Aberdeen students get stress-busting therapy from Shetland ponies ahead of exams

Students should have neigh bother passing their exams thanks to help from some stress-busting Shetland ponies.

The Aberdeen University Student Association (AUSA) teamed up with Therapy Ponies Scotland in the run-up to the exam period.

The student body turned its main hub on Elphinstone Road into a stress-free zone thanks to Shetland ponies Wilson and Flicker.

More than 200 students trotted out to the event, with queues out the door to get some time with the animals.

Kendall Smith, welfare officer with AUSA, said the event was greatly received by the students.

The 24-year-old neuroscience graduate said: “In total there was 222 students who came to our event with Therapy Ponies Scotland.

“We have done events similar to this with dogs in the run up to the exam period but this is the first time Shetland ponies have come to AUSA. It was to help students with stress that they can go through during this time.”


Groups of between 10 and 15 students were able to visit the ponies at a time, with an average of five minutes with the animals.

The ponies were joined by Newfoundland dogs Arthur and Winston.

With long queues to see the equine animals, the dogs were keeping people entertained before the mane attraction.

Run by husband and wife team John and Elaine Sangster, Therapy Ponies Scotland was started more than two years ago.

Elaine said it didn’t matter how old people were, everyone loved the ponies.

Wilson and Flicker were well behaved throughout the two-and-a-half hours they were on site at the university.

And AUSA said it would consider bringing the animals back.