"Tough times never last but tough people do,” Robert H. Schuller.
Throughout this program, I first hand have seen that this is inevitably true. One person that sticks out is a young girl named Priscilla. She came to our program so cut up on her arms and legs and with the attitude that she was tough and nothing was going to change that. Priscilla thought this program was stupid but little did she know; this program was going to be a turning point in her life.
About the 2nd or 3rd program, she started really connecting with a horse named, Pepper. He was one of the most special horses in his personality and we were so blessed that he came into our lives. He was a champion in cattle penning in Canada and his grandpa was #1 champion in Canada. Pepper wrecked his knee and could no longer compete but he still had so much purpose left. We only got to have him in our lives for 1 1/2 years but to this day we still believe that he actually came for Priscilla and not us per se. Usually in our programs we like to change up the teachers, the horses but this was not the case for Priscilla. From the moment she started to work with Pepper, her life began to change.
Pepper would noticeably use his muzzle on her and she would laugh and laugh. She absolutely loved it! Usually when a horse would do this, we would step in and help they kids to understand how to show a horse you need space. However, this was not the case for Priscilla. It was a different situation and we knew we needed to let it happen. From that moment on, they had a really strong connection.
On one of her visit to the programs she wrote in her journal, “How am I ever going to make it in this life without you, Kari, Carolyn and Pepper. You are all so important to me in my life and how I feel about myself.”
At the end of the program, Pepper hugged her like no other. He wrapped her up, literally bear hugged her. Nose to his stomach with Priscilla in his hug. It was something I had never seen before. I had to force back the tears because I knew it was her moment and I did not want to take anything away from that.
In all my years working, I have never seen another bear hug like I did that day. This program changed her forever. Even in her journal she had wrote “My word I picked today was (focus) because I am deciding what I want to do after treatment. I will admit I’m scared to leave you all have been positive for me. Thank you.” To see the way we are helping people overcome obstacles and find themselves is so rewarding.
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