A group of therapy ponies suffered a close call when Storm Arwen tore through their yard in South Gloucestershire.

Heavy winds pulled the roof from the stable block, leaving the ponies terrified and two trapped inside their boxes.

One of the owners, Lauren Jones, was notified by a neighbour on Saturday morning (27 November), and told the roof was off, with half in the lane and the other half in a hedge.

Lauren rushed to the yard and the doors were removed from the damaged building, allowing the ponies to escape.

Thankfully only one of the ponies sustained an injury, which she is recovering from.

“They are still very shaken up and wary,” Lauren told Your Horse on Thursday (2 November). “But it could have been much worse.”

Lauren and friend Lisa Johnson run therapy sessions for children with physical and learning disabilities with four of the ponies.

The children enjoy grooming and handling the animals, but these therapeutic experiences have been put on hold following the damage.

“We have disabled kids ourselves and have seen benefits the ponies give to ours,” said Lauren.

“We had been working with two groups since July and were just building a reputation and that had been ripped away.

“The ponies are now out 24/7. One, Sioned, had a knock on her back leg, she’s ok and taking it very slowly and
stretching it out.”

A GoFundMe page has been launched to raise funds to repair the stables and it has already reached its target of £3,000.

“I was surprised [at the public’s generosity],” said Lauren. “One person donated £2,000. We’re planning to rebuild the stables in the new year, we’re just trying to find someone to carry out the work.”

Lead image: Bear and Strawberry, two of the therapy ponies

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