Hi, my name is Thomas. I am the much-loved barn cat at Urban Stable. I hang out with the students a lot and get to see all the things they do. One of my favourite students is Mario (who’s name and pictures have been changed to protect his privacy). Mario started coming to Urban Stable last year and he loves his horse! The first day Mario arrived at the barn I could tell he was nervous. He hung out with me a lot, which often happens when students have a hard time trying new things and making new friends.
Mario had loads of fun on his first day, and each week as we have a snuggle together on the comfy chairs at the end of the day he tells me he is already looking forward to seeing his horse (and me of course!) next week.
Mario’s horse is so patient with him. I can see that Mario has a hard time with his coordination and with remembering the things he learns from week to week, but his horse is always so kind and gentle it really boosts his confidence. I can see Mario smiling even as he struggles with the buckles and straps on the saddle, because his horse doesn’t make him feel silly about it. I think Mario tries harder and harder every week, and I can see the pay off. Mario’s coordination and skills with the buckles and reins are already so much better!
I may seem like just a sleepy barn cat, but I can see and sense how the students who come and visit me and the horses grow and change. I can also see that Mario is gaining confidence in his skills and in himself because his horse is so patient with him. Did I mention that my friends the horses are really fantastic? ( See my horse friends here).
Mario’s skills and confidence have grown so much since he started visiting me and the horses that when all the students were playing a game on horseback this week, Mario even tried being a leader with his Urban Stable teammates. I could see how pleased he was to find that he could be a leader and that his teammates were kind and accepting of him and his ideas. Mario left the barn today walking a little taller and told me again he couldn’t wait to come back next week.
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