‘Everyone needs a Wesley’: Shetland pony becomes village celebrity during lockdown

  • A miniature Shetland pony has overcome his confidence issues and is now spreading joy around his village.

    Kelly Woor from Fakenham, Norfolk, bought Wesley as a two-year-old in 2018 and spent the next 12 months gaining his trust.

    “I was told he’d been sold twice through a horse fair before coming to me,” Kelly told H&H. “When he arrived he was absolutely petrified and I couldn’t catch him or touch him.

    “If you sneezed near him he would jump, he was just terrified. I spent hours sitting in the field with him trying to show him I wasn’t going to harm him.”

    Kelly said Wesley struck up a friendship with her then two-year-old mare Autumn.

    “They became inseparable,” she said. “I’ve had Autumn since she was a foal and she’s always been really friendly and curious so it really helped bring Wesley round.

    “They are the best of friends and now she is 15hh, he can stand underneath her.”

    In 2019 Kelly started taking Wesley into care homes where she used to work, to greet the residents. The gelding also attends weddings and primary schools.

    “I thought it would be a nice thing to do and Wesley really enjoyed it. He would always walk straight into the lift at the homes, and he also developed a love of rich tea biscuits because the residents would feed him their biscuits,” she said.

    “At Christmas time some of the schools contacted me about taking him to visit the children in place of Santa this year. One school was giving every child a book as a present so Wesley wore a basket carrying the books and the kids thought he was amazing.”

    Kelly said Wesley’s care home trips are currently on hold owing to Covid so she has been taking him out for walks around the village for exercise at weekends.

    “Everyone is so happy to see him, it really cheers people up and everyone knows his name,” she said.

    “I’m in the process of officially registering him as a therapy pony and in the future would like to offer sessions for children and adults to groom and spend time with him. Everyone needs a Wesley!”

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