By soarvalleywestern, Jun 24 2017 10:24AM

Our daughter, Chloe, is seven and she has diagnoses of autism, ADHD (inattentive type), dyspraxia, sensory processing disorder, chronic anxiety and joint hypermobility. Chloe has had fortnightly sessions at Horses for Causes for over two years.

Since we began our journey with Sharon and her team, Chloe has always been very well supported and her additional needs have been embraced. During a period of particularly low self-esteem, Sharon worked with Chloe on dealing with her emotions, at our request. Being able to express her feelings whilst on horseback worked well for Chloe and enabled her to feel safe. Sharon knows what Chloe needs from the session and she is very in tune with Chloe, letting her set the pace. Chloe gets lots of sensory input from the itinerary, which includes preparing feeds and grooming as well as riding. Sharon has a super comfy sensory saddle which Chloe loves to use. Chloe’s sense of balance has improved since she has been riding and she is at her most relaxed and communicative when on horseback.

As Chloe’s parents, there are times when we have needed support. Sharon offered to prepare a report for us based on her observations of Chloe when she was off her ADHD medication on a trial basis, at the request of school. The report highlighted Chloe’s difficulties around concentration and ability to focus on a task without her medication. This was something that we had already verbalised concerns about and it was helpful to have a professional opinion. The trial was cut short after two weeks and Chloe now has the medication she needs to help make daily life less challenging for her.

I would recommend Horses for Causes to anyone who has a child with any additional need. Sharon is very calm and her warm nature motivates the children with gentle encouragement.