RESIDENTS at a North Yorkshire care home were given the chance to meet a special visitor earlier this week.

Thistle Hill care home in Knaresborough were "pleasantly surprised," to see their new furry friend trotting down the corridor as Smithy the horse had come to visit.

The care home's general manager, Mandy Scott, said: "Our residents have really enjoyed their unusual visitor today. We knew that having the horse here would be a bit of fun for all our residents.

"We are always looking for new activities for the residents and today we have seen the enjoyment and the therapeutic influence an animal such as Smithy can have on people."

Care home resident, Nancy, was very excited to see Smithy. She said: "As a child I used to love all the animals on the nearby farm.

"Especially the horses, I was lucky enough to have one of my own and seeing Smithy brought back so many lovely memories."

Thistle Hill care home is run by Barchester Healthcare. The home provides residential, nursing and dementia care for 85 residents from respite care to long term stays.