Tuesdays with Tim: Horsepower
January 2018: What HORSEPOWER means to me...
I just couldn’t let another day go by without letting you know that what you do each and every day is noticed and appreciated. Sending you all a “horse hug” for all that you do for HORSEPOWER! I have deep respect and admiration for how you pull together in adversary and how you share rider successes like they were accomplished by your own loved one. Your genuine caring about creating the very best experience for every rider speaks volumes to the quality of your character.
When people ask me what is HORSEPOWER… I find my first response is always about a group of amazing, talented, and committed people. Staff, Volunteers, and Supporters who come together to provide our equine activities to community members desperate for experiences that will touch their heart, and; also have a positive effect on their capacity to live more comfortably within their disability.
Some of you concentrate your efforts in the barn and I hope you never underestimate your major contributions to the overall program. We simply have no program without our amazing horse partners.
Nothing about what we do is easy work. All of it requires a flexibility and willingness to adapt to whatever comes up in the moment. It is nearly impossible for you to have a plan for the day and then have it unfold just as you would like.
My wish for you is that whenever you begin to feel the stress of what you are doing, may an Angel be there to keep watch over you and whisper in your ear words of support and appreciation for your sacrifice. Whenever possible….. Walk on the wild side…. Dance to the music of your dreams…. Follow your bliss…Be sensational… Live your passion…. Make mistakes and then forgive yourself…. Trust your instincts… Unleash the power of you creativity… Lose yourself in laughter… Fall in love with life…. Celebrate the uniqueness of YOU and those around you!
I am truly blessed to be around you. Blessed to bear witness to how you live your life in service to others. Blessed to see you help one another; even when you appear to be at the end of your own emotional/physical rope. Blessed to know that HORSEPOWER is defined by your good works.
Cheryl Richardson once wrote “Twenty years ago, I made a decision to wake up and alter the direction of my life. This set in motion a series of events that proved to me there are no coincidences. Every event we experience and every person we meet has been put in our path for a reason. When we awaken to this fundamental truth, we begin to understand that a benevolent force of energy is available to guide and direct our lives. I call this energy the unmistakable touch of grace”.
I agree with Cheryl. Over the next couple of days try to notice everyone around you (family, one another, volunteers, parents, clients, even our horses). Think of why they may be in your life at this specific time; they may be that very energy that Cheryl talks about… they may be your unmistakable touch of grace. Think too, that YOU may well be THEIR UNMISTAKABLE TOUCH OF GRACE. You are that for me! I’m going back to work now! Thanks again for being part of HORSEPOWER… Thanks for being you!
Ps~ We have two new horses (Half Track & Tori) trying their best to make it in to our program. Stop by someday to say hello! We wish you all the best of health & happiness in 2018 and beyond!
September 2017: Mankind is a hopeless mess…. Or NOT!
Perhaps the human species survives, in spite of the elements in this material world and within the wrong actions spawned by men and nations; because man has an instinctive disposition to search for answers. Answers within science, nature, and humanity; to prevent as much harm to mankind as possible. We face numerous forces in nature that occur as normal cycles (i.e. hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, wildfires, severe thunderstorms, excessive heat or cold, droughts, and winter storms.
Nature and her effects are not intentional in punishing mankind, yet; it often feels that way. Nature will always move on; even in the event all of its people no longer inhabit the planet. So, what does mankind do when faced with Natures’ extremes? We search for answers from within her to partially control it. We choose to adapt. That’s what we do; that’s who we are. We dig wells and build reservoirs; we create lightning rods and we build shelters. We use science to strengthen crops able to defy environmental conditions that seem miraculous. We find answers; we limit suffering; we learn to not only coexist with Nature, we most often discover ways to maximize its mysteries to the benefit of humanity. Although we may not force our will on Nature, man has always strived to limit its harm.
We can observe this attempt to limit harm when we investigate or perhaps live with diseases or illnesses such as coronary artery disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Lower Respiratory Infections, Respiratory and other cancers, various disabilities, and many other illnesses. We don’t stand by hopeless; rather we bring together human resources, technology, and a determination to reduce or eliminate the causes of these diseases/illnesses/disabilities. Unfortunately, we also face calamities created within biological emergencies like
the Pandemic Flu and other Emerging Diseases. And finally, we face Man-made or technological emergencies that impact mankind.
These include things such as agrochemical spills, power outages, Food Safety Errors, bioterrorism, and other acts of terrorism. The results can, and often do include, loss of life and/or property; loss of confidence in self; in one another; and most often, in those charged to protect and
serve us. In the end we take lemons and make that famous lemonade.
Mankind is at its best when we come together; not only in times of crisis, but also in our daily encounters where we see others living at a disadvantage. We’re at our best when we take action by reaching out and giving of our time, talents, and resources. We shape the very history that is being recorded; and our culture, traditions, and the values we place on one another, will either move mankind forward, or create a pause in our collective potential. We don’t have to reach across the globe to find ways to reduce human suffering. We can impact families, friends, and neighbors right here who live each day in a struggle to minimize the effects of a physical, intellectual, emotional, or developmental disability.
