Four-Legged Friends Drop By for Cuddles and Smiles at Maddocks Gardens

Romeo gently suggests that some patting would be in order. Photos: Jake Lynch/BRHS


“To see the way they connect with the animals, it’s just really beautiful,” said BRHS Diversional Therapist Kate Churches.

Kate was with our Maddocks Gardens residents on Friday last week for a special visit of the four-legged kind.

They may not have scanned in using the proper visitor’s QR code, but Ghost and Romeo were most welcome visitors at Maddocks, with the miniature pony and miniature donkey bringing a whole lot of love and cuddles to a group of appreciative residents.

Kate said many of the residents would have had horses and other pets earlier in their lives, and that the presence of these therapy animals sparked a definite change in their manner.

“They react to the animals in ways that they don’t normally,” she said. “It’s just wonderful seeing the residents engage with these guys. Everywhere you look there are smiles.”

Romeo and Ghost came to Maddocks thanks to our friends at Equine Fusion Animal Assisted Development and Horsemanship, a local business that specialises in therapeutic horse-assisted interactions.

Learn more about Equine Fusion at

Ghost, a minature pony, enjoyed the attention of Maddocks Gardens residents on Friday.