A therapy horse named Max holds a special place in the hearts of two young girls.

The girls have each been dealing with debilitating diseases and say working with Max has made a world of difference in their young lives.

Max is a therapy horse at the Sunrise Therapeutic Riding and Learning Centre in Puslinch, roughly 30 kilometres east of Kitchener.

“I think we love to hug just like this,” said 10-year-old Cora Spencer. “I love you Max.”

Spencer has Asperger’s syndrome and ADHD, but when she's around max she feels just like any other young girl.

“To see that confidence is exhilarating,” said her father, Andy Spencer.” She's come a huge way. Originally the doctors said she'd never walk, talk. She wouldn't have empathy, sympathy. She wouldn’t understand when you were joking with her and she's completely flipped those things on their head, I mean, she’s doing everything they said she wouldn't do.”

It’s a gift trainer Nikki Duffield says is the best part of her job.

“There's so much joy in seeing what the riders get out of it,” said Duffield. “But honestly the horses are the magic.”

With reporting from CTV Kitchener’s Carina Sledz.