AN UNUSUAL group of visitors made a special appearance at a Hereford care home.

Residents and staff at Newstead Care Home in Venns Lane recently enjoyed an animal therapy session with Percy and Teddy the Welsh Section A ponies, Digit the Jack Russell, and Syd the Kelpie, all from Equinimity.

The afternoon session was organised by Caroline Butterfield the lifestyle and wellbeing therapist from Newstead House and Debbie Boston and Tom Friswell from Equinimity.

The residents were joined by Percy, Teddy, Digit and Syd in the garden of the care home where they were invited to stroke and feed the beautiful ponies, throw balls for Syd and cuddle Digit.

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Equinimity is run by Debbie Boston and Tom Friswell. Debbie has been training horses for over 30 years, has successfully competed at British Eventing and is a trainer for the European Association for Horse Assisted Education.


Ms Boston has been training Percy for the past few weeks doing all his preliminary groundwork ready for his next stage in life as until recently, he was wild. Percy’s experience of his visit to the care home has really helped him become accustomed to being a part of the human world.

Mr Friswell is passionate about the benefits horses can bring to humans. He studied childhood studies with applied psychology and education, and has been a Riding for the Disabled carriage driving coach since he was 16.

Mr Friswell’s pony Teddy is only two and will one day be a driving pony.

"The lovely ponies were so calm and friendly, and they even brought two of their dogs who loved to play fetch and have some cuddles. They were extremely professional and brought so much joy to our residents," said Ms Butterfield.

Residents and staff at the home are looking forward to more animal therapy sessions with Percy, Teddy, Digit and Syd in the coming weeks and months.