Modern Dog, The Martha Stewart Show, New York Daily News, Country Magazine, Univision, AP, Slate, TMZ, Southern Living Magazine, Daily Telegraph, All Creatures/Guidepost, iHola!, Best Friends FurEver with Kel Mitchell (CBS), Woman’s Day, In Touch, New York Post, LA Times, MSNBC, The CW, Telemundo, The Hill, Parade Magazine, People Magazine… and many more.

Why Do You Use Omega Fields Products?

“The horses and the livestock guardian dogs at Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses love the taste of their treats from Omega Fields and we love the quality.

People often ask what products we use. We have been giving the therapy horses Omega Nibblers® Low Sugar & Starch treat supplements for many years because we want them to have the best. It is important to us that the horses have treats that are not loaded with sugar or molasses and other ingredients we are careful about. We also use Omega Horseshine.

We feel the same about the Omega Smart Hearts and Omega Canine Shine that we give our team of Maremma sheepdogs… the “Guardian Angels.” The dogs live with and protect the therapy horses so they can have a natural life in a lifelong herd and move safely over many acres everyday.”