Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sharing Horse Time and the Horse Boy

Yesterday I had an opportunity to meet some women who are working with the Horse Boy Foundation. The Foundation is based close to here and I once spoke with them on the phone about helping out.

A friend who knows the people working with the foundation thought I could be helpful in some way. I have an extensive background working with not profits - serving on boards, connecting people with corporate partners, helping them get through a strategic planning process.

But when I called, it was clear I couldn't help much. They were headed in a direction that I couldn't be much help with - primarily raising money through events.

I'm not too keen on raising money that way, costs are high, return is limited. While every not for profit should have some events on its fund raising calendar, it's neither my bailiwick nor the core of most programs.

But not for profits built on celebrity often function so differently that I have difficulty knowing where my skills and experience can be of much help. There are very successful models - Lance Armstrong comes to mind - and others that flash and die. I hope this isn't the latter.

What was fascinating about the group I met was that they are all dressage riders (with one exception). In other words, they can RIDE. To be able to use the method they suggest, one has to be able to ride a collected canter while holding a child in front of you.

So I watched the movie (it's on Hulu now). It was a good reminder of how horses heal. I have some experience with the shamanic path, given the work my father does in this area. In my mind the combination is critical, but finding a reindeer riding shaman is perhaps beyond what can be done in Elgin, Texas.

They invited me to train to be a therapist, but I'm not nearly the rider I'd need to be, nor do I have the time. facilities, or the horse to truly give what is needed to provide therapy services. I think there's a way for me to help, and perhaps the how will become clear to me.


My friend from work came out to ride today. I don't usually invite people out to ride, but if they ask, I follow through. I remember how desperate I was to ride, but how out of my life horses were. Still, I'm careful. Generally you can pick out the folks who just want to canter your horses to pieces, then go have a beer while you unsaddle them. My BIL is this kind of guy. M just loves animals and wants to be with horses.

We had a lovely ride, I rode both Smokey and Lily in turn while she was on Cody. Lily is still too demanding for a beginner. In fact, I jumped on Smokey without any round penning and just rode his willies out, but Lily was too full of herself for that. After 3 minutes in the round pen she was ready.

It's taking less and less time. But it still takes time. Horses like Lily don't do short cuts.

We talked, M and I, about life challenges she is facing. I remembered how difficult life has been for us and the rocky road we continue to navigate, and shared with her so she'd know that she's not alone. Yet I am more and more in a place of treasuring what I have. Of finding joy in very small things.

  • Spraying water on my horse's jaw, gently so she closes her eyes.
  • Putting fly repellent around the old horse's eyes and hearing him sigh as if he knows what it's for.
  • Rubbing the side of my horse's muzzle under his fly mask and feeling him drop into my hands, relaxed.

I come home and the treasures are scattered all around me, and embarrassment of riches - laughing children, a dog with a new trick, a sauntering cat, DH piling up the kids for a few hours of pool time.

I'm glad to be still here, struggling as we are, finally having the good sense to see the treasure and not just the hole.

Welcome to the day after the cancellation of rapture. May they all be this lovely.


Maery Rose said...

I have that movie in my streaming Netflix list. I'm curious now about the program and will have to watch it I've always wanted to participate in a horse therapy program but there's nothing close enough to me.

You are so right about noticing and enjoying all the minute pleasure of daily life. They are there if you pay attention -- so paying attention is important.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I read the book first. Nuzzling Muzzles thought I'd enjoy the story because my daughter is on the Autism Spectrum so she sent the book to me. I watched the movie soon afterwards but didn't like it as much as the book.

I had no idea yesterday was supposed to be the day of the rapture. But of course, I was hiking on a trail through miles of lava fields, so it wouldn't have made any difference to me anyway. lol!


Maia said...

Ok, all right already, you're going to have to stop with all of this absolutely beautiful writing; because as that great midtwentieth century pundit, Mr. Doggie Daddy, said "You're about to give me a complexion."

This is wonderful, wonderful first class writing. I can hardly wait to read what you post next.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Every day you're able to put your feet on the ground and get out of bed is a gift. I feel if we take one day at a time and be grateful for all the good things we have we are ahead of the game. Glad we're all still here today!

Sounds like you and your friend had a nice ride together.

Jan said...

Breathe, What a lovely post. I'm glad for your many treasures and your sharing about them. I don't know what to say, except a quiet hooray. I'm glad for you.