On a sunny morning in July the Thursday session welcomed residents from Anchor’s Linwood Care Home to our first ever Tea with a Pony session. The residents were treated to tea and cake and the opportunity to interact with our ponies.
The residents enjoyed a pony parade followed by a chance to give the gentle Briony a cuddle and a stroke. Pamela, 91, a resident at Anchor’s Linwood care home started riding at aged 16. Pamela said “The visit was absolutely lovely. My favourite part of the day was interacting with Briony. It brought back many memories of my times horse riding.”
Tea with a Pony is an RDA activity launched nationally in 2021
The activity focussing on multisensory experiences with horses and ponies offering the opportunity to engage with horses and ponies in a safe and secure environment. The sessions typically involve tea and cake followed by watching a riding lesson or having an opportunity to stroke or brush the ponies.
Mo Blackett, the Session Leader, said “Our first trial morning for Tea with a Pony was a wonderful joyful experience for all concerned. I think the Thursday team of volunteers got as much enjoyment from the visit as our visitors did. Seeing the ponies being so gentle with our visitors and rekindling memories was moving and humbling.”
The importance of these sessions for the residents was expressed by Anchor’s Linwood care home Manager, Iwona Zarzycka. “For past equestrians and horse lovers alike, the experience can bring back strong memories while providing an enjoyable way to connect with fellow residents.” Iwona explained that by revisiting past hobbies and interests, it not only helps the residents feel joy and fulfilment in later life, but also aids the care team in learning more about their residents.
We hope to host more Tea With A Pony sessions in the near future.