Therapy ponies visit Residents at South Yorkshire care homeWhat a day it was at Swallownest care home, in Sheffield, as Residents were visited by an unlikely duo who popped in for a chin wag and some cuddles!

Leo and Harry, the Shetland ponies from Smile Therapy Ponies based in Lightwood, which is just seven miles away from the home, came to visit Residents and there were smiles all round! 

The home often facilities these types of activities, as not only do Residents really enjoy the interaction, but pony therapy is said to improve mental and physical wellbeing, as well as having benefits such as reducing stress and anxiety, and improving self-esteem, confidence and trust. 

Pony handlers Kathy and Lynn led the two four-legged friends around the lounges and bedrooms of the 64-bed residential and nursing care home and the activity sparked many interesting comments from Residents and reminiscing. 

One of the Residents said, “I grew up on a farm with ponies, this has brought back some lovely memories.”   

Everyone involved enjoyed spending time with the ponies and listening to all the interesting facts Kathy and Lynn were telling them, including the fact that Leo and Harry were rescue ponies, and saved by the pony sanctuary. 

Andrew Gibb, Care Home Manager, commented, “Seeing the delight on the Residents’ faces is just incredible and everyone had a smile on their faces. What a lovely activity where all Residents could get involved, as the ponies made their way into Residents’ rooms too.” 

See pictured the Residents interacting with the ponies, right Beatrice, top left Kathleen, top middle Rosemary and bottom middle Terrence.