Old age pony: Elderly shetland pony finds new lease of life visitng old people’s homes to keep residents company
This lucky pony’s been given glamorous new life after she grew too old to be ridden.
She had lost her purpose and was stuck in her field with no hope. That’s until she came into the hand of her new owner Dina Shale.
Now, elderly Maydew has her own trailer, stylish hair bows and people falling over each other to stroke her.
The pampered pony has become a star at the local old folk’s homes – where she strolls up flashing her long mane and shiny coat.
She visits at them at least once a week and the residents flock to see her, some even sneakily offering her biscuits.
After meeting this classy little pony the elderly folk are given a new lease on life.
She gives these elderly an understanding companion, with fabulous hair.
She’s currently sporting a ‘trace clip’ – a special haircut that allows her to stay cool inside and in case of any accidents, she even has her own personal clean up service.
The glitzy Shetland pony helps bring in some of the outside world to the people inside the homes. She most recently visited The Haven Nursing Home in Coventry.
Dina Shale, who takes care of Maydew told us how thrilled the old folk are when they see her:
“She’s the pony everyone wants to meet when they visit, because she’s so placid and friendly.
“The smiles and surprise brought to their faces is amazing, they just light up. It’s not often you get to see a pony in a care home.
“I think that seeing an animal in the care home helps to remember what they had before that maybe they don’t have now.
Maydew is 28 and was given to Dina after she was no longer able to be ridden. But Dina, who runs an
equine assisted therapy centre, knew there was still more that she had to give.
“She’s an old rescue pony, we took her on when she couldn’t be ridden anymore, she didn’t have a purpose anymore.
“Most people think the only purpose of a horse is to be ridden and obviously there’s so much more value to an animal than that.
With Maydew’s glossy coat, and soulful eyes it’s not hard to see how this little pony can make such an impact on people.
For people who have limited mobility Dina says she can help to bring a little bit of nature into the building.
“For the residents it brings the outdoors inside, especially if they’re upstairs it really makes their day.
“They ask lots of questions about her, they can’t quite believe it and even the staff are a bit surprised.
Stroking Maydew is usually the most popular part of the visits, and pensioners can groom and braid her glamorous mane.
They interact with the pony in a way that wouldn’t usually be possible for people in a care home.
Dina says she’s thrilled to be making difference, “I always say that we rescue horses to rescue people – we take in horse in that people have no other value for and use them as method to help people.
Dina runs a Leicestershire non-profit social enterprise called The Way of the Horse. It’s where she keeps Maydew and the other horses that she uses.
It’s not just the elderly that Maydew helps – she also visits pre-schools in order to help the younger generation.
“It gives them a talking point and horses reflect people’s emotions, so by spending time with Maydew people are able to see their own emotions reflected in her. We use her to help children with anxiety and depression.
“The Way of the Horse are a not for profit organisation and we’re always looking for sponsors or donations – any help is appreciated.“
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