Maya Grows with Horses

Months before Maya transferred from Kenston to Gaitway, Fieldstone’s alternative high school, she was already volunteering at the farm,
assisting in our riding and carriage driving classes. She helped in any way she could, taking every chance to engage with our horses and
students. Maya had just returned home after running away and was determined to turn her life around. She had been struggling in school and with relationships and needed a safe place to overcome these challenges.

When school started in the fall, she wanted a fresh start and was excited to begin at Gaitway. In addition to her required high school classes, she made sure to enroll in our riding, animal care and equine partnership courses to spend time with our horses. She also continued to volunteer, introducing our students to the joy of horses.

“Volunteering at Fieldstone has helped Maya increase her confidence and feel the satisfaction that comes with helping others,” says Bruce, one of her teachers at Gaitway.

Much to Maya’s delight, she was given a horse buddy, a responsibility reserved for our most dedicated volunteers. Our horse buddies are asked to give one specific horse just a little extra attention with grooming, walking and loving care each week. Maya was assigned to Duke, a
cute Haflinger cross that looks a little like a giant teddy bear. He is an affectionate fellow with a little twinkle in his eye. Maya loves to talk to
Duke and lets her guard down with him because she knows Duke won’t judge. She trusts him and he gives her unconditional love.

Since coming to Gaitway, Maya has blossomed. She’s gained self-esteem, which has transferred into her academics and relationships with friends and family. We are so pleased Maya has found success at Gaitway – thriving on its small group instruction, individualized attention and access to our horses, lessons and 45-acre farm.

“I love how Duke makes me feel needed. I just think he really likes me,” says Maya, our Gaitway student.