Jet the Shetland pony is having a huge impact on residents at St. Coleman's in Co Wicklow
The Irish Horse Welfare Trust has teamed up with a Co Wicklow nursing home to deliver a unique form of therapy to the home’s patients.
RTE reports that Jet the Shetland pony has been making visits to St. Coleman’s nursing home in Co Wicklow, much to the delight of the home’s elderly patients.
Jet is a pony at the Irish Horse Welfare Trust, also based in Co Wicklow, and regularly visits nursing homes and hospitals:
Rescue pony on a special misson to bring cheer....
This is an IHWT rescue pony called Jet. He makes regular visits to care centres and hospitals. Thank you to staff and residents at St Colmans Residential Care home in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow for helping to make this short film and to our camera man Ken O Mahony!Publiée par Irish Horse Welfare Trust sur Vendredi 3 mai 2019
Pamela Egan, the activity coordinator at St. Coleman’s, told RTE that Jet’s visits have had a huge impact on the patients.
“Every time he comes, it’s just as special as the first time he came to visit,” said Egan.
"People can hear him in the distance. They can hear the clip-clop coming down the corridors so they know he’s coming and they are so excited to see him. The build-up is wonderful."
Mary Kavanagh, the director of nursing at the facility, said: "Because of our residents being in a community-based and rural area, a lot of them would have had a pony or a donkey in their history as children growing up.”
Kavanagh noted that about three-quarters of the residents at St. Coleman's have dementia-type illnesses.
"You can see it in their faces when the pony comes to visit. It takes them back to those days."
Martin Bolger of The Irish Horse Welfare Trust said: "It's a bit of happiness, puts a smile on their faces.
"Jet is an absolute little doll with them. He’s the star of the show now. Before each visit his hooves are polished and his coat is freshly brushed."
You can watch RTE’s video about Jet the Shetland here: