Let me introduce you to a very special little pony… Angel. She is special not just because she was an orphan and luckily, following trips to the vet in the back of her previous owners car despite them saying she may not survive and being hand reared, she grew into a healthy Shetland. Not just because she is incredibly tolerant of my 4 year old daughter, Ellie-Mae! But because she brings happiness and an avenue for people to communicate. Angel (who is also 4 years old) visits care homes and provides Equine assisted therapy to a wide variety of residents.
Upon these visits Angel meets people who may have physical and/or mental difficulties and provides them with the opportunity to brush her, smooth her and even take her for walks. It has been proven that animals (in particular horses and dogs) assist with the release of Oxytocin around the body which aids relaxation and a feeling of wellbeing, which is important for adults/children that may not always be in complete control of their emotions. Angel has also been wonderful for those who do not always feel comfortable communicating with other people, after all she will not judge them or give off any signals/expressions that they need to decipher.
The response we have had whilst on these visits have been amazing, it is a wonderful feeling when someone is not feeling up to leaving their room – so we simply take Angel to them! It does make you feel good when staff tell you that we have managed to turn someones day around to a more positive one.
Of course there are times when Angel needs to be kept very still because it is very important when around residents who have aids to assist them with their mobility, her favourite reward for being such a good girl are Likit Snaks (she’s not fussy which flavour!) They are also welcomed by residents who wish to feed her as I can sprinkle a small amount into their hands and they can feel the sensation of a bristly nose on their skin.
If you would like to find out more about Angel please visit our Facebook page or check out our website: www.angelsadventures.co.uk