For 20 minutes once a week, Zenzele feels just like any other girl. She’s gleefully stretching her arms out at her sides, making fists with her little hands as if to grasp the sunshine, she’s sitting up straight, she’s laughing out loud, she’s mobile, fluid, dexterous, coordinated with the movement of the horse beneath her. For 20 minutes once a week she forgets she’s limited in her movements, held back by hands and feet which don’t comply to her wishes. For 20 minutes she’s totally free.

Zenzele is part of Healing With Horses’ Wednesday group from King George VI. She is gasping with delight from the moment she arrives, throughout her 20 minute ride, and long after she’s been lifted off. We can give you all the reasons, fully backed up by scientific evidence, why animal therapy assists children with challenges, be they physical, emotional or educational, why the children in these groups are learning to communicate better through understanding how their emotions are mirrored by the horses, how it is gently urging them to use new muscles, stretch paralysed limbs. Or we can simply show you these photographs of Zenzele and her friends and let you see for yourself what happiness and newfound confidence looks like.