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A Shetland good time for Rumbalara House Aged Care Facility

Residents at Wyoming’s Rumbalara House were delighted to welcome a very special guest to the facility this week, as Buddy the Shetland pony trotted in to meet them.

Buddy and his owner Lisa Bell were welcomed with open arms and lots of carrots, as they made their way through the facility.

Animal therapy is a well-established practise for people of all ages and has been shown to have positive impacts on their quality of life by reducing tension, fatigue and confusion, while also encouraging positive emotions and attitudes.

The excitement of animal therapy can also help improve the sense of loss some former pet owners feel after moving into an aged care home, which can greatly improve residents’ mental health.
Buddy is 16-year-old and lives with several other Shetland ponies as well as some other larger horses on their farm on the Central Coast.

Lisa has been surrounded by horses of all sizes and ages for most of her life and has recently started offering animal therapy experiences.

“Buddy adores interacting with people.” Lisa explained.

“Given his gentle nature and love for attention, I knew Buddy would be a wonderful addition to the activities calendar for the residents at Rumbalara House.

“It was lovely to see all the smiles he brought to the faces of the residents as well as the staff, who were just as excited to meet him!

“They even had carrots cut up and ready to hand feed to Buddy, so he was absolutely thrilled.”

Rumbalara House’s Leisure and Lifestyle coordinator Mary Farrell confirmed Buddy’s visit was a delight for everyone.

“He was just such a beautiful boy, and so well behaved,” Mary said.

“It brought a tear to my eye, seeing how happy our residents were to see him, and some of them were definitely getting emotional too.

“Lisa was so wonderful with everyone and went out of her way to include everyone. We really hope she and Buddy can come back to visit us very soon.”

Lisa’s business is Ponies of the Forest, and she can be contacted through her Instagram account @poniesoftheforest.