Oh, the days and long, bright evenings of May and June rolled along in the rhythm of clip-clops from a trustworthy horse on a summertime trail ride. Beneath that dusty, faithful rhythm were all of the emotions that surround us daily; joy, love, sadness, happiness, healing, kindness and passion: these make up our Raven Rock lives day after day, month after month.
We had a WONDERFUL first week of our FTP training from Leigh, Kristin and Brigette. Justin, Julie and Sandy were all in attendance as well as a cadre of professionals from all over the nation and world. This training is on-going and will culminate in September when we will gain our certification in H.E.A.L. The books, the discussions, the practicum, the teaching- ALL SUPERB! It will all go to make RRR a better-equipped resource for our at-risk kids. If we can save just one life, it is all worth it.
Ten days after our FTP session, our beloved Frieda died (see last report). I am so grateful that she got to spend one of her last weeks here on earth with Leigh doing the work that they developed together. On Memorial Day, we had a celebration of Frieda’s life and work with our kids. We planted two cherry trees- one for Frieda and one for Gem, her close friend who died in December. There were 30 or more people in attendance and we tied ribbons around those branches to signify our love for the two mares who gave us so much.
We miss them both!
We had a very successful Friend Raiser on May 27. As always, Jayne outdid herself with tasty food and Kathy procured the wine donation for us. Thanks, Ladies, for all of your excellent work. We felt the heart in it 🙂. If you missed it, there is one more-July 22 at 6:30. I will do a demonstration of what we do and how we do it.
June brought a new horse to Raven Rock. I never think of a new horse as a “replacement” because no one could replace Frieda. But Raven came to us from Natalie, one of our facilitators, who has owned her for 9 years. She is a beautiful black mare with large, kind eyes. She is Morgan, so fine-boned and on the smaller side, with a big heart for the children. We are letting her get her “feet on the ground” for a while before we ask her to go to work. But she already has made some friends while getting her glistening black coat brushed. Some remarked how did Raven get the hallmark name? But how often does a true black horse come along? So we have a “Raven” and “Rocky”. It seems just right to me 🙂
Raven and Rocky have a pretty good friendship going on, too.
We are headed into a big, FUN RAISER for the entire month of July! We are all going to ride (anything without a motor) and get sponsors for each mile. At the end of the month we will report our miles and give to the RRR operations fund. I am going to ride something (I just had foot surgery and my doctor said no horses, but…?) and I am sponsoring my 3 year old Grandson, James, who is fired up to ride in July. I think that means even YOU can ride and get sponsors and have FUN!
One of our horses, Rena, has received a new job description: she is the personal horse of one of my treasured volunteers, Maddie. Many who visit here know Maddie because she is here so often. She is the Assistant Stable Manager because she is so wonderful at taking care of all of our horses and me, a lot of the time. Now when my foot is not really usable, Maddie has stepped up to feed for me every night. It is a formidable task, but she is truly the best. I couldn’t do it without her.
When Maddie first arrived, she would be the first to tell you that she felt very insecure. It was difficult for her to trust. She couldn’t look people in the eye or have a conversation. I sensed that she had things all bottled up inside that needed a release valve, a way out. When Rena came to us, she was very much like that- she did not trust anyone and was so very, very defensive. She needed to understand our boundaries and not be quite a rigid with her own. She needed to feel the love we have for her. As so often happens here at RRR, our horses and people find each other in a beautiful organic connection; Rena found Maddie and Maddie found Rena. When Maddie’s car pulls up, Rena begins pacing in her pasture. It isn’t just a desire; it truly is a need that Rena has for the safety of Maddie’s touch and closeness.
These two are so very much alike: they are beautiful on the outside AND the inside; they are both so very smart; neither has the confidence to be all they were created to be (yet); and I love them both dearly.
Rena poses a challenge for Maddie, as horses often do for we who love them. It is as if she asks, “Are you going to be someone I can count on? Can you trust me if I trust you?” Rena is not very experienced under saddle and Maddie needs a little more experience in the saddle. But they are truly a perfect match as they embark together on a joyful adventure that ends in a place just this side of heaven. The gift that is a deep, intimate connection between a horse and a person splits the darkness and illuminates treasures long lost or yet to come. Many of life’s trials vanish like the cool fog on a hot summer day. Make no mistake; it takes courage on many levels to embark on this adventure, but it is the experience of a lifetime. I know.
Our Give Big fundraiser was a huge success! We raised over $9,000! A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all of you who sent in your money to RRR through Give Big. We appreciate all of you SO MUCH!! Our donors are the BEST- so faithful and consistent. We couldn’t ask for anything better! You help light the darkened path our kids must travel to reach that healing place. They depend on you and so do we. Thanks so much!