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Whispers, Part 2

Fast forward four years, and the girls had learned a lot about horses and therapeutic riding.  They’d learned even more about mucking, shoveling, hauling, and work in general.  They’d done this in 3-digit heat, pouring rain, and even snow, and by the end of our assignment, my oldest was putting in 20-30 hours a week into her volunteer work on top of her schoolwork and other activities.  You can’t put a value on work ethic, but that’s not what was causing the real pride to bubble up in my chest.

I can’t quite put into words how proud I was to see my daughters assisting challenged riders.

I’ve said this before, but Mary Elizabeth has an amazing program.  No miracle cures here, folks, but the results we were seeing in the relatively short time our family worked at Whispers were amazing.  Selectively mute kids that wouldn’t say a word to other people would suddenly open up when they were in the saddle.  Children that hardly could hold their heads up slowly learned to sit up straight while sitting on a moving horse.  To be sure, some kids didn’t seem to make much progress at all, but all of them responded, and to see smiles on the faces of little ones who have endured challenges most of us can’t even fathom, and then to realize that your own kids are part of making that happen… well that’s pretty special.

Even this Dad was starting to warm up to horses.  Then, we got our dream assignment to New Hampshire, where we had hoped one day to retire, and my last excuse not to get horses – that we moved too often – evaporated.

My poor wallet would never be the same.

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