I love horses. I own one. She is my go to when I need to relieve stress. I can bring her an apple and as I pull through the gate, her ears perk up, her eyes look my direction, and she ninnies a welcome to me. We can walk in the arena together, and she will follow behind me searching my pockets for treats and nibbling at my hands. I can sit and she will stand over me. Then she will run off towards the side of the arena in search for a blade of grass to nibble on. She brings me joy.
Her name is Chancy, short for "Second Chance." She was born on a breading farm in Norco, CA. The couple who bread horses for a living were crewel. They had over 20 horses, mares and babies (foals) on a 1/2 acre lot. I went with a friend who was interested in purchasing Chancy who was 3 months old at the time. I was appalled at how the babies were stuffed in small stalls with barely enough room to turn around.
My friend walked up to Chancy who was eating and began to mess with her feet. Chancy had an injury on one foot that was swollen and covered with flies. I felt sorry for her and watched as my friend lifted the wounded leg to get a closer look. Then WHAM, Chancy reached back and bit my friends forearm. My friend cursed, said she didn't want her, and we left.
I couldn't stop thinking about what I had seen. Chancy wasn't angry when she bit my friend. I saw her eyes and they were kind, but she was scared and had never had a human touch her. She was in pain. She reminded me of the foster kids at the place where I worked. I couldn't get Chancy out of my mind and so I went back and purchased her. My friend thought I was a fool.
Chancy turned out to be an amazing horse. She was fearless. I wanted to train her so I could ride with the Riverside Sheriff Posse, and so I began exposing her to "scary" things. I took a grocery bag full of empty cans into the arena and chased her with it. I dropped it and she walked over to sniff it and grabbed it in her mouth and shaked it. The other horses ran from her and she chased them with the rattling bag. Other times I'd take an umbrella, or balloons, or cover her face with blankets, and she was calm through it all. Very unusual. When I broke her for riding, she never tried to buck me off. She just gave into my commands and did as I asked. We have a special bond today.
When Chancy was older, I took her to a foster home and began working with the foster kids doing Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP). I have been certified since 2008 as an EAP specialist and love working with horses and youth, families, and Veterans. Two years ago my other horse, Star, another rescue, died and I suspended my EAP practice. This year my truck was stolen and I am no longer able to mobilize for EAP.
There's just something magical about watching a rescued animal love on a hurting human. They feel what you feel. They are sensitive to your every move. When a foster kid was petting Chancy they could release all their pain and cry into her neck and she would let them. When they needed laughter she gave them something to laugh at. When they were angry and with arms crossed, she would nudge them and push them until they focused on her. She was the therapist in the arena and I watched the pain decrease for the children. This was a safe place where two rescued souls could bond.
I don't know where those kids are today, but I pray they have fond memories of a place where love flowed freely from a horse named Chancy.