When Tiffany was born she had an unknown disorder that lead her to have Global developmental delays. The doctors thought she may never walk or talk. She was completely non-verbal until she was 8 years old.
She also has physical problems and did not take her first step until she was 3 years old and could not sit on a normal chair with out falling off, She fell over every 5-6 steps and wore pediro boots, spinal belt and used a wheel chair.
Artie was a big 17'2 thoroughbred, the gentle giant, he was very head shy as he did not have a good start in life and was hit by previous owners, he found it hard to trust new people and was a shy horse, he did not like his head or ears touched. And would only let people near him after you had gained his trust.
From the moment they met they loved each other, Artie would groom Tiffany's hair and she would kiss and cuddle him, and they would play hide and seek in the sand school.
Artie took Tiffany into his heard and loved, protected and groomed her ( she needed it with her hair!)
In return Tiffany brushed, cuddled and loved him back :)
The more time they spent together the happier they were, and then……… Tiffany started “clicking” to get him to come with her, she attempted to vocalise with him (she did not want to even attempt to make a sound with us!)
The clicking turned into noises and the little lady we thought we would never hear the voice of found her voice.
Around this time we brought her a pony she could ride….. This was a very scary prospect as she could not sit on a chair and fell over frequently, but with a cub saddle and being held she got on….. she had to click to get Brennan to move (Stubborn old man who rather be eating!)
But again he joined our little heard and Tiffany, Artie and Brennan all played (or we caught Brennan when he escaped to check out the grass in the next field!)
We used to sing to the horse's as we rode and Tiffany started babbling and at age 7 she said her first word ……. STUCK …… yes it was a very common thing for our little Tiffany to be stuck was quite an appropriate first word
Then our herd grew again with the addition of a baby….. Yes its BEN.
Tiffany was a bit upset as she thought he was going to be the size of a my little pony and not the size of Brennan..
Tiffany would babble away to the horse's she knew and loved and had spent lots of time with, and they seemed to know what she was talking about!
Tiffany started taking them to shows and would proudly go into the ring with her VOCA that had pre programmed information about her and her horse.
She showed In her pediro boots with her voca and in her first show got a 1st place rosette.
Very proud of her!!!!
Tiffany added more and more words to her vocabulary – starting with – Walk, trot and stand!
The most used sign in our house was horse!
Her Physio could not believe she could ride unaided as she was still falling of chairs at school and falling over thin air all the time – to this day she still uses a wheel chair for any kind of distances and suffers acute pain in her joints.
But put her on a horse and she will ride for miles!
Starting with my shy little girl who only felt safe letting her very close family and the horses hear her new voice into a little lady that was full of confidence…… and learned to talk more and more each day.
She needed a bigger pony and we rescued an adorable little black pony – Pudding, she takes time to trust but once she does you have a friend for life.
Tiffany at age 9 went from saying 10 words to 100 words in a year!
At this time she was not attending a school as she was awaiting a new SEN placement, she was only having speech therapy once a month.
The doctors could not believe she has managed this, the communication team and speech therapists were shocked, she had been in a speech and language unit receiving daily speech therapy for the previous 4 years with no to very little improvement in her speech, the only difference that year was she was not attending school and spent most of her time with her true loves her ponies!
Tiffany is full of confidence and will now talk to strangers something no one thought she would ever do, she competes in shows talking to the judges and has qualified for county shows.
Tiffany is now diagnosed with global developmental delay, Autism hypermobility Syndrome, Ora-motor Dyspraxia, Dyspraxia, sensory processing disorder, low muscle tone, ligament laxity, flat feet, and a learning disability.
Ben is now all grown up and ready to help those who need him, Pudding is the same loveable little lady that trusted us to help her and will now help others, and Jigsaw our newest herd member who was rescued from being tethered up and has grown to love us all as we love her has the gentlest soul and being Tiffany's new riding companion she understands the new job she has to do.
Brenan is enjoying his retirement eating as much as he can!
Sadly we lost Artie, but as our Founder he will never be forgotten, the bond we had with him will be forever and remain unbroken and he is always in our thoughts and hearts.
Thanks to him we now have the chance for TEAL to help others
We now would like to help others join our herd, and be helped the way Artie helped Tiffany all those years ago and how our herd continue to help her now
TEAL – Our Story
To be continued…….
( with lots of other stories of success, and hope! )