Shyanna and Takel Whiting
It used to be that each year we nominated a child as our Personal Ponies theme child but we realized that often it is the whole family that deserves this recognition. This could not be more true fort Takel Whiting and her family. Takel Whiting and her family have been involved with Personal Ponies since May 1 2009. We placed two ponies, Angus and ShyAnna, with Takel on May 9, 2009. From the first visit, our State Director, Donnis Mager knew Personal Ponies was what Takel needed. And now Donnis is the first to tell you that now it is our program that needs Takel. Takel is a true vision as to what the ponies can do for a child. Her first visit she could not stay on task more than a few seconds and was challenged every request she was given. Now almost three years later she is able to stay on task do what is asked of her including taking care of the ponies. Takel now halters and walks the ponies on her own and is always telling the ponies “you need to listen to me or you can not go for a walk!” When she first started with the ponies Angus and ShyAnna would run from Takel. Now they run to Takel for the LOVE she gives them. Donnis and her mother, Shelly will tell you that it has been an amazing journey. When Takel visits Donnis to see the new babies or the other ponies she will ask if Mr. Mager is home. She will knock on his office door and ask his permission to go see the ponies. She has become a very polite girl that listens to what people are saying. The ponies have reinforced her good behavior and have encouraged her beyond anything imagined. Donnis also talks about how supportive the family is of our program doing anything she needs to be helpful. The family now gets involved and participates in all of our community activity that Below is a copy of a letter Shelly sent to a few months ago. Enjoy the letter and the photos!
FROM SHELLY WHITING 12/2011
To whom it may Concern,
My name is Shelley Whiting. I am the mother of TaKel Whiting, an Aspergers, ADHD 9 year old. When TaKel was 7 years old we attended a fair held at our local park. Here is where we met Donnis Mager and were introduced to the Personal Ponies Program. I filled out the paper work immediately and we were on the waiting list. We were overjoyed when we were placed with two Ponies that same spring. Up to this point our Therapy with TaKel had been all about external control. When we started implementing a routine with the ponies amazing things began to happen. The routine was simple, put lead ropes on and walk them up the road and back, groom them, and wait for the next day (I did the feeding). However simple the tasks, here is the amazing thing--- TaKel's therapy started moving from external control to internal control. She became responsible for something including herself. Her work was to keep the pony safe by doing what was best for the pony. Over the next year and half we have seen the transformation fully shift to internal control. She is now able to walk the pony, sometimes ride the pony with little to no coaching; she has gained a respect for herself and other forms of life. I won't say this all came without some great stories to tell, but it has come and we owe this 100% to the opportunity Personal Ponies has offered TaKel. We are currently working on training the ponies to be better suited for riding and carting, hoping to take this internal control to another level. Thank you so much for the program, we will always cherish the gift it has given our daughter and our family.
Kisses for ShyAnna