Katie's Diary

I love working with horses

15th March 2017

Rob lives independently in his own flat enabled to have greater independence by ubu. Recently he went to visit his mum as he often does on Sunday mornings. It’s a good time for them to enjoy each other’s company and to catch up. While at his mum’s home, Rob noticed and picked up a decorative toy horse. Rob is very fond of soft toys and although he has limited verbal communication, he whispered a few words to the toy and played with it affectionately.  When it was time to go home, Rob put the toy horse back on the shelf gently and said goodbye to his mum.

On his way back to his own flat, Rob began whispering to himself, “Horse…horse I want see it”. The ubu enabling team member who was travelling with him thought at first that Rob had spotted a horse from the bus window but there wasn’t one to be seen. It soon became clear though that Rob was thinking about the toy horse at his mums home. When they got back home, Rob carried on letting everyone around him know in his own way that he was interested in horses. He was clearly taking the lead by expressing his excitement about something new that he felt really happy with finding.

His ubu support team spent some time thinking about and planning how to enable Rob to have an experience with real horses. When an opportunity came up for Rob to visit a local stables where he could have some direct contact with horses he was really enthusiastic about going along.

Rob was keen to help out, he was asked to start by sweeping the yard. It gave him a chance to get to know the place and to see the horses in the stable. His gleaming eyes and wide grin told everyone how good this experience already was for him. Rob carefully and considerately inched towards one of the horses whose head was peeking out of its stable. He reached out his hand and began stroking the horse’s head. The horse clearly enjoyed the attention and care Rob was showing her.

The manager at the stables was so impressed with Rob’s gentle approach and the response from the horses that he asked Rob if he’d like to come back another time and help to feed the horses as well. At first Rob didn’t say anything but he was obviously cherishing the moment smiling broadly and finally being able to express himself and his fondness for the ‘real’ horses.

Rob likes wearing his wellington boots too and doesn’t mind getting wet and messy. Now he goes every week, not only to see the horses, but also to help feed them, help clean their stables and sweep the grounds. Rob has found a wonderful way to make a very positive contribution to his local community and enjoy expressing himself in the way he chooses to.

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