My nearly 10yr old niece has been visiting Soo and the herd at Eureka Pines for nearly 2 years now, since we relocated from Sydney. Having had some limited experience handling and riding ponies, Siobhan was very keen to "get riding" again.
While her riding has improved vastly, developing a lovely, secure position, I know Siobhan equally enjoys the handling of the horses, brushing them, doing their feet, tacking up etc, which is what I really wanted her to experience - being with horses is so much more than just riding.
Soo provides such a great, safe environment/framework for Siobhan to try new things to challenge herself, make decisions about what will happen on the day (ride bareback or on a trail) or which horse (from a selection) she might work with. Siobhan has often chosen to do groundwork with different herd members, and has come away from these sessions, as described by herself, as feeling "so relaxed and happy, can't wait to do that again."
Siobhan has had to deal with the move, a new school and friends, and grief from the loss of her Pa, so while her skill level has greatly increased, most importantly her self-confidence and sense of achievement, her mood/behavioural control, and concentration has improved, and her resilience levels have increased with the ability of working towards a goal.
All of these benefits are so evident from her time spent with the herd and Soo at Eureka - the joy and excitement are there every fortnight. She'd go every day if she could! As a horse lover my whole life, I know the sense of peace and mindfulness being around a horse can bring, and I can see that now in Siobhan, thanks to Soo and the herd at Eureka Pines.