Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Comfort Horse

When we first moved into our acreage, the neighbor had horses. In the long run, we acquired three of the four. I was always in love with the appaloosa, who we ended up picking up at auction and renamed Queen.


I've been missing Queen a lot lately. She was my go-to comfort horse for when I was down in the dumps. She just knew when something was wrong and would try and make me feel better. I remember having her out on the lawn grazing and she saw me. I'm sure I was in tears over something. And she stopped what she was doing and walked right up to me so that I could cry into her thin mane.


I've been missing that kind of support and comfort lately. Queen has been gone since just after my first child was born. It was September 2012 when I lost her. I never realized I needed a go-to comfort horse like her. A go-to horse for riding but one to comfort you, that's what I really needed.


But I think I may have another go-to comfort horse and I didn't even know it.


Lace.


When she first came, she'd been bounced around a little bit and at her previous home, she'd had to defend her self to even get food. Her owner wanted to do right by her and rehome her because she just wasn't happy. I think that experience made her very angry. It took months of constant food in front of her to have her come down from that experience. Moving from one owner to another and learning their routine and learning their herd is traumatic. I figure any horse that does come on to the Sanctuary has the right to be grumpy, and Lace, she was grumpy.


But I always allow them time to get used to me, the other horses, and my routine. Yes, I like my routine. So Lace has been with us for over a year now and little by little her anger disappeared. She's spent a lot of time ignoring everyone with her head buried in a bale. I figured I'd let her come around whenever she was ready. We don't push our horses and don't really expect anything of them after they reach a certain age. The old saying "Respect your elders" is true even for the four-legged.


She's been retired now from a riding horse and a broodmare and she's finally showing her charm.


The other night I was upset over one thing or another. Sanctuary work is stressful and never easy. It's not just a title or a job. It's about the living beings that we are caring for. These animals are not objects that can be thrown around. So it weighs heavily on me some days. As I was standing at the pasture fence watching the mares and Junior, Lace came up. I decided to crawl through the fence and hang out with her. And that's when I realized, Lace may very well be my next to-go comfort horse. I think she knew I was upset and wanted to make me feel better. She didn't move a muscle as I fiddled with her and talked with her about nonsense stuff.


But then I realized I felt better. I'm sure I could have cried my eyes out in her mane and she wouldn't have moved. So I think I finally have my go-to comfort horse again. Every girl should have a comfort horse. They might not me the same as their go-to horse but a comfort horse is an amazing animal and I hope that everyone gets to experience a comfort horse at least once in their life.

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