and sometimes taking in a horse in need can later be the perfect fit to someone else in need.
Recently, I gave a horse away in a free lease to a family to try out. Our horses are like my kids, so this was not easy. I love them to death & they are part of my every day ~ I see them more than my human family & friends. They all came to me in desperate need of a home, and I have promised them all a forever home at my farm.
It was heartbreaking for me to give him up, but with all the other critters I have to attend to I knew that this home would offer him more individual attention than I ever could give just because there are too few hours in every day.
Since leaving I've visited him & have gotten regular updates from the family on how much they love him & how well he is doing. This means so much to me. I think about him all of time. I try to focus on farm projects & not spend my time missing him. But i know that he is in good hands.
Today I received a beautiful update about him that just brought me to tears....
"Erin, I just wanted to tell you ~ my stepdaughter has been out riding with me a lot. Like most teenage girls she's been having a lot of issues with self doubt & confidence. But when she's riding Tuscany, all of that changes. When she is nervous riding, she works through it. When he doesn't do something, like cross a bridge, she pushes, encourages & makes him across. She is a different more confident girl when on horseback, and she never would have experienced this if you hadn't been so selfless and let us take Tuscany. This horse has been an incredible addition to our lives, we are forever grateful. "
After reading her beautiful message, I could only think of myself back at that age. Its such a tough age to be.
Growing up, I was not popular in school. I was completely awkward & self conscious, terrified to public speak or draw attention to myself. A late bloomer tomboy in a girls world. I was too scared to make big decisions in my life or to push myself in the right direction.
My first year of college was a dark year with some traumatic life events, and life could have gone any direction. But one day I met a woman and a horse. A horse that she didn't have time for & a horse that I instantly fell in love with. Suddenly "Ricky" a dream come true, was mine & part of my every day. I quickly organized my life & my priorities & found a way to earn & pay for his upkeep & care. Caring for him gave me a purpose, a responsibility. He needed things that I had to find a way to provide for him.
Riding him alone through the woods exploring gave me the strength & confidence to conquer my fears with him by my side. "Ricky" saved my life on more than one occasion.... and no matter what was going on in life or how bad my day was, I could go to the barn & groom him & breathe in his scent & nothing mattered anymore, everything was fine. Life was perfect.
Horses have that affect. Animals change us in amazing ways. Nature has been my guide & "Ricky" a fundamental teacher in my life that changed the core of who I was. I public speak for a living now!? I often wonder of where I would be now ~ had that horse not come into my life at that exact time. His loss 10 years later changed me forever too & inspired me to do even more. To gift back to other animals the promises I never got to return to him.
That is why I will always offer a forever home for the animals that have come into my life and changed me. After all, you have to pay it forward.....
My Ricky Story.... http://www.naturescreatures.net/ricky.htm