Wednesday, February 22, 2017

If You Never Go On An Adventure, You Might Never Find Your Treasure

If You Never Go On An Adventure,
You Might Never Find Your Treasure
Another Man's Treasure
You know the story:  the one about the guy who throws something in the trash and the other guy who comes along and finds it, lifts it up out of the rubble, cares for it, and treasures it forever.

Lily is my treasure. She is also my Parelli Partner and, as of September 2016, we are official Level 3 graduates. Together.

Being the founder and manager of a horse rescue organization certainly has its emotional rewards (along with, of course, many heartaches); but in the middle of a South Dakota winter, being the contact person for this group is not fun and games. Unless I think of it as an adventure!  I got the call about Lily during a bitterly cold February. Lily and her only friend had been turned out in an open field with no shelter, no food, no water.  Lily's friend had already died and there, barely, stood Lily. Waiting...waiting...waiting...

And so, on a cold South Dakota February evening, my husband, Greg, and I went on yet another horse rescue adventure. We picked her up at the Humane Society in a neighboring county.  She looked like a shriveled up pony and she also had that other look -- the one that says, "I have lost my dignity, my pride, my beauty, my strength, my only friend, my life; now do with me what you want." 
The day after Lily's rescue, our Veterinarian came for evaluation. Lily, then a 3-year-old, had a body condition score of 1, her halter was growing into her head, she was loaded with worms, and she was lame.

For the rest of that winter, Lily lived in a barn with as much hay and water as she wanted.  We promised her she would never again be without food, water, and shelter.  We did put Lily up for adoption the following spring/summer, but no one wanted her. She was still not sound, she was very protective of her food, and we could not guarantee that she would be a riding horse.  And so, she came to live at our horse sanctuary, New Hope Horse Shelter, where 14 of our rescued beauties live. 
A few years ago I researched various horsemanship programs.  I wanted to start a program here with our rescued horses, giving people an opportunity to learn about horses even if they can't own a horse of their own.  I am so happy that I chose Parelli Natural Horsemanship.  The Parelli program is a perfect fit for me.  Through PNH, I have found a way to encourage consistency in our barn for both horses and humans; to combine my love for horses with my love for music and rhythm; and to stay connected to my roots. (My B.A. is in Education; I am a former high school teacher and coach and a strong believer in continuing education and self-improvement.)

I believe that we are never too old to learn something new, and that the best time to start something new is now.  Starting a new journey -- going on an adventure -- can be scary and, yes, as we get older, it can be even scarier.
But you know, I know, Lily knows, if you never go on an adventure you might never find your treasure.

Story written by me, Darci Hortness,
founder and manager of DoubleHP and New Hope Horse Shelter
501c3 nonprofit Horse Help Providers, Inc. (DoubleHP)

25337 470 Ave, Crooks SD  57020
605 359-0961

Our barn Parelli videos can be found by searching gentlereins on YouTube.
If you are interested in joining our horsemanship program, call me. Darci. 359-0961.