For 9 months I drove past two beautiful horse farms on my route to work. I remembered the love I had for horses as a little girl and the joy horse camp brought me. It was such a peaceful way to begin my day.
I was anticipating our only child going off to college soon and wondered how I would fair mentally. I had always joked about becoming a crazy cat lady when we became empty-nesters. Up until that time, Michael and I had spent time outside of our full-time careers to get our daughter to and from school, cheer practice and games, choir practice and events and then to and from her part-time job. We loved every minute of it. The fact remained, our personal time was about to become ours. What a strange thought!
I had heard wonderful things about a large horse rescue and the amazing work they were doing. I wondered if there could be a place for someone who lacked current horse skills, but was willing to help muck stalls, work with children, etc. I prayed about it every day to and from work. I thought that if I still felt the urge to help in a few months, then it must be meant to be.
Haulin’ hay on a late spring day that brought every kind of weather imaginable in five hours.
A bit later, a different and smaller horse rescue organization was featured on the morning news and they were asking for volunteers for an upcoming event. I called the number advertised and got in touch with the president. She was happy to have me come out for a training that same week and see what I could do to help at their largest fundraiser of the year. That was the beginning of some of the best horse therapy. I learned how to feed the horses, clean their pastures, organize their tack shed and anything else I could do to help. It wasn’t long before my husband was helping too. We began to spend 3-4 evenings a week and Saturday mornings at the rescue.
I thought I would be preparing myself for the time our daughter went off to college. God knew better however. I would NEED my time at the rescue way before then. Despite her involvement in sports, choir and youth group activities, our daughter had a very reckless nature and her life choices caused our family a great deal of stress. If it weren’t for my 30 minute drive to the rescue and my time spent out there, I don’t think I would have survived that time period.
The drive to the rescue was breathtaking and I would crank the radio up and sing at the top of my lungs all the way there. (Thank goodness no one could hear me.) Sometimes I would sob. However the drive out there went, I would arrive decompressed, and ready to give my full attention to the beautiful horses.
I’m not sure who rescued who in this situation and eventually it was time to devote my efforts elsewhere. I am thankful for the time my husband and I spent out there. We found some great friends in Sarah K, Will, Mysty, Sarah B. and Laurie. We still keep in touch with them and also ended up with my first pony Gypsy. Watch for a post on her soon. She’s a story all of her own.
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