I found this looking for more information on pit ponies, specifically miniature horses used as pit ponies.
In the retirement residences we visit, there is one resident who stands out – he was a coal miner and he had a pit pony. His sons saw us on our first visit in the parking lot and made us promise to come see their dad. Absolutely we did. The first visit was OK, but yesterdays was amazing! He had been visibly agitated when we approached, but calmed down immediately and was petting Red. His complete demeanor changed, his wife and son sincerely thanked us. Later we saw the gentleman and he was visibly agitated again, now perhaps it was because his family had left, we were on a dementia ward, a lot of people who are lower functioning. I do like to think, Red’s presence and time spent with the gentleman calmed him and made his visit with his family more pleasant.
One thing we do find, most people have some sort of a connection with horses and horses seem to transcend cultures. Residents who are not interested in seeing a dog, will come see the horse.
When word spreads we have arrived on a floor at a retirement residence, we will find one or two residents from other wards, coming to find us and find when we will be over to their homes to visit. It makes me smile to think of the scouts being sent out to find us!