Two Blue Cross Shetland ponies, who are now working as therapy animals, trotted their way into Guy’s Cancer Centre to help celebrate Cancer Survivors’ Day on 25 June 2017 – an annual event run by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
The ponies are currently on loan from the national pet charity to Equilibrium for Life, an organisation that uses horses and ponies for therapy and equine assisted learning.
The equines Dame Maggie and Princess Rose, who are a mother and daughter pair, are on loan from the Blue Cross rehoming centre in Burford, Oxfordshire. They were handed over to the centre after their original owner could no longer look after them.
Alexandra Taskin, owner of Equilibrium and the ponies, is hoping to adopt the pair permanently.
Alexandra said: “We brought the ponies home from Blue Cross Burford early in 2016 and since then they have been absolute superstars. They are amazing – absorbing the emotion from people with a variety of needs and providing a calmness and gentle sense of just being in the moment. They really are very special.”
The ponies regularly visit hospices, care homes and autistic play schemes.
Ruth Court, Horse Welfare Manager, Blue Cross, said: “Horses and ponies are great as therapy animals as their calming nature and demeanour bounces off onto the people around them. Maggie and Rose are two wonderful ponies – when they were in our care everyone fell in love with them. We’re thrilled that they’re doing so well.”
The event at Guy’s Cancer Centre is a special annual event for the hospital patients, their families, care givers, staff and the community to celebrate cancer survivorship. As well as guests being able to meet the ponies, the day included a fashion show, health and well-being activities, live music, exhibits, seminars, reflection and contemplation.
For more information on Blue Cross, to adopt, or to give back to pets, please visit https://www.bluecross.org.uk