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Ava's Story

"I think that incredibly important conversations are happening and [we] feel that Ava* is benefiting from the experience’’.
Ava's Grandparents

*name changed for anonymity

About Ava

Ava is in Year 1 at school and lives with grandparents following a period of abuse and neglect in her past.


She struggles immensely to regulate emotions, has a short attention span and she is working below her age in both Maths and English.  Among her peers, she has a tendency to behave inappropriately by being too intense and she often ends up hurting them. Additionally, she often invades personal space, touches and takes things that don’t belong to her and has no understanding of danger and the impact of any actions that may result from this.

At Stable and Wild

After meeting her coach for the first time, a plan was formed which focused on structure, routine, agreed timings and boundaries to help Ava understand expectations and the agendas for sessions. These were reinforced each week and very quickly Ava became accustomed to her new routine - eg she would prepare her PPE as soon as she arrived.


Working with the horses, in particular Bob, has had a huge impact on Ava in a short space of time. She will often arrive to her session in a highly energetic state, but now understands the impact that heightened energy will have on the horses and adjusts and self-regulates her emotions to ensure that the horses are comfortable and behave around her.  She is also beginning to understand how to be respectful of personal space -  she understands that when she is 'holding on' to Bob and he 'nudges' her, she is invading his space and she should move to the side and respect his needs.


During times of reflection Ava is now able to draw upon positives from the sessions and talks more freely about how she feels. Her communication has improved through talking to her horse Bob and the relationship with her coach is one of trust.


Impact Measures and Outcomes

  • Develop the ability to express and regulate feelings and thoughts positively

    • discusses her feelings during her session reflections 

  • To develop strategies to manage difficult feelings in a more appropriate way

    • awareness of actions and impact through work with the horses

  • To develop an ability to build positive healthy relationships

    • a positive relationship with her coach and her horse Bob

  • To communicate effectively and positively in a safe way

    • Ava keeps herself safe on site and when working with Bob

  • Programme extended to continue positive progression.

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