Volunteering with horses helps Shania along

Shania Hutton gets close to Honey, at Riding for the Disabled, where she is a volunteer. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Shania Hutton gets close to Honey, at Riding for the Disabled, where she is a volunteer. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Cleaning up horse poo is one of the best parts of Shania Hutton's week.

While it's not on the list of most enjoyable jobs for most people, Shania says she doesn't mind it.

''I lost my sense of smell in the accident. It's definitely an advantage in this job.''

Two years ago, Shania (12) almost died after she was struck by a car in Riselaw Rd, Calton Hill, just metres from her home, while on her way to the local shop.

She was left with serious head and lung injuries, and doctors initially told her family she was unlikely to survive.

But after six months in Dunedin Hospital and the Wilson Centre in Auckland, where she received rehabilitation and physiotherapy, she was able to return home.

Since then, she has returned to school part-time and gone from strength to strength.

Her mother, Jane, said Shania had had ''fantastic'' teacher aides which meant she had only been set back a year academically, and she would be going to Tahuna Intermediate this year.

''Fatigue is still a major concern for her.

''She goes to school four days a week, two of which are only half-days.

''She is different, but we're stoked with what we've got.

''Life could have been so different,'' Mrs Hutton said.

Shania is putting what extra energy she has into her newest passion - horses.

She volunteers one morning a week at the Dunedin Riding for the Disabled in Fairfield, where she feeds, grooms and cleans up after the horses.

''I love the work, because I get to be with the horses.''

She hopes one day to be able to ride a horse and, ultimately, plans to buy her own.

''It's a good thing she is learning to look after horses,'' Mrs Hutton said.

 

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