The corridors of an Aberdeen hospital rang out with the clippity clop of little hooves as two Shetland ponies brought joy to the elderly patients.
The small-statured stallions – named Wilson, 7, and Flicker, 3 – visited ward 102, the geriatric assessment unit, at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
The animals, from Therapy Ponies Scotland, trotted around to the delight of dozens of patients and staff.
One of the patients to meet the cute equine duo was Iris Joyce, from Aberdeenshire.
The 98-year-old said: “It was lovely to see the ponies.
“It’s brightened up the day, they are lovely animals.”
Fellow patient Netta Menzies, 94, from Aberdeen, added: “The ponies were great, it was very exciting.
“It was wonderful they took them into the hospital.
“It’s something a bit different and it has cheered people up.”
Senior charge nurse Susan Webster said: “We recognise the therapeutic benefits of animals in the hospital inpatient setting.
“Allowing patients to remain connected to things they enjoy is part of the recovery process and supports our ethos of person-led care at the heart of our role.
“Seeing the patients’ faces makes it worth it – the whole room just came alive and their faces all lit up. A few even made the effort to get up specially for the visit.
“Our staff work hard to care for the patients and to be able to give them something extra special experience like this just gives them good memories”.
This afternoon we were delighted to take Flicker and Wilson into ward 102 of the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. The patients and staff were bowled over by how well behaved our little boys were. They got a celebrity welcome by all the doctors and nurses and everyone was so excited to see them. The reporters were there from the Aberdeen Evening standard and Netta, one of the patients, is looking forward to seeing her photo in the paper tomorrow. Sandy was in his bed and desperate to see the ponies. He still had a smile on his face when he fell asleep a bit later on. Thank you to his daughter for allowing us to take this little video of him.
Posted by Therapy Ponies Scotland on Thursday, 21 March 2019
Susan added that Therapy Ponies Scotland do some “fantastic work” and “the animals are really affectionate and fond of a good cuddle”.
She said: “The interaction with the ponies often helps stimulate a positive social response from people. The animals provide comfort, joy and a sense of excitement.
“The difference the animals make can be quite remarkable – stimulating positive engagement and therapeutic interaction through full conversations about the animals.”