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STAR mini horses bring joy to East Tennesseans in need of a smile

The minis spark joy wherever they go.

Live at Five at Four had some small visitors Friday who do big things for the community: four mini horses!

Bentley, Flash, Honey and Hodie are mini horses with Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding, or STAR. The non-profit offers a special type of therapy called 'Minis in Motion.' 

The miniature horses and donkeys at STAR go on "field trips" to places like schools, nursing homes and assisted living facilities to provide personal development and emotional well-being.

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The minis wear shoes and 'diapers' so they can head inside without making a mess and spark joy wherever they go. 

"It's overall joy from anyone who sees them. They like the attention and they like to interact with people, and they certainly do their jobs well," STAR volunteer coordinator Julia Stewart said.

As you can see from their Live at Five at Four appearance -- these mini horses are very personable and popular with people of all ages. They certainly made our day!