Ava was initially reluctant to leave mum and required significant reassurance before she was happy for mum to go. She also had a teddy with her which made her ‘feel better.’ By her second session she had left him at home as ‘she no longer needed him.’
Ava enjoyed interacting with the horses but did become nervous and required reassurance to remain in the same space as them.
Ava struggled to share her thoughts and feelings, using the word ‘anxious’ to describe her feelings. When she saw other learners would compare herself, however she is now able to identify positive attributes about herself and identify her feelings and what is behind that feeling.
Ava has engaged very well with mindfulness, particularly using the physical sensation of feeling her horse’s breathing. She uses these ‘coping mechanisms’ to reduce her anxiety when transitioning back to school. Ruby shared that she had been ‘practising’ these exercises and as a result her anxiety hadn’t prevented her from attending school.
Ava admitted that she gets distracted very easily and has worked on identifying her own distractions, by comparing them to those of her chosen horse. She now feels she is more able to focus.
Ava engaged in activities identifying the importance of physical activity, healthy lifestyle and exercise on the horses emotional and physical well-being. By observing the positive impact that it had on her chosen horse she developed a more positive attitude towards exercise and more understanding of the importance of diet and lifestyle, by discussing the impact that poor diet can have on the horses, she was able to understand the impact of these factors on people too.