A rescue pony has found a new job delivering novels to a socially distanced book club, inspired by one of the group’s monthly reads.
Micky, ridden by his owner Abi Eliot-Williams, first stepped into the role as a way to cheer up isolating residents during the lockdown but has proved so popular he could become a regular addition to the Hullavington Book Group in Wiltshire.
The delivery was inspired by the group’s February read, Giver Of Stars by Jojo Moyes, about a group of librarians who deliver books by packhorse across rural Kentucky in the 1930s.
Ms Eliot-Williams, whose mother, Elizabeth Parry-Williams, runs the local group, offered Micky to help collect the books and deliver the March read, with the help of 11-year-old daughter Poppy.
“Micky just has the ability to make people smile,” Ms Eliot-Williams told the PA news agency.
“He has such a lovely smiley face. And so not only are people getting their book delivered, which they tell us they really look forward to anyway, but then we turned up with a nice pony and it’s an extra reason to smile.”
Ms Parry-Williams added: “People really enjoyed the book, so turn up with the pony, it was a lot of fun.”
The group has been unable to meet for more than a year, and Ms Parry-Williams said it can be “hard to keep the momentum going”, but delivering with Micky gave the group something new to focus on and said he would be used to help deliver books in April and May.
Ms Eliot-Williams adopted Micky from the Blue Cross, after initially visiting to look at another pony in October last year.
Micky was rescued as a colt after being found abandoned in poor conditions on a farm and taken in by the charity
“Micky just came over randomly and wouldn’t leave us alone,” she said.
“And we said, ‘He’s a lovely friendly pony’, and they said, ‘Oh no, he’s normally very timid with people and doesn’t make much of an effort’.
“It was purely just he decided to speak to us, and that was that — we had to have him.”
Abigail Leach, the horse rehoming coordinator at the charity, said: “It’s really wonderful to see Micky now doing so well in his new home and bringing a smile to everyone in his local community during these difficult times.
“We have been continuing to find new homes for horses like Micky throughout the lockdown. Last year Blue Cross found new homes for more than 250 horses who came into our care.
“We’d urge anyone looking for a horse to consider rehoming from a rescue charity, or if anyone is struggling with a horse during these unprecedented times to contact us for advice and support.”