Chapin, SC 07/08/2021 (Paul Kirby) – Wednesday afternoon wasn’t just another day at Generations Assisted Living in Chapin, SC. After lunch, excitement amongst the residents began to build as word passed around that there would be some special visitors stopping by about 2:00 p.m. The visitors were J.D. Kneece and Tyler Gault, both with Kneece Performance Horses and River View Quarter Horses. They were accompanied by a beautiful mare named Annie and a muscled out equine athlete, a Quarter Horse whose name is Tyrone.
Thirty minutes before the J.D. and his crew arrived, the excitement had built to the point that a large crowd was gathering just inside the front door. Slowly but steadily, senior citizens, most in wheelchairs or leaning on walkers, began to spill out onto the front patio. Few could contain their excitement as J.D. turned in with his truck pulling a long multi-horse trailer. When Anne and Tyrone unloaded, some waved, others pointed and commented excitedly to friends, but everyone had one reaction in common. They all had huge smiles on their faces.
This is the second year that J.D. Kneece has brought some of his horses to Generations to visit. He does this on a voluntary basis and says that the reaction of the seniors is more than enough pay. He selects horse that are gentle and well socialized because most everyone wants to pet and closely interact with the majestic animal.
Lots of pictures are taken and held closely as a special keepsake. Although Generations has activities for its residents all the time, you could easily tell this visit was one of the most popular things they have done.
Many of the residents began to talk about days when they were younger. It was surprising how many said they had owned horses at some point in their lives. One dear lady had to repeat over and over that she had owned her own Tennessee Walking Horse at one point just to make sure everyone heard her and knew.
As the group gathered around J.D. and Tyler for a group photo with Annie and Tyrone on each side, one staff member said, “This is so good for them to get outside and be with these horses. They’re the happiest I’ve seen them in a long time.” I’ll second that!