babs and nicola poniesResidents at a care home in Edinburgh have been horsing around thanks to an in-house visit from Therapy Ponies Scotland.

Bupa’s Braid Hills care home, on Liberton Drive, welcomed the Shetland ponies into the home, giving the residents the chance to hold and touch the animals and learn about their new miniature friends.

Residents were encouraged to interact with the two ponies – named Herbie and Flicker – both of which have been highly trained to handle any situation.

donna and ponies

Animal-assisted therapy has been shown to have significant benefits for care home residents, especially those with dementia, as physical contact with the animals is therapeutic, stimulates a social response and reduces stress.

Stephen Hagan, Home Manager at Bupa’s Braid Hills care home, was delighted with how well the session with Herbie and Flicker was received.

shell poniesHe said: “It was a really entertaining day for everyone involved and all the residents adored having the ponies with us at the home, as did the staff and our visitors that were in at the time.

“As well as being fun and interesting, animal therapy is also especially beneficial for our residents as it is relaxing and can also be a very social activity. Herbie and Flicker really lifted everyone’s spirits and were adorable.

“Here at Braid Hills, we try to enrich the lives of our residents as much as possible and the visit from Therapy Ponies Scotland is just one example of how we aim to do this.”