Path to a Healed Heart

Shayna - Traverse City, Michigan
Entered on June 3, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

As a child I had emotional struggles due to my home life. I was a sad, depressed little girl and felt as though I had no purpose. However, my outlook on life changed when I fell in love. The friendship and love of a horse is therapeutic. Having a bond with an animal I can also compete with is miraculous. I never have to listen to him yell, he never makes me cry and he will never leave my side.

As I began to interact with horses I felt as though I had reason to leave my house; I had to go see PeeWee. I believed that he needed me as much as I needed him. He had been abused and was cautious of whom he could trust; I felt the same. We were certainly not the first pair to save each other and we are no where near the last.

At the barn I attended there were horseback riding lesson programs along with Catch a Rainbow, a therapeutic riding program. Many young people that had hurts were able to turn to horses at the barn I attended and experienced great satisfaction while participating in theses programs. It did not matter if children were mentally and physically slow or came from challenging families; they all related in some way to a horse. They all felt better after being with a kind, gentle creature who accepted them for who they were. As I watched these young people begin new lives with horses by their sides I saw the hope, courage and faith that they now had in themselves. They realized that being different does not mean anything at all, because every person can find flaws in herself but a horse will never notice the flaws.

No matter the gender, age, background or social class of someone, all can find friendship and love in a horse. There are plenty of horses waiting for someone to claim them, to love them and there are plenty of people waiting for the same thing.

I was once a lost child but now I am an independent, strong woman. Though many have helped me through my hard times there is no comparison to the loyalty of my horse. I believe any person can gain friendship and new hope while interacting with horses. What I believe is nothing people can talk about but rather something everyone must experience. Until someone physically interacts with horses they will not understand the strength that one can gain from a horse. Anyone who is lost traveling down the wrong path can put faith in a horse to guide her back home, to where she belongs. Most amazing, is the great possibility that a person may find another person who feels the same way and believes in the same things, developing a completely new relationship that can be taken out of the barn. A horse is more than just a four legged animal. A horse will not only bring love and friendship but also help one find love and friendship in others, this I believe.