Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Horses, Horses, Horses!
Horses, they have been popping up on here and my Instagram quite a bit lately. I've been trying to find the best way to write this post without sounding like I'm patting myself of my back because that is not my intention at all and why I have thought about avoiding this post all together. If you are giving, I think you should just do it and keep your mouth shut about it. You should give because you truly love giving, not to earn universal brownie points or to make people think you are some saint. Giving doesn't give you that check mark of, "all round good person". But, I love what I have been doing so much that it almost hurts not to share it. So disclaimer :: I am not posting to this to say "hey look at what I'm doing, it makes me a better person than other people" because it doesn't and I do not think that way. I am posting this because it's about something I truly love, think is important and has been helping me find my path. I hope it maybe inspires a few others to go out and donate some of their time doing something they love too. That is all.
Anyways, I'm pretty sure I was born loving horses. Just one of those things that came hardwired. When I was little I didn't play with dolls, I played with My Little Ponies and an array of plastic horses. Horses and girls just kind of go together and I get that, so label me a cliche if you want but I'm pretty happy with that. Once I was old enough to start taking lessons I begged and begged my parents to let me take lessons and start showing. My parents made it happen and it is something I will always be so grateful I had the opportunity to do. The years I rode and showed horses were some of the best years of my life. Unfortunately, as I started getting into my upper teenage years, I got a little too cool for horse riding and honestly, it's one of few regrets I have in life. That and quitting piano lessons. I never should have stopped. You know how most people have that one thing that their good at and love doing more than anything? My thing is horses. But I got too "cool", was young, then I got pregnant with Logan my senior year of high school so being a mom was top priority and the love of my life, always will be. That also meant that riding and showing have been at the bottom of the priority list for the past 13 years.
As Logan has gotten older, needs me a little less and is home less I've realized I have more free time, more me time. But, I have a problem with standing still. I do not like too much time to just sit and be. I'm a worker, I'm a do-er. I like to be busy. Volunteering had been on my mind for a very long time. I really wanted to find a place to volunteer where Logan and I could do it together but most places have an understandable age you must be and that is usually 14. I feel that I have been extremely fortunate to have the life that I have. Being a single teenage mom could have gone many different ways for me, most of them down bad road. But I am fortunate enough to have a great supportive family that is always there for me no matter what. My son is healthy and kind. I have a good job that supports us and allows me to work the hours I want to be home when Logan gets home from school. I have a wonderful man in my life that loves me, my son and also supports us. These are all things that I do not take for granted and am thankful for each and every day. We are not rich by any means or even super comfortable financially but we do ok. To not give back in some way, honestly, had been making me feel like an asshole. I am at this happy point in my life because of the people around me, programs that helped me get on my feet, I didn't do it alone and I remind myself of that as often as possible.
I emailed and called several animal shelters, local farms, groups that help children and to my surprise, I never received any response back from anyone. I think this is mostly a Fort Wayne business thing. For some reason businesses in this town do not understand the importance of email, a good website or returning phone calls. But that's besides the point. I chalked it up to that it just wasn't meant to be at the time. Then horses popped back in my head. We do live in Indiana, surrounded by horse farms. I'm sure there has got to be someone that could use some free help around a barn. I put something on facebook about it and luckily a friend of mine suggested a local non-profit. They do summer camps and horse therapy lessons for children that have special needs. This combination couldn't have been more perfect, horses and kids! It was everything I was looking for. I got a hold of someone right away and after finishing up applying, drug screening and testing I was an official volunteer!
I felt like I was starting my dream job. I was so eager to get in there and get to work. Each week that I am there, I love it more and more. Each week I get to know the kids and their parents a little better, I get to know the horses a little better, the staff a little better. In the short amount of time I have been there I have watched these kids come great lengths, learn so much, gain self confidence and smile the biggest smiles just from riding a horse. I don't do much at all to help them reach these goals except walk/guide the horse and cheer them on. It's all them, their attitudes to reach their goals are so inspiring. I leave there feeling like my heart just grew a bit bigger. It's been such an amazing experience that I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to be a part of! It feels like it's exactly where I am supposed to be, exactly what I am supposed to be doing and that perhaps, a new path in my life has been made a little more clear to me. Like the universe, as it always does, places everything in front of you for a reason, to open your eyes, open your heart and show you a side of yourself you may have never seen before or thought you may have lost.