DETROIT -

Some Detroit students headed to class on Wednesday got to meet a new furry friend.

The K-5 students at Rutherford Winans Academy in Detroit were given the opportunity to pet and ride four horses.

"I feel happy sitting down on the horse and the hair,” said one student.

It's all part of Horses Heal Hearts of Michigan. It's an organization started by Beaumont nurse, Karen Whitefoot. And with Wednesday being count day, it's encouraging students to attend school.

"I think the horses are healing the hearts of these students by showing them the community cares,” said Whitefoot. “The community cares about these kids. We want them in school. It's important. It's important that they're here for count day."

Horses on Detroit count day

For some of these students, they've never seen a horse up close, let alone gotten a chance to ride one. The organization brings happiness to the students and shares the therapeutic value of horses.

"The kids are having so much fun,” said Whitefoot. “If you look around you can see they're interacting with the ponies.”

Horses Heal Hearts is a new organization, only 11 months old. This is the first time they've brought the animals to a local school.