GLEN ARM, Md. (AP) — After a 32-year career, Merlin the horse is still working to help people at an age when most horses have retired to pasture.
The Baltimore Sun reports that the chestnut steed has been named the American Morgan Horse Association’s 2011 Therapy Horse of the Year.
Merlin, who resides at Rose of Sharon Equestrian School in Glen Arm, is trained in equine therapy. He helps improve the quality of life for children with autism and other special needs.
The 1,100-pound horse has learned to adjust his pace to timid and slower riders. He waits patiently as disabled riders are helped into the saddle.
With the recognition comes a halter with his nameplate and, in March, a display of his photos and accomplishments at the organization’s national conference in Orlando, Fla.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)