Rainbow Horses with a Rainbow!

"Theo is 7 (nearly 8!) and loves animals, Minecraft and Pokemon. He also has autism. His profile fits that of ‘pathological demand avoidance’, in that his central difficulty is his avoidance of the everyday demands made by other people, due to his high anxiety levels when he feels he’s not in control. Many children avoid demands to some extent, but children with PDA do so to a far greater level than is considered usual. He also has a sensory processing disorder and dyspraxia. When he feels pressured and anxious he can become highly explosive and display some very challenging behaviour. But when he’s feeling calm and happy he is the most delightful boy you could ever imagine. This, of course, is the real Theo. Because of the above school has been very difficult for Theo. Despite having full time 1-2-1 support he is not coping in mainstream school and we are currently working with his current school and a myriad of other professionals and the Local Authority to find somewhere less stressful for Theo to do his learning. It’s not an easy task as it doesn’t feel like he quite fits anywhere. We have been coming to Rainbow Horses for just under a year, and it is the only time Theo willingly leaves the house for anything. He loves the horses and all the other animals on the farm. He has particular affinity with Flick, who is an anxious horse himself, and through Sue’s gentle guidance he has begun to recognise what Flick might be feeling through his body language, and his eyes and face. He adores riding Flick, especially when they go for a trot. Theo’s younger sister Cassie also comes because it’s therapy for all the family and an opportunity for them to both enjoy some time together when Theo’s anxiety levels are low and he’s feeling happy and relaxed. Last week Theo asked me why we go to Rainbow Horses and I explained because Sue and the horses are brilliant at helping children with brains like Theo. The look of relief and happiness on his face said it all when I asked if that was ok – here was a place where he fitted in, where he belonged and he could simply be himself. There are few places like this in the world for Theo, and we would all be devastated if Rainbow Horses was no longer able to offer the incredible support they currently do for children like Theo and their families."

Tornado with a learner

"Just a quick message to say a thank you for working so hard to help Jack and me - every time we hit a stumbling block, you manage to find a way round it!
I am often accused of either pandering to Jack or being too soft on him, but I am convinced by being kind, helping the world adapt to him, giving him a voice and empowering him to feel control over his own world is helping him gain confidence, build his self esteem and ultimately helping him find less challenging ways to express himself.
He was totally exhausted and was unwell after yesterday's session, but in himself felt proud of how he had overcome his pain, fears, worries and difficulties. He is having a zero day today, but has been so articulate, calm, upbeat and easy to manage despite feeling rough that I know what we did yesterday has helped enormously.
Why you are amazing is that you saw what needed to be done for Jack and walked him through it. I see it as the equivalent of getting off a horse that is spooking and terrified of an object, and simply leading it gently past the problem.... most other people would still be banging their legs on and using a whip to force the horse to 'get on with it'; leading only to increased fear and resentment at being made to deal with something scary.
You must be snowed under with so many pressures and demands as RH grows and yet your continued patience and perseverance is an inspiration to me and us as a family. Thank you."

Sancho having a snooze

"I am convinced Jack needs some Zion time, seriously; he seems to be very ''ungrounded" at the moment, as if wary and on watch for something bad to happen. I haven't had these sleep problems with him for a while... months really, and as soon as we pull back on his sessions with RH it starts again; there has to be a link??...
Jack looks at photos of Zion on Facebook and sees the difference, unprompted, of Zion as he arrived and how relaxed he has become as seen in his taste testing sessions. Jack so relates to Zion and I think needs grounding time with 'his horse' to make him feel whole again... nothing else I have tried, from the sea, music and relatives... nothing else seems to come near and connect with him in the same way.
I honestly feel like I am beginning to lose Jack again as we did before and its almost that now he is free-falling in an alien world which doesn't understand him... I knew RH was helping Jack, but I think it has taken this break to make me realise that his time with you is not just beneficial, but essential to him (and not just phrases like 'emotional well being' etc, but really essential to living on any level). He literally cannot function without his time with you and your horses.
Thank you really doesn't cover it... how can you thank someone who is literally bringing your son back to life? Words fail me. Anyhow, will say it anyway... Thank you. Friday can't come soon enough."

Tornado, Pepi and Penny with a learner

"We discovered Rainbow Horses at a time James had disconnected with life. He no longer wanted to live and was terrified of people and the outside world. There was nobody willing to help. Rainbow Horses bent over backwards to try to help him. The horses made a special connection and sensing his anxiety they would follow him, get under his blanket with him and eventually they coaxed him out. Through patience, support and nurture and with the security of the horses he began to reconnect. Sue built up a relationship of trust with him and it became the only place he would leave the house to go. Without Rainbow horses he would never have recovered, he's now happy, well and back out in the world. He still needs Rainbow Horses as he needs that safe place where he can let go of all of the anxiety he has, it balances the stresses of life out. He considers the horses great friends who never judge or let him down. The safety and support Rainbow Horses have given him made him want to live again, I cannot recommend or thank them enough."- Nina
"Rainbow horses means a lot to me because the people there like Sue Coombes are nice and caring and will do anything to make you happy.it also means a lot to me because of the horses there which help me feel safe and calm.I don't know what I would do without rainbow horses. Thank you rainbow horses for all you have done for me."