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This is Black Jack. He is our longest standing horse team member with 12 years under his hooves of helping us all learn. His story began when a student rescued him from the sales. he was black and just a baby, a very frightened baby. He was untouchable and had to be herded onto a trailer to be transported to the farm. We knew nothing about him and had to work out from his body language what he was comfortable with and not. We learnt a lot about him very quickly, He didn’t like being kept in…..anywhere! Whichever field you left him in, you would find him in a different one the next morning. He didn’t like to be touched or trapped in any way. He was very nervous and jumpy and really just wanted to eat grass and be left alone. As we worked with him to build trust he began to come around to the idea that people were OK and being asked to learn new things wasn’t so bad. Over time the halter could be put on, then the obstacles could be done for bombproofing and being lead everywhere was OK. Black Jack became so trusting and relaxed about what we were teaching him that when we had some younger students take an interest in backing him we let them crack on and do it. So a load of children put a saddle on him and a bridle and built up his confidence with something new. It was at this moment it became very obvious why Black Jack had come into our lives. There was no fear from the children to him or him towards the children. They could get him to do anything they asked, being ridden, swimming in the river, crazy amounts of balloons and bunting, nothing worried him. Only the other week he was in Harrogate walking right through the middle of town with children, balloons, banners raising acceptance for Autism.
Black Jack, who is now white, has supported so many people through Equine Facilitation, Family Fun Days, Summer Camps and even flagged up medical problems for people. He has now become the logo, a white horse with a set of wings on, for our Charity Autism Angels.
We cannot thank this horse enough for what he has done and he is a treasured member of the team. If you would ever like to meet him he does visits to schools and Galas and you can see him down on the farm at one of our events or programmes.