World Vision: SERVE
After reading this week`s challenge I am praying it isn`t cheating to use the same thing again as I did for the giving challenge... my time with disabled children through Equine Assisted Therapy (EATS). Today was my third week of assisting A (my rider) and her horse OB (pictured left). When I think of serving someone in my community who I wouldn`t normally connect with, EATS definitely is my answer. I would probably never walk up to A at any other place and just strike up a conversation with her... especially since she is visibly disabled and I wouldn`t want to embarrass her. But when we have the horse between us being with A is just like being with any of my friends. She shares the highs and lows of her week, we talk about horses, we talk a lot about horses, and we work on correcting her techniques and helping her gain back muscle mass she has lost due to disease. Today A amazed me with her technique and skill on OB as they walked tight, 360° circles all around the arena and trotted (without my help) down the straightaways. A is really improving and I know she is feeling more confident each week... she hopes to someday own her very own horse.
I don`t really know all that much about A besides what we talk about week to week, and for the fear of embarrassing her I haven`t asked her much about her disease. At the same time, I know we connect each week on a deeper level than I do with most people, simply through our love for horses. But also our simple dreams and hopes for life, the ones I remember having at her age too. She was discourage to know I would miss her last week of this session because I will be out of town, but excited to know I will be with her through the next session as her sidewalker with OB. It may seem like I am doing something really great by volunteering with EATs, but truly helping with EATs is doing something realyl great for me... the time with horses and assisting this kids brightens my day in a way nothing else really can. It is a joy in my heart to know I am helping and smile on my face to get to be with horses.
Here are some EATs photos from their website: eatherapy.org