Hard Decisions.

Have you ever had a horse that you loved but didn’t click with and just could not figure out? I have had a few. But this last one, well, I raised him and God kept telling me “do what Is best for the horse”. I was perplexed.

So at first, I decided to invest some money into training and see how we could do as a team. It wasn’t working out. I put him up for sale and when I had to talk to someone about him….I immediately took down the ad. I could not do it. Nope. God told me again….do what’s best for the horse!

Round two, this horse and I had some arguments and some medical bills….I decided to sell him…..this was 5 years later? I even had people “try him”. Once again…..I brought him home with no offers and took down the ad. I cried. Ugly tears. See, the folks that tried him were from Florida area. One of his issues is humidity, allergies and the general “I can’t breathe” situation. Again, God said “ do what is right for the horse”. I took down the ad. I decided I would put a lot of effort into working out our issues, finding out how to keep his body happy (and mine), and really really tried! We pulled our first check almost exactly a year ago today! 2nd in the 1D! I was pumped! Well, then he started having a hard time again……I decided that he needed to go North.

I have some Facebook friends that have loved Goose for many many years and things just never worked out for them to buy him when I had him for sale the two times… Keep in mind, I KNEW he needed to be in a different environment. His allergies are horrible where we live. To the point that from March 1- October 1, he was in a dry lot to keep him away from eating things in the pasture he was allergic too (never could 💯 pinpoint what it was) and he was miserable between snot and heat as well as being “alone”. God again said “do what is right for the horse”. So we made the drive to Wyoming! I have to say that trusting my gut and my God, once again, was the right thing to do! After being in the trailer for 17 or so hours, he unloaded and I could already tell he could BREATHE. The next day we took him to the arena for his new mama to ride with help from me…..he was great! I mean….long haul, new EVERYTHING, AND HE WAS GREAT!

This decision was hard. Really hard. But at the same time, I felt at peace as soon as I set it in my brain. I was washed over with Grace. I don’t know how to explain the feeling. I just knew it was finally the RIGHT decision and I was doing what was best for the horse! I thought I would cry. I thought I would have a hard time telling him bye. I love this horse. I do. He is so full of personality that you can’t help but love him! But, I haven’t cried yet. It’s not that I’m like “thank God he is gone”. I would have kept him forever if he was comfortable here. Nope. This is a “Wow! He looks so much happier where he is now! He really likes his new jockey! He is finally comfortable and happy!”

I look forward to seeing him and his new jockey reach all kinds of new levels! She is a really awesome kid with some mad skills riding horses! I saw them as a team from the first five minutes of her riding him! Once she goes pro, I’m sure her and Goose will have already climbed all the ranks!

I guess my point is pretty simple. Sometimes we have to make hard decisions about our lives, horses, dogs, kiddos etc. But when you pray on it and get an answer, try to find out what God is saying. Sometimes He can be really vague. But I promise, if you keep praying about it, He will guide you to your answer! And that answer will bring you so much peace!

Horses Are My Therapy

Recently, I learned of an organization called DTOM220.org This organization helps Veterans work through mental and physical issues using horses. Did you know that horses are very therapeutic? I actually did a paper on it for my Master’s degree. I won’t get into the technical terms but I’d like to open your eyes to what horses provide for therapy in different situations! (Disclaimer- This is my observations, thoughts, feelings)

I worked with a youth home for kids that were in the system and at risk for going to jail. They had a full blown ranch for these kiddos. What I observed was shy, absurd kids finding their voice with horses. They smiled and talked to the horses. They learned to communicate without words. See, horses can sense distress. The right horses will foster a bond with the distressed rider and help them to open up. On the flip side, I watched the “bullies” soften. They learned that they could not be rough with the horse and angry words didn’t foster what the child needed when working with horses. They learned to soften, trust and open their hearts. A lot of the bullies had fear when it came to horses. It was very humbling for them when they sat in the saddle! To watch these kids BLOOM around horses was simply breath taking!

Hippotherapy also helps with disabilities. Anything from pain, amputation, muscle defects right down to autism and other challenges! First, you move when they move. So wheel chair confined patients get the opportunity to have four legs under them! It has been shown to increase circulation and endorphins! For people with disabilities, horses open a door that humans can’t. I have watched an autistic kid go from not talking, severe touch sensitivity to openly communicating with the horse followed by hugs!!! I have seen kids in wheel chairs find their legs! I have seen the impossible, possible!

If I keep going, this will turn into a thesis 🤦🏼‍♀️. So I will add this…. when I’m over run by my anxiety, fears, stress, etc, my place is with my horses. It’s my therapy. I went a year without a horse to care for and it was the longest ever. I went to bed at 8pm. I woke for work every morning. But I lost my “purpose”. As a mom, I can say I have way more purpose than I did back then, however, take my horse away and watch me crumble. I can testify that riding horses does, in fact, help with PTSD, Depression, Anxiety and other issues us humans deal with daily. The right horse will change your life. I encourage you to look around for organizations that offer therapy using horses. Most all of them are non-profit. Make a donation! It can be time, used tack, or financial. These places are few due to insurance expenses and lack of volunteers! www.dtom220.org is just one of many! Let’s help them out!!!