Dogs, cats, birds and rabbits are regular visitors to Christadelphian Aged Care homes, but residents were recently delighted when a horse dropped by to say hello.
The visit to Southhaven Aged Care in Padstow Heights sparked a wave of memories in those who lived at a time when horses were a part of everyday life.
Bushman is a specially trained 17-year-old Appaloosa from an organisation called The Travelling Horse, which takes him to visit aged care Homes around NSW.
Southhaven Aged Care Facility Manager Peter Jessing said Bushman brought smiles to the faces of residents and sparked memories in those who horses were once a part of life.
“Pet therapy is an important part of our lifestyle program at Southhaven as it brings such joy to residents and helps start conversations about the past, but we had never had a horse visit before!,” he said.
“Horses were such a big part of many of our residents’ lives when they were growing up, so we thought they would love to see a horse again in real life.”
The visit sparked so many memories from residents who grew up on farms and used to ride, and many stories were shared on the day.
“We have received so much positive feedback from residents and their families, who said the visit really lifted their spirits,” Peter said.
“They are still talking about it now! Nearly everyone has some sort of connection with horses, having used to ride them to school, taken lessons or had an experience with them when they went on holidays.”
Southhaven’s Lifestyle Team have used the video made on the day to reminisce and start conversations with residents in the days after the visit.
The video has been viewed more than a million times online, with thousands of comments of delight from people around the world.
“We are so excited that the visit was able to bring joy to more people than just our residents,” Peter said.