Sunday, January 17, 2010


The New Horse, Elizabeth

Yesterday was a very special day here at THE FARM. Several of the volunteers came out and we enjoyed each other, the sunshine, the horses, and the human end of the manure forks. Somewhere in the afternoon we wandered out to the corral. A few pokes and looks and questions and we all agreed that Appaloosa Mare was most certainly carrying a set of tiny hooves in her tummy. The tummy that seems to grow bigger and hang a bit lower every day.

So when it was time to end the working and begin to enjoy brushing and grooming The Herd, these wonderful women pitched in and moved gates and once again became familiar with the human end of the manure forks. A special stall was made in the barn for Appaloosa Mare and the baby, should the need arise.

Horses were moved to varying pastures so that Appaloosa Mare and Gracie could live in the corral without the concern of PONY! herding, as he likes to do. Dude is happier than he thought he could possibly be. Now, it seems, he is the king in a herd of five mares! Yes, he has five women fighting over him! Fun to watch as the mares maneuver him and each other attempting to isolate the single man in their midst. Trying their best to have him all to themselves.

So much was accomplished yesterday. I am grateful for the hands and the backs and the smiles and the cooperation. My day was made much brighter by the presence of these women. Thank you to each of you.

The highlight of the day, however, came with the introduction of our new horse, Elizabeth. It was something I had wanted to do for a while now and yesterday was the day. Early in the afternoon, I asked the women to come into a stall where she stood. All of us placed all of our hands onto her. She was nervous to begin with. So many humans so close to her. So many strangers all around her. So many hands touching her. She was nervous and moving and fidgeting and trying to find a route of escape.

But partway through the reading, she calmed. In fact, she rested her withers and relaxed upon hearing her name. Elizabeth. She knew. And she understood. This mare understood that her name was Elizabeth and so she accepted her name and relaxed. She calmed at the sound of her name. Elizabeth.

Who is this mare? Her story is long and sometimes a bit sad, but I feel the best I can do to tell you about her is to simply present to you the reading from yesterday.

And so with a heart full of hope and healing, I present to you Elizabeth. With a heart full of commitment to support her and help her as best as we can. With a heart full of understanding, I present to you Elizabeth. A very special Minister, indeed. One who takes time to "grow on you". One who takes time to accept you. To trust you. And to believe you when you tell her you will never leave her. She has listened to The Three Promises and will accept them in time. With Elizabeth, it all takes time.

It is I whom am honored to care for her. Elizabeth. And now I introduce her to you . . . .

Your journey brought you here in 2004 – frightened, weary, alone, and uneasy. The very first one to support and befriend you was Ole’ Man Cole.

For these past 5 ½ years, Ole’ Man Cole has stood by your side and unconditionally loved you. He helped you with flies in the summertime and gave you his heat in the winter time. He may have wandered for a few hours to another mare, but he always returned to you – his chosen companion.

With the crossing of Ole’ Man Cole you are once again alone, Miss Bette. His constant closeness is no longer causing you movement and so your legs are beginning to stiffen. You seem a bit withdrawn and we are concerned that you are becoming frightened and weary and alone and uneasy again.

So, Miss Bette, today we leave the past behind us all. Ole’ Man Cole has crossed and we all miss him. Today we celebrate his presence with us but today we also set you free! Today, Miss Bette, you will become Elizabeth.

Elizabeth is a name that tells of character and polish and sophistication and respectful manners. Elizabeth is a name filled with promise and hope and all things good. Elizabeth is a name that speaks of beauty and confidence.

Be happy, Elizabeth! You have known the love of a devoted companion and have a grand future in front of you. We love you and are so very thrilled to have you among us. We treasure you and will protect you. We will surround you with others whom you may select to be your friends. We will support you as you age. And we will give you the time you need to grieve.

Blessings to you Elizabeth! And so right now – RIGHT NOW! – let your future begin!

Enjoy the journey of each and every day,
Sandy and The Herd and Elizabeth

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