The benefits of animal therapy from our four-legged friends are well-known but one care home took things a step further when it invited its elderly residents to meet Tere the pony.
The Welsh mountain cross was special guest at The Hollies in Darnley Road, Gravesend, and proved to have the perfect, placid temperament for the pensioners.
The 17-year-old was the centre of attention as residents and their families eagerly stroked, hugged and kissed her.
Even staff took time out from their duties to welcome their unusual guest.
Office co-ordinator Lauren Freeman said: “We have had rabbits and dogs before but never a pony. The response has been really good and we had about three-quarters of our residents getting involved.”
Tere is one of three ponies that make up Meopham-based Causeways Pony Parties and Therapy and is trained to be affectionate and comforting to help people with learning difficulties, physical disabilities, hospital patients, and those in nursing homes and hospices.
Now in its third year of business, owner Lyn Blight said: “The ponies are very well-received. My kids spend a lot of time with them in the field and stable so they are really accustomed to being kissed and hugged.”
For more information, go to www.causewaysponyparties.co.uk or call Lyn on 07952 701329.