Patient's Experience

Brian, an 11 year old boy, came to LEAP so painfully shy that he had no friends. He found it difficult to function in school due to his self-consciousness. Frequently he had violent outbursts that further alienated him from his classmates. After four LEAP sessions Brian was playing soccer on a neighborhood team. Over the next 6 months his concentration, ability to manage his feelings and deal with them appropriately improved dramatically, as did his grades. Brian has a whole new outlook on the world – not a scary, threatening place – but a world of wonder and potential.

Shante, a 12 year old girl, came to LEAP after several hospitalizations following suicide attempts. She carried a major psychiatric diagnosis and had not made progress in past therapies due to her profound distrust of others. She immediately bonded with a ‘rescue’ horse and her desire to help him develop trust enabled her to look at the painful aspects of her own past that kept her at risk. She is now excelling in school and is excited about her future in a technical field.

Carl is a 14 year old boy diagnosed with ADHD. He had difficulty focusing his attention in school and at home. He was disruptive in the classroom, hyperactive, impulsive, frequently fighting, defiant and uncooperative. Carl was paired with a therapy horse that could be flighty and difficult if not handled with a calm, cool hand. As Carl learned to work effectively with Sammy, his aggressive behavior diminished quickly. Now he has the skills and resources to be a positive member of his school and family instead of a disruptive influence.

Maggie and Ellie are adolescent sisters who were removed from their home due to maternal abuse and neglect. Maggie was significantly depressed and Ellie was defiant and aggressive.Their work with the LEAP therapists and horses helped them deal with the pain of their past, and allowed them to identify their strengths and potential.They are now looking toward the future with hope and enthusiasm.

In Their Words

13 year old boy: "Before I was with LEAP I had no trust and I was always scared of everything. Working with LEAP has made me how I am now. LEAP has taught me to not stay in one place – to keep moving forward. And it has also taught me to never give up on something that you really like doing. And when you stay with things that you like doing you get good at them. And I have gave up a lot that I didn’t need that always made me sad and worried. And what I have regained is a lot better and its going to help me a lot in the future and if I didn’t have LEAP I wouldn’t know what to do and that makes me feel like a better person. And when I was with LEAP it made me not care for what made me sad and it made me care for what made me happy. When I first started LEAP I was scared and nervous …now I’m not scared … I will always remember what LEAP has taught me. And now I know that I will always be how I am and all I want to say is thanks LEAP you really helped me a lot."

16 year old girl: "When I came to LEAP I was scared and had little confidence. The little bit of time I have been working with LEAP has changed the way I look at and do things. I have learned how to do everything without being mean like screaming at everyone. I knew that wasn’t right but that was the only way I knew. That wasn’t communicating, that was just pushing everyone away which I didn’t want. Coming to LEAP has changed my ways for the better. [My Brother] and I don’t fight as much which is good cuz now we can bond. Now leaving LEAP I have a lot to look forward to and have confidence to do it with. I enjoyed working with great people and horses."

14 year old girl: "Working with the horses has helped me to believe in myself and gain confidence. I’ve learned that I can do anything if I set my mind to it."