A few weeks ago, I attended the 2nd Annual Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship Show in Bedford, New York. I was treated to another warm and sunny fall day that was filled with happy faces, glistening coats, the fervor of ambition, and the fresh farm smells that have come to feel so invigorating. It’s a heady mix of sensory overload!
I grew up in a rather rural part of Ohio, and farm animals were always around, but never a big part of my life. Horses seemed like animals that were out of my league: unattainable, gigantic, and awe inspiring. In recent years I’ve had the opportunity to get to know them better, and I’m feeling as if I need to make up for lost time. Being present to their magnitude and observing their peace and serenity takes me away from modern day worries and concerns. Just a few hours with horses leaves me feeling refreshed and centered in a way that is difficult to explain.
Set in a sleepy little corner just off of of New York Route 684, Endeavor is one of life’s quietly powerful places where amazing things are happening. I’ve blogged about the work at Endeavor before, and once again I am inspired by the participants who rode to glory in this year’s festivities. It is evident in the faces of each rider that they too experience an inexplicable feeling when working with horses that can only be conveyed through expressions of clean, pure, unfiltered joy.
Watching the young riders got me thinking about the interconnectedness of us all, and how magical being of service to one another can be. The horses are of service to their riders, whom are in turn of service to them: the riders take great pride in demonstrating the ways in which they learn to care for their monstrous pals. The horses demonstrate compassion and patience in subtle and mysterious ways. There are dedicated volunteers and staff members being of service to riders and their families, and to all of the horses. I am there myself being of service, and in turn I am given the opportunity to experience the glorious magic of it all.
I never would have guessed that I would find such grand satisfaction in being a tiny little part of something so removed from my daily life. We can all give back to each other in some small way, and it is overwhelmingly rewarding to watch others reap the benefits of kindness and possibility. For volunteer opportunities at Endeavor, please contact the team: http://www.endeavorth.org/volunteer/