When rescue pony Asgar was adopted by nurse Sandra Smith two years ago, he was covered in lice and could not bear to be touched.
But yesterday the six-year-old Shetland Pony, now a picture of health, was lapping up the attention at Moorland Nursing Home in Poulton when night nurse Sandra brought him in to meet residents.
It was his second visit to the home on Moorland Road after he had the elderly residents in raptures 18 months ago.
This time, a doll dressed as Cupid with feathers and a bow and arrow was saddled on him to mark Valentine’s Day.
Sandra, who also frequently takes her West Highland terrier Tinkerbell to work, is a great believer in animal therapy.
“The residents absolutely loved having Asgar in last time so I thought I would take him back,” she said.
“He was absolutely amazing and really quite chilled out about it.
“He is such a changed pony from when I first got him and he could not deal with any attention whatsoever.”
Sandra, who lives at Lea near Preston, said Asgar had again gone down well with residents.
“February isn’t the nicest of months, so I just thought this would be a bit of fun for the residents,” she added.
“It brings a little bit of the outside inside for them and it is calming.
“It was worth it just to see the smiles on their faces and the joy it brings.”