We have all met horses that stand out. Santos is like that. He was a Heeler and he was very good at his job. He was an alternate for the National Heeler competition and he won a lot of money on his way to the Nationals. One day, when letting a friend’s son of Santos’ owner ride to experience the feel of a wonderful horse, the boy did exactly what he was told not to do: he put Santos into a deep slide stop without his slide boots. In one moment, Santos was injured irreparably. A lot of time and money went into trying to help Santos comeback. But the injury maimed Santos and he would not recover.
That’s how Santos came to me. He was donated to our non-profit Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) program. It was clear from the beginning he was not happy. Everyone that stepped in the arena said the same thing “That horse is depressed.” Well who could blame him? He had lost his herd, his job, his leader, and his home.
Then we got Murphy. Santos isn’t depressed anymore. Everywhere he goes, Murphy goes. They eat together, sleep together. Often when we walk up to turnout, Murphy is standing under Santos for shade. When Santos is chosen as an EAP partner, Murphy runs along side of him. Yesterday, Murphy ran circles around Santos for 3o minutes while Santos was ridden by a handicapped client. No one says Santos is depressed any more. Now when we speak about Santos we say “He was a Heeler who became a Healer.”
Jolene Greene – Jolene Greene is a member of Team Redmond, and runs an Equine Assisted Therapy program in Jordan, Utah. Jolene has 9 horses including Murphy, the miniature donkey