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These adorable therapy ponies are spreading love and happiness in senior living homes

These little ponies are bringing a smile to people's faces by comforting and being there for them in challenging moments.

These adorable therapy ponies are spreading love and happiness in senior living homes
Cover Image Source: Instagram | Dinky Ponies

The happiness that pet animals bring is immeasurable. They have a way of turning our gloomy mood into a delightful one. That's probably why therapy animals are often encouraged in nursing homes or hospitals. While therapy dogs and cats are quite common, this British town boasts of therapy ponies. Dinky Ponies is a business in Swindon, England that offers therapy pony visits to care homes, hospitals, schools and even parties in and around Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. The founder Sarah Woodland turned her love for horses into a purposeful venture.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | David Jia
Representative Image Source: Pexels | David Jia

While Woodland was involved in the freelance horse grooming business she worked for her favorite top-notch rider, Sir Mark Todd. That is when she got acclimatized to mini Shetland ponies. Acknowledging her love for them, the owner offered her the two ponies and the number gradually added up with Woodland currently owning a total of six ponies - Poppy, Abbey, Charm, Tinks, Gracie and Georgie. "I took them on knowing that I would do something with them. They needed to have a purpose, which is where Dinky Ponies evolved from," she wrote in her Instagram post.


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sarah Woodland (@dinkyponies)


 

Woodland began entertaining children's parties with her ponies during the spring of 2022. While it went on well for over a year, by the end of summer 2023, she realized that outdoor kids' parties weren't so popular and started finding other means. That is when she kick-started the care home visits making her ponies therapy animals. Since then, the Dinky Ponies have become quite popular among many hospitals and care homes. Speaking to Swindon Link, Woodland said, "We spend time meeting and mingling with staff, residents, and their families. People like to brush and decorate the ponies and some people like to just stroke and talk to them." People who don't mingle with the animals much, simply love watching them which serves to be a great distraction from loneliness and mental health issues.


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sarah Woodland (@dinkyponies)


 

The little ponies are so cooperative in letting people caress them and interact with them. Woodland pointed out that each of her ponies specializes in different things. While Tinks and Georgie were great with elders, Abbie and Gracie mingled well with children and some even were used to loud noises and people in wheelchairs. "I’m lucky that my ponies trust me & have confidence that I won’t put them in a situation they aren’t happy with," captioned her post. Every month the therapy ponies take turns volunteering to visit the patients of the Great Western Hospital. 


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sarah Woodland (@dinkyponies)


 

Patients who are bedridden and in wheelchairs are graced by the four-legged angels that reach up to them so that they can stroke them for a while. Though this business has its own good days and bad days, Woodland powers through with the motivation that the joy and love that these therapy ponies bring. "In the depths of winter, when there’s mud up to your knees, it’s not stopped raining for days and the ponies look like drowned rats, I have to remember the smiles and it makes it all worthwhile."


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sarah Woodland (@dinkyponies)


 

You can follow Sarah Woodland (@dinkyponies) on Instagram for more heartwarming therapy pony content

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