Pony Access believes ponies can make a positive difference to lots of people. The benefits of fresh air, new horizons and different movements are obvious. The benefits of building a relationship with an animal, and learning to work together with the animal, may be more difficult to quantify, but are just as obvious. Getting out and about, pony powered, benefits the mind and body in multiple ways, with complex inter related benefits.
But at Pony Access, we can’t begin to recognise the benefits, because the users are strangers and we haven’t a clue about their medical history, and even if we did, we wouldn’t understand one word in ten. If people start smiling the minute they see the pony, we don’t know if they are normally smiley, or if contact with a pony is their idea of heaven.
Bex, at the end of her first trip round West Town Farm, commented that she hadn’t seen a rabbit hole for nine years. I had planned the route, I had thought of all the places we could go, I never thought of rabbit holes. They are everywhere aren’t they? But not if you are in a wheelchair. With all my careful planning, I had completely failed to see what mattered, but it didn’t matter. Bex got out, round the farm to see what mattered to her. Access with ponies, access to ponies is what matters. So that is what Pony Access does.
At Pony Access we can do our bit of the job. We can provide access with ponies for pretty much anyone to pretty much anywhere. I have lots of fun being silly seeing if you can drive across a one in one point seven slope in a wheelchair on the iBex. You can, I don’t say I recommend it, but you can do it. We can get you anywhere. That’s our job. It is for you to tell us where you want to go.
We can provide access to ponies. You want to scratch a pony. That’s easy. It is trying to stop that’s difficult because Obama really likes being scratched and he isn’t going to let you get away easily. We can’t assess the level of contact people want, our job is to make sure they can have as much as they want.
We can’t assess the benefits for the users, because we don’t know the users. Pony Access doesn’t do therapy, we aren’t psychotherapists, orthopaedic surgeons, movement therapists, learning therapists or any other form of expert, but ponies can provide benefits and we provide the ponies. That is all we do, provide access to ponies, access with ponies.
Contact me, Simon Mulholland on +44 7510 736518 or firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what you, or your friend, or your client wants. That’s your part of the job, to say what is wanted. I can make it happen.