Jesus, please fix me, life lived well, self care & self love

horse therapy.

Last month, I spent some time volunteering at Hope, Horses & Kids. I grew up around horses and while I would like to think that I know my way around a horse, I know it’s simply not true. While I was volunteering, I simultaneously remembered how much I do know about horses and just how much I don’t know. I loved every single minute of it and I felt like it was probably just as good for me as it was for the kids who attended horse camp.

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Here are a few things I learned: I learned that kids of any age (and adults too) need to be talked with, not talked at or talked to. I learned that it’s ok to watch them struggle a little or a lot {it’s called “holding space”}. I learned that sometimes the best answer is, “It depends.” I learned so many things about the concept of give and take and the concept of trust. I learned more about horse and people body language. In short, it was such a wonderful experience to watch kids go from being intimidated by an 1,100 pound animal at the beginning of the week to being confident in themselves and trusting the horse by the end.

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This might sound a little weird, but my favorite thing was cleaning stalls. While I cleaned, I talked to whichever horse happened to be nearby. I didn’t filter or censor, I just talked and talked and talked about whatever I was thinking. To be completely honest, I don’t even remember any of the things I said while I was shoveling horse poop into the wheelbarrow.

Here’s the thing about horses: They are incapable of lying and they know things. Somehow, they just know what you need at the exact moment you need it. They know if you need an ear flick to show you that they’re listening and they hear you. They know when you need a nuzzle to show you that they know your heart and have an idea about why it’s broken. They know when you need to be close to them so you don’t feel like you’re all alone and so they come and rest their chin on your shoulder.

I don’t know how they know, but they just know, and I’m so grateful that they do.

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I’m looking forward to volunteering more often and I ope to get out there once a month or so. Even if all I do is clean stalls – I don’t care 🙂 It’s enough for me to just be around a horse.

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