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‘They’ll be a force to be reckoned with’: boy with ADHD and week-old colt form strong bond

The mother of a boy with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who has developed a strong relationship with her two-week-old foal believes the two of them will be a “force to be reckoned with” in the future.

Jayne Molloy bred Marco out of her Irish sport horse mare Birtwick Debutante by pony stallion Small Land Maytino as she hoped to produce a small horse for Jonathan to ride.

The foal was born on 26 April, and by last Friday (3 May) had already bonded with Jonathan, to the point that when the 11-year-old needed to take time out after a tough week, there was only one place to go.

A picture of Jonathan and Marco lying in the foal’s stable, posted on social media by Jayne, has been shared thousands of times.

“He’d had a really tough day – lots of kids calling him all sorts of things – and after he got home, he disappeared for a bit,” Jayne told H&H.

“When I found him, he was there with his eyes closed; not asleep, just having a cuddle – and I know why he was there.”

Jayne said Jonathan is in the process of being diagnosed with ADHD, and that contact with the ponies he already has helps him manage the condition.

“One of the main ADHD traits Jonathan in particular has is impulsivity; he really struggles to control any impulses that come into his head,” she said. “So at a show Jonathan will be the annoying kid jumping off the ramp or swinging off the wing mirrors spooking the other horses. All I need to do is pop him on his pony, and she looks after him for me; it’s instant calm. I wish I could put him on a pony in the classroom, we’d have way fewer issues!

“Some kids have a comfort blanket, or cuddly toy, that they go to when they’re upset, to feel better, but for Jonathan it’s always been his dog and his ponies. And from the minute Marco was born, it’s been all about him.”

Jayne explained Marco was named in memory of her aunt Margot, to whom she was very close.

“When she was widowed, she came to live with us and was very close to Jonathan,” she said. “Three years ago, she unexpectedly passed away and she left me her possessions, including these china tea sets. They were very precious but not to my taste and I had an epiphany.

“Rather than pack them away so they never saw the light of day, I sold them and used the proceeds to cover my mare for a foal for Jonathan. She would totally have approved.”

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Jayne said the picture she shared is no one-off, but how the pair are at all times, and that Marco’s “quirky” dam has accepted the relationship.

“Horses help Jonathan manage his emotions,” she added. “My son is at his best around animals and I think these two are going to be a force to be reckoned with in whatever discipline they decide to do.”

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