There is no doubt that horses are therapeutic but this next story proves that, in some cases, they can literally save lives. I want to thank Kristen McFarland for sharing her story with us and am really glad she caught the horse bug. What a blessing!
Horses Brought Me Back to Life
I have struggled with depression and anxiety all my life. Then this past March, after a series of negative events culminating in a car wreck during a tornado that left me with no transportation and an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness and uselessness, I tried to commit suicide.
However, a random trip to a tack store while out of town for a sideshow gig reminded me of how much I missed horseback riding. The smell of the leather brought back memories of sitting in the tack room and hay with my friends, horse shows and ribbons, and a time when life didn’t seem so bad. At that moment, I decided to seek out lessons and riding seriously again.
When I got back in town, I contacted the local polo club. They were having a clinic and I asked if it was okay if I attended even though I had not ridden in nine years. They asked me to come out and ride a little beforehand, so I did. Being on a horse for the first time in nine years was like magic. The barn relaxed me and the sweet smell of horses was like a rush. I felt good.
Suddenly, I was completely horse crazy again. I started getting my hands on all of the horse magazines. I started reading horse blogs. I felt like I needed to know everything to help me get back to the level I was at when I was 16. I started grooming for the polo club and traveling with them for their games. I worked in a barn cleaning stalls and then began a working student relationship with a dressage trainer. I even started my own media business for the equestrian community and started filling out my portfolio at local horse shows.
I can feel myself improving every time I ride and I love looking forward to the next time I go to the barn. Maybe being horse crazy is just helping me escape from the troubles of life, but it feels good. It’s much better than my previous alternative. I am completely addicted to horses again. They are healing my soul.