Jakes loves going to the farm for riding lessons. He loves being able to stay after the lessons to work with the horses and the teachers. And they love having him there too. If anything needs to be done, Jakes is right there to help.
Pumpkin is Jakes buddy. He loves Pumpkin and Pumpkin loves him. Jakes was having a lesson on Nugget and another helper was out trying to catch Pumpkin. Pumpkin was being contrary and didn't want to be caught. Ms. Jill sent Jakes out to help. Pumpkin came right over to Jakes and let him harness and lead him into the ring for work.
When Pumpkin was finished for the day, Jakes led him back into the pasture and Jakes scratched Pumpkin in his special spot. Pumpkin LOVED it! He stretched his head up and nickered. And when Jakes was done, said good-bye, Pumpkin turned and nudged Jakes in response.
I watched Jakes riding around the ring on Nugget. He was steering him and working the course all by himself. I was amazed! The last time I watched Jakes on a horse, he had to be lead and guided by one of the teachers. Ms. Jill said he's gotten so much better. This weekend, I will stick around and get some pictures of him.
There is a wonderful young man, David who is blind and has other special needs. David loves riding. David's grandmother loves Jakes and how he is with David. Jakes is gentle with David, he tells him where to walk, step and helps to hold him in the saddle. Jakes and David are about the same age so they get along and chat about "boy" things. Jakes considers David a friend.
One day at the farm, Jakes was helping to hold Pixie in the saddle. Pixie is a 3 year old autistic girl and she is just adorable. She doesn't make eye contact but she knows there is a world out there. She will respond when you talk to her and she will answer questions. Her dad wanted to demonstrate how smart she is. She was standing over at a KIA van when her dad asked her to show him the K-I-A. She pointed to each one and started to walk away. Her dad asked her to point to the numbers on the license plate. She was already "done" with showing off, but she still turned and waved her hand in the general direction of the car.
On the day that Jakes was holding her in the saddle, Ms. Jill was telling her that they were done and it was time to get off. Pixie put her arms around Jakes neck for him to lift her off the horse. She made eye contact with him when he stood her on the ground. So Sweet!
Last week, Jakes made an obstacle course for the other helpers and then he judged them as they went through the course. He also made up prizes and some were very creative. I was impressed with his imagination. I loved that the other kids were willing to play with him, working it in around their chores.
Jakes loves going to the farm, not only for the horses but also because he is accepted and valued by everyone, not just the adults. I love Jakes going to the farm because he has a place where he loves to go and feels accepted and valued, by everyone.