On August 26th the family and friends of Healing Horses said good-bye to Thunder.
Thunder was a wonder horse.
He was a 20 year-old barrel racing, trail riding, four-legged dream-fulfiller. Thunder’s loss was sudden and has left a hole in many hearts. As we seek to fill that gelding-sized gap, a “Thunder Tree” has been planted.
Just outside the arena where he trained with many riders, a new silver oak has taken root. Soon it will proudly brandish a plaque in Thunder’s honor.
The loss of a good horse is never easy, but the beauty and grace in which Sadie, Thunder’s special girl, has approached his death has helped all of our hearts to find solace in the knowledge that he moved on to a bigger and better arena with the angels.
The night of his passing, Sadie shared the beautiful belief that “God must have needed a good horse in heaven.”
No doubt heavenly hooves must have galloped to greet Thunder as our tears were falling here on Earth.
Sadie’s innocent incite inspired her to appropriately give the new tree’s planting an added healing purpose as she named the silver oak planted in his honor, The Thunder Tree.
I would like to cordially invite you to have lunch with me. My desire for this lunch date is so sincere that you may choose the day, time, and location that works best for you.
You and I share some very similar interests. We both love to sing and love our nation. We share the belief that good leaders listen, stand up for what needs to be done, and that sometimes simple solutions are all that is needed to make big changes.
Your mom was a teacher, and I am a mom and a teacher. So we both value education and moms.
You’ve written and published children’s books and having children’s books published from my pen is on my bucket list. (Maybe you could recommend a good literary agent.)
You are much better at golf than I, but maybe you could give me some pointers as we dine.
A love of laughter and sincerity are also things we have in common, and I know we could both use a sincere conversation and laugh right now. (People tell me I’m pretty funny, so I’ve got that to bring to the table.)
We all have that one friend or family member who is just never happy. Whether it’s their job, love life, looks, or the air they breathe, they just aren’t happy.
I have been struggling with a friend like this lately. It is my nature to try to fix things when they are not working. The problem is I can’t fix my friend’s attitude. I can be supportive. I can be kind. I can continue to include that friend in social occasions and conversations, but I can no longer let myself get sucked into the constant vortex of the woe-is-me mentality. I have to free my mind from the belief that I can control someone else’s joy. It’s out of my hands; I need to stop letting it commandeer my mind.
Consider issues in your own life that are out of your control but still seem to hijack your thoughts or contentment.
Is there a situation that seems to unsettle you, but shouldn’t prevent you from being successful? Are there conditions in your life that let you down but should be the least of your worries?
“If it’s out of your hands, it deserves freedom from your mind too.”
Since his arrival, Atticus has grown quite the reputation for being a sweetheart of a horse.
He is easy to catch, lead, load on the trailer, and care for in general, with two exceptions: getting shots and leaving Winn-Dixie.
When Atticus came to us he had a terrible runny nose and a bit of a cough. The best way to treat these issues is with antibiotics administered via syringe. Horses are big animals, so the shots are really big. As we quickly learned, no amount of grain or peppermint treats could keep him calm once that syringe appeared. It took a shortly-tied lead rope and fast hands to administer Atticus’ antibiotics. When it was time to immunize him from standard horse illnesses, the shot was slightly smaller, but his reaction was much larger. We got the job done, but it was no easy feat.
I know that 2020 has been a year of discomfort. And that’s not okay, but in reading Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly, I was kindly reminded that some of the greatest opportunities for growing and learning come from uncomfortable situations.
When speaking to her students about vulnerability and shame, Brené warns them ahead of time, “If you’re comfortable, I’m not teaching and your’re not learning. It’s going to get uncomfortable in here and that’s okay. It’s normal and it’s part of the process” (Brown 203).
This warning made me smile because it reminded me of the supply lists for incoming students to my English I class. After typing up and printing the nice, neat lists, I would carefully (in the scariest handwriting I could muster) write “FEAR” in red ink at the top of each list.
You can only imagine the delight I experienced in seeing the eager faces and ready hands grab at the waiting lists from the holder outside my classroom and then the quick flicker of surprise as that word“FEAR” registered in their already-panicking minds.
Atticus isn’t just any horse. He is the horse I rescued.
Every year tens of thousands of horses are purchased for slaughter. While horse slaughter for human consumption has been illegal in the United States since 2006, and all horse slaughter houses in the U.S. have been closed since 2007, the international market for horse meat and meat products for other animal consumption is still very viable in Mexico and Canada. Horse meat buyers thrive off the low prices owners put on horses that are no longer deemed useful or affordable. The meat purchasers ship those horses across the border to be butchered and sold.
Atticus was a horse who found himself at auction and purchased by a kill pen buyer. Fortunately, he was bought buy an organization whose horses are filtered through the Peabody Kansas Horse Rescue Pen before going to the kill pen. The Peabody Kansas Horse Rescue Pen has a Facebook page where videos are shown of horses that can be saved. Each horse is featured in a video that includes its age, physical attributes, and price (the meat value). The horses are only “safe” at Peabody for a limited amount of time and cannot be saved once the deadline has passed. Atticus almost missed his deadline.
For a LONG time I have watched the videos of horses and ponies on the Peabody site and rejoiced each time one was marked “SAFE.”(Of course, I want to save them all.)
Recently, my family knew we would like another horse we could all ride. Hubby and I had been “shopping” a lot on equestrian sites and had test rode a few horses, but none fit exactly what we were looking for.
Some call it character. Others call it poor construction. I call it inevitable. After lifting up the weight of the world since my construction, things are going to start sagging. Edges will soften. Layers will lower.
Have you ever considered what it’s like to be a stepping stone in someone else’s journey every single day?
Have you ever thought about the demoralizing existence that comes from inviting others to walk all over you?
Have you given thought to the loads these stones have allowed to ascend and descend in efforts to keep life moving?
How do you think it feels to bow beneath feet as moss and weeds make their homes in my fractures and blemishes?