Sharon Burton

Sharon Burton

Testimonial Letter:
Dear Mary,

I am writing to you today to express my sincere gratitude in regards to our connecting through the young man I support and have had the privilege to walk with on his life journey.

From our first emails and phone calls I knew I had found an utterly unique professional who understood the complexities of multiple diagnosis’s such as the young man I currently support. You did not hesitate to invite us to come to visit and meet with you to see if there was a connection.

I asked the young man I support to come on a journey with me to explore an option for healing and understanding he had never tried before. Knowing there was horses involved; he was very willing to meet with you. What we didn’t realize at the time was how profoundly you were to have stirred both our hearts.

From our first meeting Mr. Oranges the bunny rabbit who greeted us in the waiting area to how Seattle spotted Symon immediately from the window, was magical. As Symon was first perplexed with what we were going to do while at the stables, he couldn’t help but be drawn to Seattle the Master healing horse. You knew nothing of Symon’s history, yet you immediately connected using your highly intuitive ability to use the language gestures of the horses. Right off the get go you took Symon to Seattle and started one of the most breathtaking experiences I have had with someone I support. My eyes filling with tears, I knew there was hope for his future.

Symon has travelled a hard journey for such a young life of 23. Traumatized by abuse,  growing up within systems, violent rages, ODD, OCD, Anxiety disorders and possibility of a mood disorder with also having to struggle with a developmental disability hardly gives this young man a fighting chance at his best life, but there it was. With the connection of a horse, a non-judgemental entity that could do more for Symon than any human therapist in a clinical setting. How you worked together with Seattle to introduce Symon to equine therapy was so profound for me I still have difficulty describing it now. Symon tells me there was an immediate spiritual connection, which is very important for Symon.

The conversation we had coming back from our first beginnings with you was ear filling to say the least but I knew you had awakened something in him that had been lost. Hope. Hope for a future that had meaning and purpose. Hope to overcome the struggles of trauma and grieve the loss of a childhood. Hope to trust in someone who wouldn’t give up and walk away when things get tough. Hope that there may be endless possibilities just like other 20 somethings. The thought of having to wait another week to come was hard for Symon to endure however we filled our time with ideas as to how we could save for the therapy sessions and fundraise for the horses.

I cannot tell you how your giving heart has changed Symon deeply. You let us come and work in exchange for sessions. Who does that? Symon is dreaming of a future. He always believed he had none. That he would just exist and just opt out one day. You are getting to root roadblocks through the many conversations you have, through the idea sharing and allowing Symon to use his gifts and strengths for the horses. He feels valued, significant, purposeful and you are helping him see his true identity, beyond the clinical descriptions that have followed him where ever he goes, until now that is.

Mary, Symon and I will continue to do whatever we can to help the horses who help us. As a direct line professional I too am benefitting from the volunteer hours I put in. Sonflowers Stables is a community of healing. Meeting others who are benefitting from your services as we have also has been something we look forward to each week. How many Mary’s does it take to change the world? Just one. Thank you so very much.


Sharon Burton
DSW/Facilitator for Alternative learning
Woodstock District Development Services