Buck and Ramona: A Case Study
Why Choose a Rescue Horse?
Together We Prevail
I went to the habitat with the intention of helping and healing horses in need. When my day there drew to an end, I was usually drenched with sweat, dirty and powerfully hungry, yet strangely I left feeling profoundly at peace mentally and emotionally. It was a kind of peace that saw me through the rest of the weekend and throughout the week. I had always wanted a horse, but never thought that apparition would come to fruition. When the two hearts, minds and spirits merge to work as one, only then can one experience that rare, exquisite sensation of freedom that is the gift of the horse. It was this freedom that my spirit earnestly yearned for and I knew I wanted a horse whose spirit was strong while showing gentility and longed for freedom to run free and who would allow me to fly with him.
I have always loved horses for their sheer power and strength, both physically and mentally, for which they exhibit so gracefully, so proudly. I was content to go there weekend after weekend, each proving to be an enhancing experience. There were horses there that I cared deeply for but I needed a connection, not just me connecting to a horse, but for a horse to connect with me, and I was willing to wait. Just as much as the horse needs to respect the human, so must the human respect the horse. The relationship between the two, all be it complex, but one that is enduring and fulfilling, is to be experienced by both horse and human. My life was about to change in a way I never thought possible. There in the ER barn I saw a black and white head looking out the window and what seem involuntary, I stopped dead in my tracks unable to move a muscle trying to catch my breath as my heart felt like it would beat completely out of my chest. When I entered his stall and saw his ripped thin, body, my instinct was to protect and to save and in the process of learning how to care for him and encouraging him to eat and drink, he may have been healing physically, but he was healing me emotionally. I wanted to save him but he was saving me…I knew then what it felt like to have my wounded (but not broken) heart and spirit made whole once again. Each weekend we grew stronger together, we had made a connection, the bond was formed, I needed him as much as he needed me; together we would and could survive and overcome anything we faced when faced together.
The possibility was ever looming that Buck would never carry a rider, but I saw something in him…I saw determination, courage and the will to live. He was strong willed, stubborn and he had fight in him. He had intelligence to match his strength and he knew what he needed and wanted, and lucky for me, I was one of those things, or so it seemed when he held my pony tail in his mouth as I started to leave for the day and Vicky and the crew had to get him to release me. I petted him, kissed him and promised to be back and I was. I arranged for him to come to the barn where I boarded him as a foster with every hope of being able to adopt him, but should that never happened, at least he was part of my life in some capacity. His strong will and vivacious spirit that I connected with was the very thing that required me to be very discerning as to who would be chosen to work with Buck. It was the third trainer that found worth and esteem in Buck and was in agreement with me to only train him to be a willing partner and not to break his spirit. I valued his free spirit as I do my own and vowed to myself that anyone in his presence would do the same. I was given the honor when time permitted me, to be a part of the training by watching. The trainer knew when I was at the barn because Buck would stop and look my way. Once I was nearer, Buck proceeded to do as instructed during his training sessions. I learned how to bend and yield for the betterment of myself and others without losing myself.
Our Story…A New Beginning
There were some who had little to nothing to say that was worth listening to when I expressed my desire to adopt a horse from the habitat. There were some who had only positive and supportive things to say regarding my desire to adopt from the habitat. I respectfully listened and quietly in my own way of doing things secured additional training for Buck under the watchful eye of his vet, took with me what was taught to me by the wonderful people I encountered at the habitat that I am proud to call my friends, who were influential in me being able to adopt Buck and was and still grateful for the knowledge and caring assistance of the lady from whom I board my horses with, and of course Buck and I had and still have the love and support of my family. I would encourage anyone to take time to visit the habitat and see the good that is done there. It is there where you will see and experience the meaning of true love, giving of one’s self completely, and of course, an honest hard day of work that is done with pride and honor. It is there where people of all ages and from all walks of life are welcomed with warmth and hospitality. You will find no judgment, but you are sure to find friends, both two and four legged, as long as people come for the betterment of the horses and to support and uplift one another. There are two things I hope you can take from this. One is that the habitat and the people there are special to me, they do good work and they are a worthy non-profit organization that can further their good deeds with your help, any kind of help, volunteers are a valuable asset. Two, Buck is not my pet, he is not my money maker, he is my friend, my family, my heart, and if you don’t believe me, as the good folks at the habitat always said, just look at his side and there you will see he does indeed have my heart.
Name: Ramona Webb Holbrook
Location: Texas City, TX
Age (at time of adoption): 32
Case study title: Together We Prevail
Name of Adopted Horse: Buck
Color: Black and white
Date of adoption: December 2010
Age (at adoption): 4 years
Have fun while helping the spread the news about Habitat for Horses with our Facebook St Patrick’s Day Horse Photo Contest. Go to https://www.facebook.com/Habitat.for.Horses.org and click on the St Patty’s Day Photo Contest Link to find out more.