No kidding. I am so lucky.
Every year I join this Horsemanship Challenge where the participants sign up at the first of the year and commit to spending 40 hours of horsemanship with one horse over 12 weeks. With jobs and families and short days and crummy weather, it is darn tough for folks to find that time to spend with their horse. That’s the “challenge” part of it.
I’m excited about the challenge for a different reason. You’ve probably heard us say a million times — we believe horses are GOOD for communities. We are hoping to provide that connection for people who otherwise have no horse connection. The Northwood Farms challenge is special because it is a community of horse people with no agenda other than support, horsemanship, and connection.
I offered our horses up to our staff in the event they were interested in participating in the challenge. I hoped that the horses would enjoy an exclusive relationship with one person they could bond with in the off-season. And if our staff enjoyed it, all the better.
This year, they all joined the challenge! And dang, they are putting in an impressive showing. In freezing rain, snow, wind, you name it, they are out here riding.
The thing with horses is that you can feed them carrots, scratch their ears and dote on them for hours a day and all you’ll have is a pushy horse begging for treats. But somehow, just by spending time with them, we can change the relationship. I’ve seen it too many times to count. Spending time with a horse is what makes the difference between them being hard to catch vs. walking up to you in a field. Spending time with them makes the difference between them being upset or stable. Spending time with horses can even change their status in the herd!
What does spending time with horses do for us? I think the benefits are too numerous to count, and among them is, “they bring us closer to amazing people.”
Thanks, team, for loving the horses and being part of our dream!