Henri Carew, Northumberland, UK

Hi guys,
I’m sure you get loads of mail like this, but I’m just so inspired by what I’ve learned from you all, I had to share it.

I read the Horse Boy and thought it was an amazing story, I then by chance contacted Gillian to find out more, which lead to me joining the horse boy training in somerset in November. At the time I wasn’t sure why I signed up for this training, I just felt i should go. The training was amazing, but I wasn’t really sure how it was going to apply to me and the Calvert trust, I felt the tricks could be a great tool for autistic kids visiting our activity centre ( we had previously done some clicker training with a pony along the lines of dog training),  I was drawn to the therapy but still not sure how I fitted in.

I did some trick training with Jan and was fortunate enough to get her full attention for 2 days, and was lucky enough to handle some of her elite horses on the 2nd day, horses i was very much in awe of on the 1st day.

Well now I’ve been practicing the tricks, and the first thing I noticed was how much my ponies liked it, in fact they get really lit up and it relieves some of the stress and boredom that  a riding school pony faces. the 2nd thing I noticed was how much I was getting out of it, funny enough, relieving some of the stress that faces a riding school manager! but what really struck me was how willing the ponies are and how much they are prepared to offer, the first time a pony gave me reverence it felt quite emotional! Same pony did his first bow today and I’m just wow’d by that. I was getting into this to serve others but suddenly I’m the one getting healed by this amazing experience with my ponies!

Whilst getting the ponies used to therapy I asked a friend to come and guinea pig, she has a fibromyalgia which she fights convincingly, she went through the motions and didn’t say much but the next time I saw her she had to admit that it had had a profound affect on her, she said it was like a giant hug which left her warm, warm like she was wearing a vest. that wow’d me to

But the reason I’m writing this to you is to tell you about a boy with Aspergers who has recently started riding with us, he gets quite frustrated when he rides and just want to go fast and jump, which of course hes not ready to do yet. He came for his lesson and was looking fairly bored on his pony so i asked him how he felt about trying something new. He agreed. We took off the tack and got to work, the only question he asked was’ what if he kicks me in the face’ I assured him that wouldn’t happen, but he might get trodden on, or pushed around a bit!
I had to be brave and let him get on with it, alone in the school with a cliker and a bum bag full of carrots. Before long they were both running round the school, turning in tune. Throwing and fetching the ball and having an amazing time, the biggest thrill was when pony followed him in trot by his own will!
Afterwards, this boy told me ‘i feel like I’m on fire but with oil’ i think i know what he means! the same boy who used to cut himself just so he could feel something!
His mum can’t believe the change in him at home,

So what I’m trying to say is thank you all for teaching me the things I needed to know, because now i feel like I’m on fire but with oil!



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