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We love to hear from all our Guardians here at Redwings. Sometimes that might be about a competition win or a training success, but sometimes - like the story of Jenalynn and Redwings Whisper - it is a heartwarming example of the power that ponies can have to improve our wellbeing, just by being a fantastic four-legged friend.
Welsh Mountain pony Whisper, 26, and her Guardian Jenalynn have been together for six months and enjoy in-hand walks together in the countryside, often bringing cheer to walkers who cross their paths.
Explaining her decision to rehome a Redwings pony, Jenalynn said: “In 2013 I suffered a brain virus which resulted in me spending 18 months in rehab learning to walk properly again and understand what people were saying. Last year, the opportunity came up for me to have a horse again and I decided I wanted to look after a rescue pony. Whilst I could not ride anymore, I was hopeful I would find a pony who would like to be walked about with me.”
Along came Whisper – the perfect pony for the job!
Whisper originally came to Redwings in 2005 from the Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies (SWHP). She had originally been found in a very poor condition with her foal. Redwings and SWHP worked in partnership for many years prior to our merger in 2019, with horses like Whisper offered a home at Redwings to assist them with necessary veterinary treatment or handling expertise.
Whisper had been rehomed previously to loving Guardian homes, but due to a change in her Guardians' circumstances, was looking for a special home to continue to be loved and cherished.
In fact, Whisper is such a popular lady that Jenalynn has set up an online messaging group for her previous Guardians. Jenalynn said: “I regularly keep them posted with photos of our walks. I love the fact that her previous Guardians still want to keep posted with her jaunts too. It’s like the Whisper Family and shows how much she was loved!”
There’s no better person to share the story of Whisper and her countryside wanderings in her new home than Jenalynn herself:
“Whisper is an amazing pony who has brought tremendous peace and happiness to our family during the Covid lockdown. My eldest daughter, Ellie, who was very nervous around horses, is now confident enough to get her out of her field and give her a groom and my youngest Amy has got off her electronic devices and asked to go visit her with me and give her a groom too!
“But the greatest feat of all is that Whisper has even managed to bring my husband around to liking ponies and he has actually got close to a pony. He has moved from “hating horses” to being “very fond” of Whisper and will often accompany me up the field and secretly fuss over her. She seemed to realise she had a lot of work to impress him, and she succeeded with just a friendly nudge or two!
“Having her was genuinely the best way to look after our mental health especially during lockdown. I regularly walk her with my Border Terrier, Maisie, and we often get comments from cyclists about the two “dogs” I’m walking. Whisper absolutely loves these walks around the countryside and is extremely nosey, often stopping to take in the lovely views.
"People stop and say hello to Whisper and Maisie when I walk them and will say how it has helped them feel less lonely too, so she has brought happiness all round! Plus, I hear lovely stories from old ramblers who use the bridleways of how they grew up riding similar types ponies – often we’re shouting at each other due to the two-metre social distancing but Whisper doesn’t bat an eyelid!
"Whisper has exceeded all expectations of the Guardian journey with Redwings and I’m thrilled! When people stop to ask me about her I will promote Redwings to anyone who will listen!”