Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Putting Things in Perspective

Summer is drawing to a close. The last five months have been exceptionally busy and stressful. Two horses hit by vehicles resulting in euthanization. An orphaned foal to raise. A poisoned foal to care for. Domestic horses living and being ridden among the wild horses. Hours and hours of education on the beach and behind the dunes in an effort to keep visitors from feeding or getting within 50 feet of the horses. Multiple activities and projects going on simultaneously. Long hours, never ending workload. By this time of year, we are all extremely tired, and I have to admit, it is easy to become discouraged. It is all too easy to focus only on the negatives. Then, just when we need it the most, something wonderful happens. Something that reminds us all over again of how very fortunate we are to be in the presence of these incredible horses and what an honor it is to be responsible for them.

The picture above is a strong woman fighting back from the effects of a stroke and a 3 year old Colonial Spanish Mustang mare called Whispering Jesse. Two and a half years ago Jesse was a part of the wild herd. She now lives in Marshall, Texas at Karma Farms. Her new mission in life is to be the companion of Mary-Margaret. After suffering a stroke her balance problems make it difficult for her to ride but she longed for a horse to care for and love. The following is an excerpt from today’s email from Vicki Ives, one of the leading experts on Colonial Spanish Horses in the country and the owner of Karma Farms.

“Mary-Margaret wanted a critter to love, groom and adore. If Margaret would agree that little Whispering Jesse would never have to leave Karma Farms (where her best friends Splendor Splash, Adam's Eve and her one day mate, our Corolla stallion The Sea King live), we would agree to sell Jessie to Margaret to be groomed, loved, trained and eventually to be a part of the Karma Farms "dude string" for our younger riders. Margaret was so excited that she had to go and meet Jessie immediately.

I drove her to the pasture where Jessie and Splash joined us as soon as they saw my truck. Were they in for a pleasant surprise--I'd brought the feed bucket! They were "in my back pocket" immediately. I slipped on Jessie's halter and handed her lead to Margaret, delighting in the joy that bloomed in Margaret's eyes.

"She's SO beautiful!" Mary-Margaret exclaimed. ""Can I take her home and groom her?"

I hadn't crossed that bridge, hadn't considered that Margaret might want to start with her RIGHT NOW. We were 1/2 a mile from my house in a meadow full of Colonial Spanish Horses and there was no way to get Jessie back to my house and the grooming equipment unless Margaret walked her there. When I thought of a young mare asked to leave her herd in the meadow for the first time by herself and then be led down the hill, across the creek and over the Home Pasture to the house by a slightly disabled stroke victim, I had some reservations. But I had started this and I believed that Jessie was what Mary-Margaret needed. It was karma--if she could get Jessie to the house by herself on her first attempt, I'd know that this was a bonding that was designed by Someone a lot bigger than me. I show Margaret how to use her lead for a come-along if Jessie balked and watched them set out over Dairy Hill.

"If she's not at the house in 15 minutes, I'll go get Jessie for her myself," I thought. But there was no need. Before I had time to really worry, I saw Mary-Margaret and Jessie coming over the creek crossing and heading for the house. I ran for my camera and hid beside the round pen to record their success. In the shadow of a small tree so that Margaret didn't even know I was taking pictures, I recorded their first success. Enjoy!”

I thank Vicki for sharing this story and putting things back in perspective for us – especially for me. The bottom line is that these horses are very, very special. Not only are they highly intelligent, exceptionally athletic, beautiful movers, strong, brave, and adaptable – they are healers of mind, spirit, and body. “Bread may feed my body, but a horse feeds my soul.” - Anonymous

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