Lessons from the Barn

Often you never fully appreciate how much you have missed something until you are able to experience it again. Since COVID started there have been many regular events in our lives that were disrupted. If you are like Doc and I you ended up putting those things in the back of your mind and just tried to focus on each day. For a few years Doc had taken her patients to the horse farm for Equine Assisted Therapy almost weekly and then one day all of that stopped because of the virus. It has been over a year since we had been to the horse farm, but on Sunday we reunited with our favorite horses and oh what a joyful reunion it was!

It’s funny how the further we got away from the city you could feel the stress melting away. Soon, all you could see were fields filled with corn and cows grazing peacefully. Barns and farm houses dotted the landscape between vast acres making me want to burst out into a loud rendition of “Old McDonald Had A Farm” but I contained myself. Finally we arrived at our destination and when we turned up the long gravel driveway, I was so excited to see everyone that I almost jumped out the car window before Doc came to a stop.

Greeted with smiling faces and some yummy ice cream after our drive was icing on the proverbial cake. I slurped mine down and after a short chat, we headed straight back to the barn. As we opened the barn door, the familiar smells of hay and horse lingered in the air. Looking down the row of stalls, the first horses we saw were Doc’s favorite mother and daughter, Heidi and Joy. Even I had forgotten how gigantic these two magnificent Percheron draft horses are. Weighing in at over 2,000 pounds or more I was really careful to make sure my paws didn’t get stepped on. Heidi was the first to offer her head over the stall for a scratch on the nose and soon daughter Joy followed. We then ventured to the end of the barn toward the big indoor arena where our friends Beauty, Taco and the two miniature horses Waffles and Oatmeal were peering over the fence, waiting to see us. Doc divided her time talking to the owners and brushing the horses. I spent my time communicating with my horse buddies in the non verbal way that animals talk and boy was there a lot to catch up on.

As all good things must come to an end, before long it was time for us to leave. As we were walking out of the barn, Doc hesitated and I saw her looking up on the wall at an old familiar sign that both of us had forgotten about that said “Barn Rules”. The rules simply say “1. Breath, 2.Mosey, 3.Whisper and 4. Be aware.” Doc looked at me and said quietly, ” Grover, over the last year I had forgotten these simple rules that can apply anywhere she said. It’s the respectful way to be around horses but if you think about it, it’s also the respectful way to be around humans as well. I nodded my head in agreement happy to be reminded of something important that we had forgotten. Driving home both Doc and I felt thankful for our wonderful day and the old lessons we needed to be reminded of again.

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