Retired funeral horse, Bruce, brought joy to the residents of a care home in Hampshire when he trotted in for a visit.
Bruce, aged 19, regularly worked for Diamond & Son Funeral Directors in Lymington which is part of the funeral Partners family The team from Diamond & Son thought it would be nice for Bruce to visit Linden House in Lymington, a dedicated care home for people living with dementia.
After retiring seven years ago, Bruce now enjoys life with his owner Claire Knights, Area Development Manager for Funeral Partners.
Claire said: “Bruce has looked after many families through Diamond & Son, taking them on their last journey, and is quite well known in the area. He has an amazing calm temperament which is why we thought it would be nice for him to spend time with residents at Linden House.
Stephanie Brown, Funeral Arranger at Diamond & Son, said: “Bruce got so many smiles. He had a very special connection with two of the elderly residents, which was magical to watch.
“He is a gentle giant, the residents enjoyed talking to him and they loved feeding him his low-fat treats. Bruce got so much attention, it was a very enjoyable afternoon and I think Bruce enjoyed himself too.”
In retirement, Bruce enjoys quiet hacks in the forest, rides on the beach and going to the pub.
Stephanie added: “This was Bruce’s first visit to a care home and, as it was a such massive success, we hope he can do more visits in future.”
Lorraine Bell, Care Home Manager, said: “Having Bruce visit us brought simple, unforgettable memories to our residents, not only for the horse lovers, but the many others who came out to see him. This we hope was the first of many visits of Bruce and we look forward to his return.”
“Bruce bonded especially with Nigel who is one of our residents, sharing his hay and nuzzling his ear. Nigel is a great horse lover who has enjoyed riding in the past and thoroughly enjoyed reliving past experiences, the smile on his face was a joy to watch. “