Story by This Old Horse
At This Old Horse our number one priority is providing a safe and caring environment for horses. But when life gets busy, as it often does at any horse sanctuary, you lose sight of the rest. For us, it is also about community and the positive effect of “horse power” in people’s lives. We had a very heartwarming reminder of this one Sunday when a couple around 80 came with their four children, their spouses and one grandson.
It all started with a phone call from their daughter Rhonda. Her father has Alzheimer’s and was struggling with confusion and depression. He was a cowboy at heart and kept saying he wanted a pony. She reached out to This Old Horse to see if we could provide a horse experience. After a few conversations, we came up with a plan that felt right.
They all came out on a blustery day in October. We gathered in the lobby where they heard about the origins of This Old Horse and the different types of horses we have. Then we went outside where first they met five blind horses and the sighted mustang mare that oversees their care.
We continued our tour where they saw the mare’s herd (there are a few geldings in there), the elite’s (older horse or horses with soundness issues) and the geldings (heartier boys). It was yucky weather so we ended the outside tour even though there were still more horses to see. Next time we will meet them.
Inside they saw a Trakehner foal and his mom, a couple of rescued minis and a big 17.3 hand thoroughbred who came in on the thin side. We also had a few quarter horses that everyone was able to touch, pet, and/or groom.
It ended up being a magical day for everyone. This was the first time in a long time that all the siblings had been together with their parents. To be able to see their dad smile and have a little spring in his step was a beautiful reminder of the Dad they grew up with. Mom too had a glow about her. She said that she was struggling with depression and the horse time helped to lift her spirits and renew her soul. And at This Old Horse we were once again reminded of the power of horses and how that needs to be shared with our community. Love is good!