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Horses human health: equine visits boost the lives of dementia sufferers

Horses helping dementia sufferers: Rupert with care home resident

Horse therapy is the latest weapon being used in the fight against dementia and loneliness.

Care home owner Neil Robson admits, however, he was initially horrified at the idea that a horse had been booked to visit residents.

Mr Robson, who owns Sambrook House residential care home in Newport, Shropshire, is so happy with the results, however, he intends to have Rupert visit regularly.

He said: “When I came back from leave and realised that half a ton of horse was about to walk around the home it seemed a mad idea as it could make a lot of mess and there was a real worry about it breaking things.

“However, he had an almost magical connection with the residents as he was led round, with one resident he bowed down to allow her to rest her forehead on his head, where they both remained for over five minutes, it was so special to watch.

“Both the resident and Rupert seemed completely calm. It was amazing how some residents could just completely relate to him and he seemed to understand them back.

“Without exception and even with the residents with dementia, the first horse visit was discussed for days on end and everyone enjoyed it.”

Animal therapy has long been acknowledged to have a positive effect on people, with autistic children, stressed students and the elderly all benefiting from the relaxation that animals can bring.

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