You would never know that for the first 2-3 years Mayleigh was home she was TERRIFIED of all animals. From flies to squirrels to dogs to goats! Everything! And even gnats.
I will never forget being at a local park and the tiniest gnat landed on her arm and it sent her into a full blown panic attack. That was when I knew I needed to find help for her. I finally made the call to a therapist.
Now flash forward a few years and we have our own family dog. But going to my parents house with their old, sweet, slow moving golden retriever sent her into a shaking, screaming fit a few years ago. Therapy helped. A lot. She now LOVES animals and follows our golden doodle around all day long. It is almost now the other spectrum. She is obsessed with animals.
I dont know when her love for horses started. She has such a feirce love for them and when she’s riding one, I have never seen her face light up like that! This is HER thing.
We love the idea of her doing team sports also and we tried soccer last spring. The hard part for me was hearing her compare herself to her brothers. It is already hard enough for her with self esteem and fitting in and then she was saying, I didn’t score any goals like my brothers do. I dont want her comparing herself. This is why I love the idea of her doing horses and its her own thing!! Just May and her horse!
This riding she is doing isn’t actual therapy riding lessons, but the benefits that riding is giving her is just huge! Things like self confidence, self esteem, and trust. One of her teachers told me that the pony’s heart beat is so strong that when she is riding the pony, it regulates her heartbeat and can help calm her and reduce her anxiety.
This is only her second lesson!! Doesn’t she look like a natural?! She is learning how to bring her bottom up in the saddle like they do when they jump horses!
When she is done with the lesson she gets to brush her pony. She also loves this part. Brushing and loving on her!!
May’s teacher brings her down syndrome daughter along to help teach lessons and it is so sweet they way she works with her. She is a great rider as well!!
Sorry about the terrible lighting but I just had to post this pic! I mean… look at that smile!!
I am so proud of her! She has so much fear and anxiety in her life and she gets on that pony and is more confident than I have ever seen her!! Just warms my heart!!
I think she has found her passion! Now watch out Daddy because someday your little girl is going to be begging for a horse of her own! lol