Saturday, January 04, 2014

Miniature ponies visit Hazelgrove Court Care Home.

The tiniest ponies imaginable have visited Saltburn's Hazelgrove Court Care Home, on Randolph Street, to give the elderly residents there a start to the New Year they’ll never forget.

Star of the show was American miniature pony Blondie, at just 26 inches high and making her first appearance for K and L Pony Therapy, of Darlington.
Although it was Blondie’s first time on duty she was a natural, with a very placid temperament, going to each resident in turn to nuzzle them and get lots of fuss in return.

The cute little stunner was just one of four similar tiny ponies that owner Kate Smith brought to the home for residents to pet.

The organiser of this unusual, but very popular, event was Joanne Burdett, the activities co-ordinator at the home which houses 48 residents aged from their late fifties to late ninties.

Joanne said: “K and L provide miniature ponies to visit care homes on Teesside and further afield."

“They bring them in one at a time, while the other three wait in a trailer outside. The residents have absolutely loved them and are very fond of the ponies - stroking them and petting them - and it does them the world of good and they have a photo taken with them."

Owner Kate said: “We visit lots of care homes, hospitals and schools. People all over Teesside absolutely love them.”

Kate said the tiny charmers live up to 55 years old and are bred as pets in America. They can even be used as guide horses to look after the blind and disabled in the same way as guide dogs.

Kate said: “They are very intelligent and easy to train. I’m currently trying to breed mine and a foal is due next summer which will be so tiny when it’s born, it will gamble about like a little lamb!"

“Obviously, they can’t be ridden, but they are such little characters and all are different.”

One thing seems to be certain - the cute foursome proved to be so popular that they will be riding on back into town again on another visit some time in the future.

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