“Well, it is something different than what they usually see,” said Bert Wright of the visits she and her 200-pound mini-horse, Buster, frequently make to patients in nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Volusia and Flagler Counties. “He’s very gentle and he just loves to be loved.”

Wright has been a volunteer with Haven Hospice since 2013. She has helped with several community events, regularly takes Buster to visit assisted living facilities, and is planning to hold her fourth fundraising event for Haven.

“I really enjoy taking Buster to visit with patients,” said Wright who chose to volunteer with Haven after her husband, John, received hospice care through Haven. “I think the fun and joy that it brings to people at this stage in their lives is what’s most rewarding. The look on their faces when they meet Buster is priceless. Patients often talk to him and touch him, it really is amazing.”

Wright’s next fundraising event, Show Your Hand for Haven Hospice Equine Poker Ride, will be held on March 26. “John just loved Haven, he was always so happy when Haven employees would come to visit,” she said. “It really means a lot to me to hold these events to benefit Haven. My goal is to get everything needed for the events donated so that everything collected at the event goes right to Haven.”

The Show Your Hand for Haven Hospice Equine Poker Ride will be held at the Lake George Conservation Area. Horse and rider will wind through seven miles of woods and hammocks while immersing themselves in the natural wildlife which includes whitetail deer and bald eagles. For more information on this event, visit www.havenhospice.org/showyourhand