There was plenty of horsing around when miniature shetland ponies, Tinkerbelle and Lollipop, trotted their way to The Orders of St John Care Trust’s (OSJCT) Whitefriars care home in Stamford, Lincolnshire, to visit with residents.

As part of a pet therapy initiative arranged by the home, these furry four-legged friends made their way around the home, spreading joy and happiness to residents who could have been forgiven for thinking that they were at a gymkhana!

The friendly ponies loved being stroked and treated to the odd apple, which is one of their favourite rewards. It is thought that pony therapy is an effective way to engage older people and that the ponies offer therapeutic benefits due to their intuitive nature and their ability to respond to the emotions of the people around them.

The two gentle and affectionate ponies visited with residents for about an hour and also made special visits to residents who were unable to leave their rooms. Tinkerbelle and Lollipop like to rest their heads on the edge of the bed for cuddles, which brought comfort and joy to the residents.

Sue Mottram, Activities Coordinator at Whitefriars, said: “The ponies made lots of the residents smile and the whole experience was very calming. We had lots of comments from the residents about how lovely the ponies were.”

OSJCT thanks Lollipop Pony Parties, and in particular, Tinkerbelle and Lollipop, for making this such a “mane event”, and for a truly wonderful day.