Chirk patients geed-up by therapy ponies

Reporter:

Lucy Wain

Patients at Chirk Community Hospital were visited by a special four-legged friend last week.

Healing Hearts Therapeutic Ponies is an non-profit organisation from Llanrhaeadr who visit hospitals, care homes and hospices with their ponies to bring therapy to patients around the area.

Run by 28-year-old Heather Morris and her dad, Brian Humphreys, Healing Hearts has been offering pony therapy since 2015, after Heather was inspired by an American organisation called Gentle Carousel Therapy Horses.

“I’ve grown up around horses, and they have massively helped me through emotional parts of my life over the years,” said Heather.

“Pony therapy is always something I’ve wanted to do, and I received a lot of advice from the American organisation. It is the most rewarding job and the horses bring so much joy to people.”

Heather and Brian have six therapy horses, who each get trained for three to six months before they are ready to visit hospitals.

Duke, the three-year-old American Miniature horse, visited Chirk Community Hospital where he met many of the patients who were excited to see him and feed him his favourite treats – Polo mints.

Sarah Jones, a dementia support worker at the hospital, said: “You can see how much happiness it brings to our patients. Many people have had horses, so it brings back a lot of happy memories for them.”

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