21-year-old Ashtyn Dove helps girl with special needs show horse - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

21-year-old Ashtyn Dove helps girl with special needs prepare for county fair

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DIKE (KWWL) - 21-year-old Ashtyn Dove and 11-year-old Tessa Smith are best friends. Cancer brought the girls together a few years ago.

"I had a younger brother that passed away from cancer. In 2011, Tessa had a brother that passed away from cancer and that's how our families got connected," said Ashtyn Dove.

Tessa's brother suffered from Ataxia-Telangiectasia. She also suffers from it, which is why she's in a wheelchair.

It's a rare genetic disease causing progressive loss of muscle control, immune system problems, and a high rate of cancer. But the girls have more in common than cancer. They also share a love of horses.

"She rides horses just like anybody else would, so I think that's what she really likes about horses, too, is that's nothing's different," said Dove.

They practice riding and leading because Ashtyn is helping Tessa get ready for the horse show at the Grundy County Fair.

"Sometimes you can get worried about showing your horse, and if you're gonna do good but it's all about having fun," said Ashtyn Dove.

"What are you supposed to do? Have fun," said Tessa Smith.

The girls aren't the only ones having fun. Mack, the horse, also has fun sniffing hair and eating treats.

The Grundy County Fair is July 23rd through the 27th in Grundy Center.

The horse show is at 11 a.m. on the 27th.

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