Pony Brings Smiles to Campus

Pony Brings Smiles to Campus

Jul 19, 2019

The residents of St. Augustine were treated to a special visit this week. Faces lit up as Silver, a Shetland pony, made his rounds. Residents were under the tent being entertained by the singing cowboy, Mr. Bill.  Silver and Cowboy Bill are from Pony Tales Farm Rescue.

Pet-therapy has been proven to have a positive effect on well-being. Although the Health Campus has a resident cat, Oreo and dogs that come to “work” each day, the ponies are always a favorite. For those in wheelchairs, the ponies are are just the right size so that the residents don’t have to bend over to interact and don’t have to worry about an animal jumping into or off their lap.

“Many of the residents grabbed both side of the harness as they looked into the big,deep eyes of Silver, talking to him and kissing him on his nose.” said Michelle Bedevelsky, Director of Life Enrichment. “In some instances, Silver would rest his head on the residents lap while having his head rubbed or scratched,” Bedevelsky said.

Silver wasn’t the only one to be loved on. He often returned the affection by nuzzling in the neck of his resident friends.

The preschoolers were also thrilled to pet Silver. Although some were afraid to get close, others hopped right on to have their picture taken.

Pony Tales Farm Rescue was part of a week-long festival on the St. Augustine Health Campus, celebrating Faith, Family and Community.