How Christmas ponies are bringing cheer to older people in Sunderland

Barnes Court Care Home residents Christine Hall, left, and Shirley Storey meet Wish, with Katy Smith of KL Pony Therapy.
Barnes Court Care Home residents Christine Hall, left, and Shirley Storey meet Wish, with Katy Smith of KL Pony Therapy.
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A Christmas pony brought some festive cheer when she visited the residents of a Sunderland care home this week.

Wish, an American miniature horse, brought big smiles to the faces of the residents at Barnes Court Care Home, in High Barnes, Sunderland, during her visit on Thursday.

Barnes Court Care Home residents Christine Hall, left, and Shirley Storey meet Wish

Barnes Court Care Home residents Christine Hall, left, and Shirley Storey meet Wish

The pony came clad in her Christmas finest, with a sleigh-bell adorned coat, glittering hooves and festive bows in her mane.

She was led around the home by owner Katy Smith, of KL Pony Therapy, who helped the residents interact with her.

The residential and nursing home offers specialist care to those living with dementia and to young adults with physical disabilities.

The visit was organised as part of the home’s month-long build up to Christmas which also includes Christmas parties, festive arts and crafts and carols from visiting school choirs.

Julie Haram, Activities Coordinator at Barnes Court, said: “It was a wonderful afternoon filled with lots of smiles, love and laughter. Wish and her handler Katy took a trip around our whole home, even visiting our bed-bound residents in their bedrooms so they could enjoy petting and stroking her. Our residents have really been looking forward to their visit from Wish and seeing her had everyone in the Christmas spirit.”