This school year has been focused on the question; what do you want to be doing in fifteen to twenty years? My answer has always simply been, I am not sure, or, I will see in twenty years. Nevertheless, on Monday February 2 to be precise, my answer changed.
On that Monday, Greenwood Stables was holding a routine 4-H meeting. Like every other Monday, I arrived one hour early, to help with evening feed and anything else that needed to be done. Julie, Jenna and Miranda greeted me. We all said “Hi!” to each other and then Julie said something that I had not heard since November:
“Did you hear that we got a new horse?” Julie asked me.
“No you didn’t!” I replied thinking that she was playing a little trick on me.
“No. I am serious. Come and see her.” She stopped smiling for a second.
I still did not believe her as all four of us walked down the barn aisle to the second door on the left. Julie opened the door and told me to go in and see our new horse. All I could manage to get out was something like; Julie I cannot believe you!
What I saw standing in front of me was a sweet tired looking mare, with brown eyes, and fluffy ears. My stare was inturupted by Julie. Even though I didn’t want to I turned to face Julie.
“I just rescued her today from a farm in Loudon, and we just gave her a bath.”
I honestly couldn’t see why she was rescued because I couldn’t see her full body. Then Julie brought her out of her stall so we could dry her off. We took off her blanket and then I could see why Julie took her home.
We worked on drying her until my blowdryer gave out. Then I started brushing her frail body. While I was holding in all my tears, not only for me but for Faith. We put her back in her stall, so she could eat what other horses thought of as just another meal, but what she thought of as a once in a lifetime chance at eating.
The 4-H kids came and Julie slowly pulled out my favorite horse. The little ones gasped when we removed her blanket. I used to say she reminded me of a little girl just learning how to walk the balance beam. Carefully placing one foot in front of the other.
Julie had told them what she had told everyone else. At the end of the meeting, some of the parents came up to meet our new addition. Many just looked and stared as had I and others were furious, but most just asked how this could have happened to this poor mare. The night had to end sometime and Julie had to pry me from Faith because I would not let go of her.
I am going to fast forward through the next two weeks that for everyone who fell in love with this horse, was like riding the waves of the ocean during a hurricane. In addition, all I wanted to do was something that I knew I could not. That was to be with Faith every second, of the day and every day of the week.
Week three started looking better. The same goes with week four and week five. Now it is officially week six. Just the other day Faith did something unbelievable! Well by now I am sure you know her friends Amy and Dominic, so when she turned out with them, Amy chased after Faith. Faith did what she wanted and that was to do a nice huge buck in Amy’s face! I stopped breathing for a moment that her decision may have been the wrong thing to do, but once again, she proved me wrong by sticking the landing. Apparently, Amy and Dominic were not expecting this either because they just stood there looking at her.
I love this mare no matter how skinny, fat, short or tall. She would still be special. There is not one thing that I would not do for this horse, whether it is what Julie refers to as TOMA or something better or worse. I mean hey - all of my school clothes have a permanent smell of hay on them from putting flakes in her hay-rack!
What this horse has taught me is that there are still people out there that just do not care about what is happening in their own front and or back yard. Not only that, but also the fact that the whole world can come together to watch one mares progress from being on the fine line of life and death, to achieving what ever she can in the long road of rehabilitation ahead.
Faith has also showed me what I want to do with my life so instead of not be able to answer that one question; what do you want to be doing in fifteen to twenty years?
Now I can say that I want to have a master’s degree in business administration, and behavioral science. Therefore, I can run a horse rescue along with a therapeutic riding center. Therefore, I can give back to the community that has helped Faith.
I would like to thank Julie for rescuing this beloved horse, and for being, the strong person for both Faith and her students needed her to be through the journey so far. In addition, I would like to thank everyone who is reading this right now, for supporting Julie and Faith through the tough times.
Margaret & Faith - March 31, 2009