It is my belief that God gave us an incredibly special gift when He created the horse. I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of having equine friends since I was a young child and remain just as intrigued with them today as when I was four years old.
Although horses are majestic and powerful animals they are still capable of having a gentle and cooperative spirit. Wanting to please and be a friend is a familiar part of their nature. Being so Spiritually grounded, they can bring about a sense of peace when nothing else seems to be able to help. Feeling a gentle nudge or a hearing a relaxed sigh can be comforting even on the most difficult days. This sense of peace seems to be something they can bring to each other as well as to us.
A most moving example of this ability occurred with Sweet Georgia Brown, a wonderful old show horse of ours. We had the opportunity to bring him into our lives when he was 10 years old and experienced many wonderful accomplishments with him in the show ring as well as enjoying him at home in his later years. When he reached 38 years of age he lost sight in his right eye and about a year later he lost sight in his left eye as well. For a few days he seemed to have given up on living and wouldn’t eat or drink at all. You have probably heard the old saying that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink. Well that is true, and I would like to add you can’t make them eat either. After the third day I began to panic about how to help him, he was intimidated by the other horses and became very upset when they were nearby. So we were keeping him separated from them, but, this seemed to be making the situation worse. I suddenly remembered knowing someone who raised miniature horses. I thought that maybe having an equine friend that wasn’t intimidating might be helpful.
Calling my friend, I described my situation and asked if she had a miniature horse that might be a companion for Sweet Georgia Brown. She assured me she had an eight month old filly that would be great for him, but she was experiencing some problems with her back legs. However, she was hopeful that the young filly would outgrow them. I was very hesitant about having an eight month old because I thought she might be too active and probably would be bored with having to be so confined. But, I was desperate and willing to give it a try.
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I’ll always remember the moment that Sweet Georgia Brown and Angel met each other in the breezeway of our barn. We unloaded Angel, who was about 20 inches tall, and led her into the barn and introduced her to our kind old horse. They both made a welcoming sound, touched noses, and became immediate companions. They spent their days together walking side by side almost as shadows and never spent a minute apart. He adapted to his blindness remarkably well and continued to function as Canopy Cove’s Senior Equine Member. He participated in Equine Therapy every week for the rest of his life and lived to be almost 41 before he left us. Loved and cherished by all who knew him, he will never be replaced.
Angel continues to be a very important part of our Equine Program at Canopy Cove. She is a very friendly team member and loves for clients to spend time with her. She loves their attention and is tolerant of being dressed in costumes, painted, given pedicures in purple polish, as well as getting the mane and tail salon treatment. In inclement weather she is happy to come inside our art studio and participate in controlled temperatures with a record of no bathroom accidents to date. Her short stature and adorable nature allows even the novice equine client to feel comfortable. She is sometimes the first horse someone has touched.
So you can see why it is easy for me to see the beauty and goodness in horses.
We indeed have our own Angel.
~Lynda A. Brogdon, Ph.D., C.E.D.S., C.E.A.P.