Caring for our Ponies
Our therapy ponies have a very important job. Each pony is specially chosen and trained so we can offer our riders the best therapeutic benefit. To ensure they can do their job well, we must make sure they are well looked after.
Our therapy ponies live out in the seven fields around our Indoor Arena, with field shelters, and are paired up with a field mate. They wear special rugs during the winter months.
Each of our ponies has up to two ‘Sharers’. Our wonderful Sharers help to enrich our ponies’ lives when they’re not working. Sharers provide loving physical care such as grooming, feeding and keeping fields poo-free. They also make sure our ponies have lots of fun enjoying hacks around the farm, fields and beach and also often taking part in show jumping and other activities.
When the ponies are on duty they are brought in to be groomed and tacked in Tie-ups just outside the Arena. Grooming is a very important part of pony care and the ponies love it. Each pony has their own grooming kit with their name on it. There is also a pony handling information poster for each pony displayed next to our Tack Room, which tells our volunteers about the likes and dislikes of the pony they are grooming. Grooming is a great way to get to know the ponies but also, importantly, it is a time to check them over and spot any potential health issues.
Ponies love eating grass and that is their main food source during the summer. Between November and April we feed them hard feed (pony nuts) in the morning and hay in the morning and evening. They also enjoy a hay net at the Tie-ups.
Did you know…
- our ponies get through around 37 square bales of hay per week!
- a pony poos around eight times a day. That’s a lot of poo picking!
Care of our ponies is managed by our Pony Welfare Management Team. Our ponies have regular veterinary treatment, dental and hoof care. They have their saddles and bridles fitted correctly and checked regularly. We also hold special Horse Behavioural clinics every year for our ponies and pony handlers to ensure we know how to get the best from our ponies.
Sponsor a Pony – Covid-19 pandemic
Our Sponsor a Pony campaign offers our friends an opportunity to help keep Muirfield Riding Therapy’s service secure during the pandemic. Contributing to funding the care of our specially trained therapy ponies will help guarantee our life-changing therapeutic riding sessions in the months and years ahead. Please consider becoming a pony sponsor.