Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary

Back in 2009, thanks to my niece Lauren, we stumbled across a horse sanctuary.  Diana asked that day if I minded if we stopped to check it out for Lauren's sake.  I did not mind at all.  We got out, talked to someone and made a decision to come out for a day to do some work.  I blogged about that day  here: Helping at the Horse Refuge.   What I did not know that day was how much the place would stick with me and draw me back for more.
Last year, as soon as I realized that we were in fact going to stay in one spot for a bit and that my last child was leaving home, I decided I'd better find something to do that would help me adjust to both things.  I remembered how much I loved the "feel" of Sixteen Hands and started there.  Then a series of health issues and a computer crash halted my attempt.  Still, I knew I needed to get going with something or it would potentially be a very ugly scene when Austin did in fact move out.  I thought maybe I should find something closer, something I had experience with, something that fit our lives when we started moving around again.  So I looked around at my options.  And kept coming back to Sixteen Hands.  I'd tell Nathan that I still wanted to do it.  But just did not get around to doing what I had to do to make it actually happen.
The first week I set up a booth for Thousand Trails at Friday Night Live in Wauchula, I see the lady next to us setting out items with horses on them.  I say to Nathan, "I still want to do volunteering at Sixteen Hands" and then set out to go be friendly and talk to my neighbors just to make nice.  I get to the front of the booth and am shocked to see it is Sixteen Hands.  I most likely overwhelmed them with my excitement as I talked to Robin and Diane.  I get the information again and this time, I know I'm going to follow through no matter what.  I do.  And the rest, as they say, is history.
 I always knew I liked horses, but was not what I'd consider a "horse person".  I wasn't obsessed with them like my niece Lauren or my Mom.  I thought I'd enjoy being around horses.  I had no idea I'd fall head over heels in love with them though.  Or that I'd want to spend as much free time as possible with them.  Or that I'd talk endlessly about them until poor Nathan's eyes rolled back into his head from sheer boredom.
I still love the 'feel" of Sixteen Hands.  Probably more so than our first visit, because I know all that is involved with what creates and preserves that peaceful environment.  I'm honored that they let me come out, completely green and stupid in all ways, and so patiently allowed me to find my way during this new chapter in my life.  I'm guessing you will see lots about the horses and SHHS because it is where I spend a good bit of my time while we are temporarily planted!

Living the life in FL!