1. ITV Report

Patients feeling a little horse at Southend Hospital

'Applause' the miniature horse has been visiting patients at Southend Hospital to bring some cheer and therapy to elderly patients.

Margaret Berry meeting Applause with owner, Amanda Poulton Credit: Southend Hospital

The tiny white American miniature horse, aged 15, might have been small in size but he delivered big to patients, whose faces lit up when they saw him trot onto both Windsor and Princess Anne Wards.

Applause stands just 28 inches, or 7 hands, high.

“Any change to the daily routine for people who are unwell can really make a difference and Applause has had such a fantastic positive impact on everyone he has met. You could say he has been the ‘mane’ talking point of the day and has helped evoke such positive memories for people and their experience with horses when they were younger."

– Claire Buckell, Clinical Development Nurse

Elderly patients from both wards got the chance to meet and stroke Applause as he greeted them in day rooms or by their beds

”He’s lovely, just lovely. Him being here makes such a nice change.”

– Doris Willcocks, patient
Doris Wilcocks meeting Applause with owner, Amanda Poulton Credit: Southend Hospital

“Applause is such an inquisitive mini horse who just loves to meet all sorts of people. He has been there and seen most things having visited so many people over the last 12 years that he has been doing Animal Assisted Therapy. It’s been lovely to help bring so much joy to patients again at Southend Hospital.”

– Amanda Poulton, Applause’s owner