At 43 inches, Pedro, an adorable pint-sized Shetland pony, is so small that he can’t even see over his own stable door. Fortunately, a group of schoolchildren recently found a solution to his problem – they designed a special equine periscope just for him. The cardboard contraption, aptly named the ‘Pedroscope’, is fixed to the 60-inch gate and uses carefully placed mirrors in order to give 14-year-old Pedro a view of the world outside his stall.
Owing to his small stature, Pedro was given a home at Ebony Horse Club, a struggling charity in London that gives disadvantaged children a chance to engage with horses. But builders estimated that it would cost thousands of pounds to create a custom-made miniature stable for the cute pony. So the charity turned to local school children for help, and they rose to the occasion quite beautifully. They came up with the design for the cardboard periscope, which was later built by printing firm Print & Cut.
“We got an email from the Ebony Horse Club who were asking for our help, it was so nice, and a little bit funny, that we decided to give it a go,” said Andy Morris, owner of Print & Cut. “The sketch was sent to us and then I turned it into a 3D sketch with some software, and then it was sent to be made. It was all quite easy, and we did it for free to help Pedro. As soon as I saw it, I thought it was funny and knew it would be relatively easy for us to do, and we’d make the pony and children pretty happy.”
35-year-old Gavin Hall, who actually built the periscope, said it was a fairly easy job. “It took me about three hours so it wasn’t too bad really, but it was a strange few hours working on a pony periscope,” he said. The 5-foot device was finally transported to London by overnight courier, and Pedro was simply delighted with his new viewing device when he tried it out last week.
The ‘Pedroscope’ is one of several ideas that the children came up with. The other creative ideas included ‘suspend him from a giant helium balloon’, ‘build a set of steps for his stable’, ‘cut a spy hatch into his door’, and ‘build him a very high straw bed’. And needless to say, the children were quite smitten with the cute little pony. “Pedro is so cute and our other horses love him. I’d never seen a horse in real life ’til I came to Ebony, never mind one as small as Pedro,” said 11-year-old helper Grace Mpungi.
“We’ve been looking it up online and reckon it’s the world’s first pony periscope!” added 15-year-old Cameron Chapman, who came up with the name ‘Pedroscope’.
“The children have been really imaginative in coming up with ideas for Pedro’s problem,” said riding instructor Sorrel Docherty. “I love the ‘Pedroscope’ and Pedro’s just getting the hang of it. But really he would love a mini stable of his own.
The charity is now trying its best to raise funds for an appropriate-sized home for Pedro. Letty Porter, who works with Ebony Horse Club, said that the periscope is only a ‘fun interim solution’.” Pedro spends lots of time out in the paddock playing, so he has a wonderful life,” she said. “But we’d love to buy him a new miniature stable with a lower door so he can look out and see what’s going on when relaxing in his stable.”