The amazing connection horses and donkeys can make with elderly people is now well established.
And on a visit to Colne House care home Secret the Shetland pony certainly proved she has star potential.
Visiting residents in their rooms as well as the lounge, the five-year-old pony was greeted like a VIP.
Victoria Franklin, deputy manager of the Kingsley Healthcare home in Earls Colne, near Halstead, Essex, said: “It was amazing to see the residents’ eyes light up. One of our ladies has advanced dementia and yet she made an immediate connection with Secret.”
Activities coordinator Angela Caldwell said: “Residents and staff alike had a wonderful time with Secret and we are all looking forward to future visits.
“One of our residents, Ivan Arthey, reminisced about being a young boy and seeing a milk float pulled by a horse.”
Nikki Birch, owner of The Ramblers Riding Club, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, said Secret had no experience when Secret went on her first care home visit – but she turned out to be a “natural”.
“Secret is never fazed by anything and simply loves it. We visit hospitals as well as residential care homes and she will go into residents’ bedrooms and even up and down in the lift,” she said.
Find out more: Colne House care home
Author: Stephen Pullinger