MEET THE PONIESββββββββββββββ
The ponies here at Equitots Lanarkshire CIC are part of our family and very much part of the Equitots Tribe. Chico and Mac have unique personalities that help our learners begin to understand social interaction and appropriate responses. Please take the time to read through their biographies as they are much loved and valued members of our team! Equine Welfare is of paramount importance here at Equitots Lanarkshire CIC and we aim to keep our ponies healthy happy pony partners for our visitors.βββ
Cheeky Chico is a 12hh 15 year old Welsh cross bay gelding. He has been part of our family since the Summer of 2007. He started off as my son Roryβs riding pony and then moved on to become my carriage driving pony participating in numerous Pleasure Driving classes and taking 1st Prize one year at the Royal Highland Show. He still enjoys driving and helps Santa at our Santa Grotto events by bringing him to the Grotto on his cart!
He is a special little pony as he has a condition called Equine Metabolic Syndrome. This means he canβt have too much sugar as he canβt process it which causes him to have poor circulation, ultimately resulting in something called Laminitis which is a crippling condition. Chico therefore has to be kept fit and healthy and before his equine therapy pony career he spent four years at the beautiful Seacliff Stables just outside North Berwick providing pony rides around the beautiful estate and beach. He was a firm favourite at Seacliff too and has his own little fan club there!
When Equitots Lanarkshire CIC started we realised very quickly that we needed Chico home to help us deliver our service. He has a cheeky personality and is extremely interactive with the children and often helps them select the games equipment during sessions or moves things around for them with his hooves or head! Chico is a willing partner for our children to work with but also provides them with some challenges which allow them to take appropriate supported risks resulting in children developing skills in making choices and self-advocacy. His personality and cheekiness also helps children to think about their actions and feelings, Chico provides non-verbal cues that are clear and in the moment which help children understand his emotions and how their behaviour can impact on these. He helps children develop empathy, trust and relationships.βββββββ
We hope he will be able to help us help many more children for years to come. Chico is a star pony and in our eyes he is irreplaceable!
Mac is a 14.1hh 18 year old Connemara cross flea bitten grey gelding who has lived with us since December 2017. Prior to life as a therapy pony at Equitots Lanarkshire CIC Mac taught two little girls all they needed to know about ponies, looking after them and of course winning them lots of rosettes. He competed in dressage, show jumping, cross country and pony club games when he was the apple of their eye but is now enjoying a much quieter life.
If Mac were human he would be Victor Meldrew! He is fantastic for children to learn that not all ponies are the same and that some need more space and a quieter approach and that we have to respect their needs too. Mac is exceptional at providing visual cues to indicate how he feels which allows us to talk about feelings and emotions via the pony in a non-judgemental way with no pressure on the children.
Mac excels at the ridden part of our Equine Assisted Learning programme and provides the children with a safe comfortable ride. He is exceptionally well schooled and responds to both verbal and non-verbal instructions from both the facilitator and the children riding him. This provides children with a real sense of achievement and empowers them to try new challenging tasks from horse-back that develop gross motor skills and confidence.
He is firm favourite here at Equitots Lanarkshire CIC and an essential part of our team to enable children to participate in horse-back activities. We are extremely lucky to have been entrusted with his care and hope he helps us to help children for many more years too!