Miniature pony brings lockdown cheer to village

Wesley, the therapy pony, has been putting smiles on people's faces throughout the lockdown. He is pictured with...

Wesley, the therapy pony, has been putting smiles on people's faces throughout the lockdown. He is pictured with owner, Kelly Woor. - Credit: Danielle Booden

He's barely 30 inches tall, but Wesley the miniature Shetland pony has been making a big impression. 

Kelly Woor, his owner, said the four-year-old therapy pony had been cheering people up throughout the lockdown, just by walking around the streets of Little Snoring, near Fakenham, where they live. 

Mrs Woor, 31, said: "Whenever we pass dog walkers they always stop and ask us how Wesley is. Everybody in the village knows him - there's probably more people here who know his name than mine."

Mrs Woor bought Wesley about two years ago from a friend of hers who is a horse dealer, but his history before that is largely unknown. 

Wesley, the therapy pony, has been putting smiles on people's faces throughout the lockdown. He is pictured with...

Wesley, the therapy pony, has been putting smiles on people's faces throughout the lockdown. He is pictured with owner, Kelly Woor. - Credit: Danielle Booden

She has worked to bring back his confidence and feel more at ease around people. 

She said: "When we got him he was absolutely terrified of everything you could think of, you couldn't even sneeze next to him without him jumping.  

"He's now a completely different pony - nothing bothers him. When we have visited care homes we have taken him into lifts and he has been fine with that."

Wesley, the therapy pony, has been putting smiles on people's faces throughout the lockdown. He is pictured with...

Wesley, the therapy pony, has been putting smiles on people's faces throughout the lockdown. He is pictured with owner, Kelly Woor. - Credit: Danielle Booden

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Mrs Woor is a carer, who cares for a man with Parkinson's, and she also looks after dogs and horses. 

She began taking Wesley on visits to care homes and schools last year, and she plans to develop his role as a therapy pony when the circumstances allow it.

She said: "At Christmas he went to different schools, all dressed up, and we handed out books to the children. He's also been to care homes in Dereham and Wells, but with the current situation that's all on hold. 

Wesley, the therapy pony, has been putting smiles on people's faces throughout the lockdown. He is pictured with...

Wesley, the therapy pony, has been putting smiles on people's faces throughout the lockdown. He is pictured with owner, Kelly Woor. - Credit: Danielle Booden

"He's also going to start doing sessions when the lockdown is over. Children and adults will be able to take him for walks and groom him, and learn about Shetlands."

Mrs Woor said people felt safe around Wesley because he was so small.  

"They're more like a dog really. He's so gentle as well. Wherever we go people are always happy to see him."

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