Bucks County, Pa. (WTXF) - Never underestimate the healing power of an animal. In this particular case a horse.
FOX 29's Dawn Timmeney has more on how a beloved mare helped one young woman and the effort to heal others in the same situation.
"They just bring such peace to me and happiness that's for sure," Breanna Jackman said.
24-year-old Breanna Jackman loves horses. She always has—walking through Tyler State Park in Bucks County with her mom that is extremely evident. But for Breanna one horse in particular ended up being her savior after the unthinkable.
"When you are abused you lose all your trust for everything and everyone, but when you get on a horse you learn how to trust something," she explained.
Breanna was just 8 years old when she says he friend's grandfather sexually abused her and her two best friends. She told no one until her mom found a diary several years later where she had detailed the ugly secret.
"I would not wish that on any parent. It's just heart-wrenching," her mother, Alane Jackman, said.
"I didn't know what I wanted to do in my life if I wanted to live or anything," Breanna said.
Breanna's family gave her the courage to speak up and the retired police officer was tried and convicted in 2011 of abusing the girls.
Still, the scars run deep.
Breanna says it wasn't until she was 14 and her parents helped her get the special girl Fancy that she started to feel whole again
"I'd go up to the barn and I would spend like three hours with her. from there a bond just formed and she just saved me," Breanna said.
"It was a miracle.She wouldn't be with us if it wasn't for Fancy," her mom said.
Breanna experienced firsthand the healing power of a horse. Breanna with mom by her side started a program called 'Riding for Recovery' to help other victims of sexual abuse.
Sadly, one week ago, the 11-year-old mare and Brianna's two other horses, Hattie and Ranger, escaped from the pasture at the Newtown, Bucks County farm where she boards them. Fancy crossed the road and was hit and killed by a truck.
Breanna is beyond heartbroken.
"She just helped me get through everything," she explained.
Breanna knows she will never have another horse like Fancy, but she wants to keep her legacy alive. She has started a GoFundMe page to buy a horse with her same bloodline, so she will always have a piece of Fancy and so she can get her Riding for Recovery program up and running again. She says victims of sexual assault interested in her program can reach out to her through Facebook.