Thursday, February 22, 2024

Unexpected Equine Therapy

Tuesday, the Mr finished up his class early so we decided we'd go on our walk early.  I was having a hard(er) day and had cried to him before we left about a lot of things other than the obvious.  The neighbor had kept me up all night long and I was running on ZERO sleep and frayed nerves.  As we talked on our first two laps, the subject was this picture that had come up of the two of us on a date night in 'memories.'  We looked so happy then.  I said I didn't even recognize her anymore for a lot of reasons and he asked what was different and I said because she was happy and I never felt like I was going to be truly happy again.  He understood and agreed and we talked about a few of the reasons why.

As we turn around for the third lap, a huge horse trailer for the police department pulled in.  One thing about me is whenever we see a horse trailer on road trips, I am always face pressed against the window to see horsie butts or heads so I can roll down the window and say hi.  One of the greatest joys we ever had was during our 25th anniversary trip when we had to quarantine in Massachusetts next to a horse farm.  They brought me such peace and we loved watching them every day.  When we saw they were going to bring them out, we stood there watching.  Longing to pet them but kept my distance a full two rows away in the parking lot out of not wanting to be one of those people.  I immediately teared up at their beauty (as I'm doing typing) and one of the officers kept glancing over.  They had two horses out and he motioned for us to come over.  

I didn't even use the sidewalk.  I tromped through the snow and gushy mud to get there as fast as I could.  He said they just came from Mobile, Alabama for Mardi Gras then they just did an officer's funeral so they brought the horses to the park for all of them to decompress.  He said when he got mounted we could pet them.  

"Really!?" I smiled through tear stained cheeks behind my sunglasses.

He told us how they were newer to the unit, they were training the horses and talked about how the horses perceive everything as a threat so they have to expose them to all kinds of things from bubbles to explosives to grocery bags blowing around.  He told us about their vision and all of the things they could see and where but not directly in front of them.  It was really fascinating but I also could tell he wondered why I was crying as it was pretty obvious.  The lady brought over Stitch.  (As in one of my favorite movie obsessions Lilo and Stitch) and we pet her.  (The horse, not the lady.)  The second one was Callie (the name of my cousin's dog who Mom spent a lot of time with) and the other was the Mr's name.  All "bridges", as they say in some books, to Mom.  I looked at the one officer and said I'd lost my mom not too long ago and I really needed this today.  He said they are very healing animals and they all talked a bit about equine therapy.  As I pet Callie's nose and cried a "hi" to her with my cracking voice, she nuzzled my face and kept nudging me on the shoulder like "pet me.  You need me."  

The other ones were sweet too but this one, the name of the dog she'd been around countless times, was just not letting up until she knew I was okay.  I apologized to them all and they said no and they were sorry for my loss.  I think they probably knew they made the right stop to the right park after that encounter so it wasn't just for them but someone else needed them there too.

Mom let me know I can still find moments of happiness and if I can't, she'll send them.

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  1. Equine therapy is very big in this area and they are working on opening a new one. It's one of the jobs I wanted to apply for (working with the horses themselves) a few years back, but at the time they only had volunteer positions. I still should have done it. I am so glad you had those moments of happiness and comfort. These animals are amazing and they have a depth to them that is so surreal. Those liquid eyes can see right through to the heart of a person, and you were right where you were supposed to be to receive that a blessed gift. So happy for you!!

  2. I firmly believe that we were meant to be there that day at that exact time because that was exactly what was needed right when you needed it. So glad we got the chance to talk with the officers and pet the horses.


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