Husband and I have been secretly trying to find our horse Sam a new home. With us not moving to the farmstead, Sam was nothing but another mouth to feed. I hardly needed her on 5 acres. We didn't advertise her, just asked a couple of people
I got a phone all, seemingly out of nowhere, from a woman I don't ever remember meeting. She said that a friend of ours had told her we had a horse for sale. Her and her husband and 3 boys came over to meet Sam. All 3 of her boys have different and varying levels of autism. While the oldest boy rode Sam around the yard, I spoke with the woman. She was starting a nonprofit for low income families who has children with autism. The program is equine therapy. Her youngest had made remarkable strides in speech and responsibilities ever since they started doing it with him.
We do have a equine therapy ranch in the next county over, but it is expensive. This one would be through social services only. And for those well under the poverty level. As we talked her youngest spied out our goat Zombie. I see there are some new readers, even in my long absence, Zombie is a little billy goat that I hand raised along side 2 dogs. If you were to ask him, Zombie would tell you he was indeed a dog. The youngest boy wasn't quick enough with the affections, and Zombie butt him in the stomach. Nothing too hard mind you, just enough to get his attention. The boy began laughing, no, not just laughing but cracking up! This in turn got me giggling. Zombie took this as a signal to keep playing, and the young boy kept egging it on. The woman and I continued our conversation.
Next thing we know Zombie is giving the boy a ride over to the garden area, both seem very content with each other.
The program is called Abe's Hearts and Hooves for Autism. It is the brain child of her oldest son. After his equine therapy session (parents do the therapy using neighbors horses) the boy said to his mother that he wished others could do the same as him. After lots of calls, legal council and a bunch of paperwork, the family began contacting business and individuals about donations and they purchased their first horse. A mistreated pony. The couple are excellent horsemen. Grew up training horse, but life has a way of steering you away from the things you love, well at times anyway. They have been working on this pony and he is now doing wonderfully with the children.
They fell in love with Sam.
The asked me how much I wanted for her. I knew what price I had quoted to another that was interested in her, but I always try to do one good did for the year and the year was rapidly approaching the end. I looked toward the garden where the youngest boy had hold of Zombies tail, and Zombie was happily leading him around. I made her a deal.
You can have Sam free, if you take the goat.
She was shocked, and readily agreed to it. She had been prepared to pay for Sam. But this is a wonderful charity and I just couldn't see myself selling her Sam.
After they left with her I got a phone call from the family, updating me on Sam. She seemed to be enjoying her new role with the boys. And Zombie is a hit with all the kids. Who knew I was raising a therapy goat.
Another week passes and I get another phone call. Sam is gone! She walked over the fence, and they were out looking for her. I told them I would call if I saw her. I left the front gate open and headed to town. When I returned I spied Sam standing at the back gate waiting to be let in with the cows. Guss she missed them.
Back to her new home she went. She belongs there.