The pupils who attend our school all have issues which means they are unable to cope with being in a mainstream school. We have found that by engaging with this facility it proves enormously beneficial to their emotional and social development. The pupils respond well to whole structure of the activities that the sessions provide and always are happy on return. If we had the finances as a school we would most definitely use the facilities more often.
Jo Harris ( Teacher ) River House Special School, Henley-in-Arden. ( 11-16yrs Boys with emotional and behavioural difficulties )
I work with horses and bond with them so well because, put simply, they saved me. I left school when I was twelve and I felt like my life was over, I threw away my chance at an education and I felt like I proved everybody right. Nobody ever said the words, but I know what they thought; she is pathetic, worthless, useless and a waste of space, nobody ever looked or sounded like they cared, so I believed that was the truth, I believed that was how everybody felt, until I started Natural Horsemanship. I realised that everything I had believed my entire life was wrong.
I started off working with a black Shetland pony called Martin; he was a rescue pony. Working with him did help because all horses are the same in one respect; they do not care whether you are male, female, black, white, gay, straight, military, convict, liberal or conservative; they just care whether or not you have a beautiful soul, and by beautiful I mean kind. So yes, working with Martin helped, but it was not enough, and then one day we got a new pony, Tatty, I looked at him and he looked at me, I saw he was broken and he saw that I was broken.
Tatty came to Equine Learning from a family, they had gotten him from his first owner who had beaten and abused poor Tatty, he did not know how to trust at all, he was terrified of people. We felt the same way; that nobody cared, nobody could be trusted and the people who are supposed to protect you, only end up hurting you. So, I was asked to start working with him to try and teach him it was ok to trust me, which was a challenge, when I started working with him he would run a mile if he so much as saw his own shadow. But gbardually he started to trust me, he would join -up with me and he no longer tried to run away from me; he actually told me in his own way when something was scaring him and when I found a way to sort the problem he would say thank you, again in his own way. Every day that Tatty;s trust in me grew another piece of me got fixed, my heart, that had been shattered and smashed every day since I was a child, had been repaired, as had my soul which had been destroyed by the very people that were supposed to protect it. Both my heart and soul, although the cracks can be seen, can still be used; they now work, my heart for the first time ever.
That one pony managed to use his love to fix me piece by piece until there were no more pieces of me left on the floor. I have no idea how much I fixed him, but I do believe that I did help to fix him and I do know that if it were not for Tatty, I highly doubt I would be here today. Tatty saved me and no matter where I go or what I do I will always love him. He is my best friend. I love him and I am proud to say my best friend is a pony. I love him and I always will!