This week I have been constantly inspired by people and by events, and although mostly uplifting, you can’t help to feel quite heartbroken. I think about the quote you always hear around, or some derivative of the quote, ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.’ I have no clue who owns those words, or which of the several versions of it was the original, but simple enough, right? This week I have been inspired by hardships, and the beautiful things people (and horses) can do because they have made choices to use what was given to them and make the world a better place.

Often when I think of the word ‘given’, I think that it is a gift given with the intent to make me happy, but unfortunately, life doesn’t always do this. I am very guilty myself of getting down about things that have hurt me, or not gone my way, but at the end of the day, I have a choice! I can feel depressed, or I can try and make things better. (Or, sometimes you might be the lucky one who might be depressed and making things better… it exists… I know…. I have a ‘friend’.) The point I am making is that often what seems hopeless, or un-helpful can be something wonderful and meaningful to someone else. How did you learn from your life lessons? How can you inspire others? Often, I find that some of the best foster parents, are those that have experienced an abusive or dysfunctional family themselves. Often, these life’s imperfections are ‘blemishes’ that families fear would disqualify them from being foster parents, but that is a misconception!

This week, I was honored to meet Rebecca Boardman with Arabian Rescue Therapy. Myself and my sister, Jill (AKA un-official Harbor of Hope volunteer/ambassador) visited with Rebecca at her Ranch located in Krum and got to meet several of her therapy horses.

I am embarrassed to say that I knew very little about Equine therapy, but I have heard that it is extremely helpful, and thought that I would venture out in the hopes of using this therapy as a future resource for the foster kids that I work with. Rebecca first introduced us to Sparrow who was at the front of her ranch who we could tell was on the mend from what seemed to be severe malnourishment. Rebecca explained to me that her passion has been rescuing horses. This has been something she has always had apart of her life for over 30 years. It is clearly a passion as she starts introducing us to more of her rescues and explaining how far these courageous animals have come.

Let me just say, as a city girl, I was in complete and utter awe! We sat in Rebecca’s barn, and we were quite literally on the edge of our seats as she gave us a little more detail about how a therapy session plays out. She described it more as ‘play therapy’ vs. traditional equine therapy where you ride the horse. At Arabian Rescue Therapy they practice a therapeutic approach know as Eagala. As Jill so aptly observed, this approach calls for the client and horse to be on the same level. I could sit here and try my very best to explain this approach as beautifully as Rebecca did, but I wouldn’t do it justice. What impacted me the most in our visit was a point that Rebecca made that was so beautiful.

Most of her horses have been psychologically and sometimes physically damaged, abused, or neglected. They must be brought back to health by their human rescuers and through therapy, they are giving back to humans. These horses are touching, impacting, healing the lives of hurt individuals! Not only abuse survivors, but even veterans who might suffer from PTSD. It is shocking to me because I think sometimes people look at themselves as unqualified, or incapable of helping, but there is purpose there is reason, and there are always ways to give back. It was interesting for me to see how this can apply for humans, but in these beautiful horses, as well.

I am extraordinarily excited to be learning about different creative approaches people are taking to help others. I can not wait to extend this resource to help future clients. Places like Arabian Rescue Therapy exist because of the choice that one brave woman made! I want to make those same choices. To take what’s given to me, make it better and pass it on. I wonder what amazing things Harbor of Hope Foster Parents will do when they make the choice to help a child in foster care?!

To learn more about Arabian Rescue Therapy go to www.arabianrescuetherapy.org.