Story told by Grace
Oreo was adopted from Pasture Pals Equine Rescue, Inc.
In January of this year, I met Oreo, a chubby little paint with an adorably disposition. He’d been through a lot in the nine years of life before he met me, but strangely enough all that history is what first bound him to my heart.
I had spent months on Craigslist looking for the perfect therapy horse to begin our dream therapy farm… And I had been disappointed SO many times. Every time I would think I had found “the one”, someone would have their cash on hand faster or be available to pick it up sooner. So, I had almost given up and decided to call the whole idea off, but couldn’t restrain myself from checking the horse listings one more time. I believe everything happens for a reason and I had to hope that God still had my horse out in the world somewhere. That’s when I found Oreo.
A bit of his story was posted on the ad, saying that he had come to Pasture Pals ER due to his owner not being able to afford feed for him. Because of this obvious neglect, this beautiful creature had come to the rescue underweight and out of shape. But by the time I had the privilege of meeting Oreo, he was healthy and ready to begin the next adventure in life!
I held onto his lead rope, full of hope and he answered with a soft and gentle gesture. Burrowing his nose in my hair he inhaled my scent and then exhaled approval. It was there on that frigid day in January that I realized hearts can never truly be full, because each amazing creature that enters our lives gives us a chance to grow our hearts a thousand-fold.
And why should love be limited? It keeps growing! In the past few months Oreo has become even more a part of our hearts and our family. He provides therapy to four of my adopted, special-needs siblings in preparation for his future job as a full time therapy horse!
I noticed recently that a new softness had entered Oreo’s chocolate brown irises. Even underfed and gaunt in his original rescue pictures, I thought him a beautiful horse. But in the soft afternoon glow of sunset, I felt my heart throb with emotion just as it had the first time I had met him. A few months ago, I had met a well-fed, clean, and healthy horse, but in that moment I met something more... a creature willing to forgive what I could not give and teach me to give more than I ever thought possible.
The most beautiful thing about Oreo’s story is that it is cycle of redemption and hope. He came to Pasture Pals ER needing love and nurture. He found his forever home with a family of children who had at one point in time been hurting for love and nurture as well. And in his job as a therapy horse, he will be giving back the love and nurture invested in him to another group of kids that greatly need it!
I imagine with great joy telling children that visit our therapy farm someday, “You see this amazingly powerful and beautiful animal? Well, he wasn’t always so glorious on the outside. He had people hurt him. He had people forget to feed him. He had people tell him that he did not matter. But you know what? He did matter… Just like you.”