A disabled horse rider from west Dorset has written her second inclusive children's book to raise funds for a disabled charity.

Jade Leahy from Cattistock has released 'Horses Can Do Ballet' – a story about a young girl called Molly, challenged by physical disability, who dreams of having ballet lessons and dancing with her friends. With the help of a patch pony called Rosie, she learns the importance of resilience, empathy, and self-acceptance as she learns to dance in her own unique way.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

The 42-year-old author’s new book is a follow up to her first children’s story, Horses Can Roll but They Can’t Roller-skate, which won international best children’s therapy book at the Equus festival.

All money raised from the books sales will be donated to The Riding for The Disabled Association (RDA) - charity which aims to enrich the lives of individuals with disabilities through providing therapeutic horseback riding experiences, enhancing physical, emotional, and social well-being.

Jade shared how her stories are inspired by her own riding journey, overcoming physical barriers of her disability thanks to the support from local RDA instructors.

She said: “The inspiration was from a lady from the RDA. When I first got my horse she used to come out and help me every week and didn’t ask for a dime. So, she was the catalyst for the first book, and I wanted to donate back to that charity.”

Her first book subsequently featured in the Primary Times Magazine in 2022 and enjoyed by young readers worldwide. Through book sales, she managed to raise £1200 for the RDA and hopes to top this amount for her second book as well as promoting disability awareness amongst children.

"In Horses Can Do Ballet, I wanted to craft a story that illustrates the beauty of determination and the wonderful bond between humans and animals. There’s still a long way to go in terms of books that focus on disability or represent the lived experience.

“I hope this story encourages children to focus on their unique gifts as opposed to what they struggle with.”

Books cost £8.99 and are available to buy from her website.