By Rebekah Morgan
Having been fortunate enough to have grown up with horses and experience several areas of the equine industry, Park Lane Stables is where I’ve learned most, not only in better horsemanship but also in terms of various life skills.
Having been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome as a child, some skills that come naturally to others need to be taught to people like me, as well as constantly practised and refined. Although I feel uncomfortable admitting it, people on the spectrum face a lot of harsh judgement and requirements to ‘change the way we are’ to fit in, but at Park Lane, my difference is not only tolerated, but celebrated. When I’m there, I’m not put into situations that I feel anxious about. There’s very clear guidance on what’s expected of me on a day-to-day basis, which means I feel safe and confident at work.
When I arrived at the Stables in 2015 searching for a new job, I immediately knew it was the right place. The atmosphere was welcoming and full of energy – there were happy horses and happy humans. Some of the other yards I’d visited were bigger and had better facilities but had a tired and monotonous feeling, with no passion at all.
It’s the ‘can do’ attitude and creative thinking behind Park Lane that makes things work here – what you put in is what you get out. It’s more than just a place of work, it’s my safe haven and I always want to come, whether for work or something else. It has always been here when life throws its challenges.
When I thought the Stables had to close, it was upsetting to say the least. They had given me stability and allowed me to make a smooth transition from an immature teenager to adulthood. I honestly don’t think other yards would understand the needs of an autistic adult and there would be the potential to go wrong very quickly elsewhere.
The Stables has also allowed me so many opportunities: I’ve done my BHS stages; completed all the YELA awards and become an RDA coach. I’ve attended outings and rallies, from small local events right up to championship level for both Pony Club and RDA as well as taking part in the gruelling Man Vs Horse in 2017.
This small stable yard is unique and I can’t begin to explain why as it wouldn’t do it justice. You have to experience a day here to understand why people have so much love for this place – it feels like a never ending fairy-tale.