healing hooves and paws

I went to London today, the second time in the space of 7 days. To me, visiting London is just like visiting a relative – enjoyable for short infrequent visits, but stay any length of time and it becomes unbearable. I like a little taste of what living in London must be like but that’s it, never more. We all walked together to  local park, which took us down a road like millionaire’s row. My friend pointed at one impressive double fronted Edwardian property and mentioned that it had been on the market for over £ 4million. While I admired the architecture      and character of the property, I couldn’t help but compare this with the kind of property you could buy for the same money elsewhere, which would include acres, woodlands and stables in the property details. In fact for me its all about land. I wouldn’t mind living in a mobile home if it meant I could own a few acres to graze a few horses. I would probably end up erecting a few log cabins or yurts for use by charities such as Action for Children, who every year take children from deprived areas of inner city London to activity breaks in the countryside (as part of their general services programme supporting vulnerable children).

I would use horses to help the healing process of children who have suffered abuse and other problems in their early lives that have impacted on their wellbeing. I experienced a glimpse of what can be achieved between young people and horses when I introduced a boy with adhd and behavioural issues to contact with horses and dogs. At first he was suspicious, scared and hostile at the prospect of dealing with something he wasn’t see to dealing with. I didn’t fuss over him, i just handed him the lead rein attached to a 17 hand horse and asked him to lead him back to the stables while I walked alongside. Of course he was scared at first but after a while he learned that the horse was a gentle giant, skittish like he was but never to harm intentionally. At the idea of walking with my dogs he thought i had gone too far ‘i hate dogs’ he said. I had no choice but o take the dogs with me and leave them to run around his garden one day while i fixed his supper after school. It didn’t take long before he was throwing a ball and playing sticks with them. They were inseparable. It brought another side to him that i didn’t know existed. Rather than a pale drawn face, he had colour in his cheeks. When I picked him up from school he didn’t seem to want to talk to anyone but his face lit up whenever he saw the dogs or the horses. It is almost as if horses and dogs and other intelligent and sensitive animals draw out all the positive parts of a human person, the parts that some people didn’t know existed. They can also expose the worst personality traits.

Upon reflection the kindest people I have come across in my life to date have been those who are amazing with children and animals but yet come across as a bit ‘off’ with adults. I wonder why that is.

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef – see here to donate to the campaign. I am aiming to make £200 for the charity before the end of 2014 so all donations gratefully received.

Thanks for reading.

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