Paavo and Pete with our CEO Sari
We are so happy to update you all with this project. In January 2023, Paavo (14years) and Pete (3 years) Shetland ponies joined Romi's Way team and have been since then on training to become our official 'therapy ponies'. In February they started to assist our partner organization APCC (Associação de Paralisia Cerebral de Coimbra) with disabled children and their family. Paavo and Pete's role is to provide gentle non-riding activities for the children and families and providing them a calm, joyful and beautiful way to be together. 2-3 times a week, Paavo and Pete have been brushed by the children and taken for walks (in hand).
Both ponies had issues with their hooves due to some neglect in their past, and they are under a careful veterinary & hoof trimming programme assisting their full recovery. We are grateful for your donations - which are helping us to cover these costs as well as allowing us to purchase all needed the equipment the ponies need for daily care.
In addition, amazing vet-student and horse professional Anna has started to train Paavo and Pete three times a week so that they can adapt to group-work with children (on ground), and twice a week Paavo has been visited by small riders for 5-10minutes walks.
Romi's Way is currently preparing a research proposal studying the emotional regulation benefits of equine assisted activities with children (in particularly 'at-risk' and vulnerable children) and this is done with our own team and with Neuropsychology Researchers. This area of experimental study is largely understudied and underfunded, so please keep your fingers crossed that we get the funding and would be able publish and share the results next year.
We are so grateful for having Paavo and Pete with us, and having the opportunity to assist many children in the near future. Thank you for your support, and please consider funding this project in the future also, as your support means a lot for us, helping to get the ponies healed & healthy.
More updates, pictures and videos to follow soon!
Romi's Way two-legged and four legged team members
Anna training Paavo and Pete with her own horse