Match of the day at care home from Rupert the football-playing horse

Rupert the football-playing horse was the unlikely visitor at a care home, delighting residents who met him.

Match of the day at care home from Rupert the football-playing horse

The 16-year-old animal visited Lime Tree Court in Bilston as part of activities for residents with dementia.

Residents at the home had the chance to take part in a range of activities and interact with Rupert, who kicked a large blue ball around the home.

He was taken along by Be Equine, a company which specialises in horse therapy. Residents spent the afternoon stroking and grooming him, and leading him around the home and grounds.

Equine-assisted therapy is believed to enhance quality of life for the elderly, particularly those who live with dementia.

Organisers say interacting with the animals has a calming effect and can reduce stress levels, increase confidence and social participation and encourage movement and co-ordination.

The home's manager, Julie Wrighton, said: "Our residents absolutely love animals and it is truly wonderful for Rupert the Horse to visit our care home for the afternoon.

"Animal therapy can be so therapeutic, especially for people living with dementia because it is very calming and relaxing."

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