Mane Support

Sierra - Knoxville, Tennessee
Entered on January 15, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Over the summer I had a chain of life-changing events occur, but all of those events brought me back to three horses. “How could horses help me?” I thought to myself, but they did! These beautiful creatures taught me something no counselor or teacher could teach me. So I believe that animals have something to teach us; something we all need to learn.

It was July 7th and I was the lead roll in the musical Annie. I felt amazing in front of all those people, and I was singing better than I have ever sung before. Right in the middle the play, I was interrupted by loud bangs and blood curdling screams. A man had come in with a gun. I bolted out the nearest exit with some of the younger cast mates in my arms, and I hid in some nearby bushes. My heart did flips, and I shook vigorously. I was scared but not because I was afraid of the gun, I was afraid because I had no idea what was going on. When all of my family who had come to watch me perform came out of the building safe and unharmed, I fell to the ground and cried every last tear I had. Less than a month later, two other shootings occurred and both brought back awful memories. I felt depressed, sick to my stomach, but most of all I was terrified.

About a month later I still was not in the best condition. I didn’t trust anyone and I felt alone. Loud noises brought me to tears, and I stayed at home as much as possible. I needed help more than anything at this point so my mother went out of her way to find it. We came across a small farm that held a healing program called “Mane Support” run by a lady that my family had known for years. The second I stepped foot there a calming sensation came over me. I ended up falling in love with the place and visited every week. I did various activities and enjoyed making crafts, but mostly I loved being with the horses. Being on the farm with the horses made me feel comfortable and at ease as if it were my second home.

During my last few weeks of “Mane Support,” I was grooming one of my favorite horses when a storm came through. The horse I was with started to get nervous and bucked his head up and down. I quickly turned the horse around and started to guide the horse to his stable. Halfway there the horse stopped bucking his head and stopped shaking. He calmed down the second he knew what was going on! Right then it came to me, even when something terrifying happens, life will move on and you need to move with it. Don’t hang on to the past.

That day I opened up and was willing to learn. I learned that even when horrific events happen, life moves on and so should you. You can’t keep holding on to the past. I believe animals have a way of teaching us; we just need to pay attention and keep an open mind.