Got the chance to visit Happy Hooves yesterday, a wonderful nonprofit animal sanctuary that does equine therapy with their mini horses and donkeys. The owner Jesse and I got the chance to discuss equine therapy and how helpful it can be for healing from trauma/PTSD. I hate to admit, when I entered graduate school, I was pretty cynical to anything besides traditional therapeutic modalities/interventions. The problem with being narrow-minded is that I dismissed things that could be helpful.
My time at Happy Hooves reminded me of when my mom took me, an anger teenager, to equine therapy when I was 15. When my mom picked me up, she was brimming with the optimism of a mother trying anything to help her kid. She asked me smiling, "how was it?" I scowled at her and sneered, "I can't believe you PAID them for me to do their chores for them. All I did was brush the horse and clean up crap." My mom's smile deflated and we spent the remaining car ride in silence.
As I was brushing the donkey named Jasmyn, I felt a smile spread across my face- the repetitive brushing was calming. I thought about how my cynicism was really just fear dressed up. When I tell the universe no, I am really telling the universe, "I am too afraid." (Don't worry, I texted my mom and told her she was right.)