Saturday, March 29, 2008
For Those Horses
My blog is being written a tad bit early this week. Tomorrow, Sunday, will be a full one so I thought I would write to you this evening. Hope you don’t mind!
Today was the Saturday of our Public Hours for March of 2008. And what a day! We had our first guests in the driveway at 9:30am and the guests were steady until 2pm or so. Thirty-six (36) people came down the driveway to check us out today. "And just how had they heard of us?" I asked.
Oh, they have driven by and have seen the road signs. And they have heard of us from a friend and so they thought it was a good day to drop in. Or our website had been emailed to them from someone who knew they liked horses. Or they have heard about us from a volunteer who is part of our Farm Family and wanted to check out the place the volunteer talks of so much. Or they have been reading the articles in the Dunn County News every month......
Regardless, they came to us on this Saturday. And waiting here to meet them was a likewise valuable group of Human Beings we call The ‘Other’ Herd – the volunteers. Twelve (12) of the Family were here to tell the stories, insure the safety of all during horse pettings and brushings, to listen, and to make sure every guest had a good cup of hot chocolate before departing.
And I have that feeling that my life has begun a new friendship today. A woman who also has the heart of a rescuer and is working to continue without the love of her life. A very nice woman with a huge and generous heart. She loves to garden and she relies on her animals to support her and give her pleasure and strength. I liked her from the first moment we began our conversation. You’ll hear directly from her shortly, so stay tuned for more from this new friend of mine.
With all of this going on at once, at one point in the day, I stopped my flurry of activity and just listened and watched and absorbed it all. What I heard was adult laughter and many voices talking and kids giggling and yes, even Little Man barking. What I saw were strangers hugging and laughing and yes, a few tears when Handsome came in to the barn. What I felt was an enormous chest-swelling feeling of awe.
These people have come together and are sincerely and genuinely relating and sharing all because of this small herd of rejected horses. All because there happens to live here on this small little tract of land a few horses with bad legs or bad eyes or bad bones or old bones. Horses not able to work or be ridden anymore. Horses that were at the end of their line. They came here and the Human Beings followed. My awe was palatable as I surveyed what has transpired from his simple words:
“Take this horse, Sandy, and make a difference in somebody’s life with it.”
Thank you, Andy, for seeing the need. For seeing the healing that would come because of your generous gift of Frances Andrew. For challenging me to change my life and reverse the lonely road I had traveled for so long. Thank you, my loyal and beloved friend. I spoke of you several times today. Did you hear me? You are not far from me, you know. But I do miss you so, my dear Andy.
* * * * *
My Sunday will be filled with early morning chores, Sunday service, and then a trip in to downtown Minneapolis to be interviewed by CBS Radio. I am honored that my opinion is requested. My opinion that will be as tactful as I can be but will also be honest and often brutal, I suspect. Impactful, I hope. Able to reach out and cause some people – maybe just one person – to stop and think about their responsibility as a horse owner. The topic? Well, it is a topic that came up in the barns just this afternoon. It is time to begin the talks about the flood of unwanted horses in the USA.
How did we get here? What do we do in the long term? But in the meantime, what do we do for the horses that are dieing right now from starvation or lack of shelter or lack of water? Right now!
So tomorrow without being too aggressive, I will do my very, very best to be the voice of those dieing horses. Those horses who are weak and hungry and dehydrated and being chased until they drop. Those horses that I hear in my mind every single day and every single night. Those horses that need us the most. I will do my very best to talk for those horses and plead for them. With the same pride as I see from the weakest that I have rescued. And with the same determination that I see in the eyes of even the most emaciated and destroyed. I will do my best to speak loudly and clearly for those horses.
Send your positive energies to me tomorrow, please. Help me to make a strong case that reaches horse owners who continue to breed. And the owners who aren’t feeding. And the owners who aren’t even looking anymore. Help me to make a strong, clear case that is hard to rebut. A case for those horses that are dieing right now. We must act swiftly and with great compassion and purpose. We must act. We must.
Think about it. In the time it took to read this blog, another one has died.
Enjoy the journey of each and every day,
Sandy and The Herd speaking for Those Horses