To see where mankind has indeed overcome assumed limitations, we have but to look at our riders here at HORSEPOWER TLC, who, day after day exceed expectations because of determination, and; for the help of our staff, volunteers, equine partners, and supporters. Although Nature handed them one reality, they elected to take full advantage of discovering their potential by asking for help, and fortunately, others heard their call and they responded.
“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was naked and you clothed me, I was homeless and you took me in.’ Hungry not only for bread — but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing — but naked for human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of a room of bricks — but homeless because of rejection.” ~ Mother Teresa
Wishing each of you a better tomorrow!
August 2017: Why you should become part of our HORSEPOWER Family?
“How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world”. ~ Anne Frank
I want to start this Blog by inviting everyone who reads this to become involved, or more involved, in your own life journey by joining our HORSEPOWER Family. Why? What’s in it for you?
Well, if you come with true intentions to make a difference in the life of another, you will do just that. Have you ever felt the frustration of trying to find just the right words to get your point across? Imagine having no access to words at all. Have you ever felt challenged in climbing a flight of stairs or when walking around the store parking lot? Imagine having no, or limited mobility in today’s world. I suspect that many of us seldom think of living each day without vision or without the capacity to hear. Just acknowledging that many people right here in our own community do indeed awake each day, to one or more of these challenges, moves us from being centered on self, and it allows us to notice our neighbors. The truth is that we all have gifts to share – time, talent, connections, insights, experience, skills, resources, hospitality. And most people love to share them!
Some of us have financial resources and we can funnel money to worthy causes and some of us have only time to share in the mission and vision of HORSEPOWER. Each represents a gift of spirit, of understanding, that service to others is a natural expression of soul. What do you think our riders living with physical, intellectual, emotional, and/or developmental disabilities, or PTSD would want you to know about them? Well, you might be surprised. From our 22 years of serving our riders, this is what we have learned? Most of our client’s go through life accepting their life circumstances and they live with determination and strength, and; they want love, acceptance and understanding… just like you and me. Some of our riders look at us, and secretly wonder if we could live their life. That is worth reading again… Some look at us and secretly wonder if we could live their life. Personally, I don’t know how I would adapt, or; if I could. That realization helps me to appreciate and value each rider and it motivates me to find ways to reduce or eliminate challenges that can be effected through our equine assisted activities. They want you to know that true happiness is really possible in what some see as a “broken” body. Their perspective is birthed from a place of living each day with their identified condition…. where we can but only imagine that experience.
Our riders have taught us that humans have an amazing capacity to adapt when we are open to it. Just like you and me, they find happiness through family and friends and in the opportunities that match their interests and skill-sets. Happiness is part of their spirit, not tied or chained to their physical nature. Can you see just how important your support is? They want you to know the importance of patience and to practice it daily. For our clients, it is required in order to live contentedly with challenges; again, just like us. Rider after rider want you to know that the limits you place on them through an occasional observation, will fall far short of their actual abilities. We have a tendency to see or ascribe limitations to them as individuals. Their intelligence, desires, sense of humor, and hundreds of other characteristics are most often concealed from us. Our riders want us to be reminded that we are all imperfect physical and emotional beings, and yet we share a perfect spirit at the core of our existence. They want you to stop worrying about trivial concerns as that same effort can be applied to those things you can control. Saying that “things can always be worse” is a trite phrase; yet often factual. They want you to know that if you tend to worry a lot about the future, you can find some relief by shifting that worry into productive, day-to- day activities. Taking care of today’s needs will create a day, a week, a month, and a year to look back on where you survived and possibly even thrived, and, you helped to shape your outcomes. Our riders don’t seek your approval or acceptance; they deserve it as much as any human deserves respect and understanding. They want to remind you that life is short. Embrace everything. Many disabilities unfortunately impact what we call a “normal lifespan”.
Living to the average “old age” isn’t going to happen for many of us. A reminder to live every day as if it could be your last… is wise counsel. It doesn’t take money to enjoy the gifts in this world. Watching a sunrise or sunset, or; to feel the sun on your face, is a gift. That cup of coffee, when we pause to taste its flavor, is a gift for the day. An “I Love You” to another human being, is a gift. If we are not enjoying any moments in our day then we are missing out on moments then lost forever. Those breaths taken; those heartbeats generated; all wasted if we don’t notice the beauty that reveals itself to us in nature, and in our human interactions. Be the one to create that gift in another’s life and you will truly be living life. And finally, they would want you to know that it’s OK to ask for help. So many people are reticent about asking for help. As with so many things that would serve us (and others), our fear is what gets in the way..
Fear of over-stepping a friendship. Fear of appearing too needy. Fear of imposing. Fear of revealing our struggle and having people realize we don’t have it all together after all. But here’s the thing; we need one another. Our clients; young and old alike …. need you. Thanks so much for your many good deeds!
April 2017: Conspiracy Uncovered!
I confirmed a long held conspiracy theory just this morning. I would not normally identify perpetrators yet I can no longer keep this to myself.
Upon review, I must admit that it was a very clever plot, and; it has proven to be a highly successful undertaking. I have identified many of those actively involved and yet there are others, anxious to join in this collusion. I am hopeful that by revealing their identity, each person will receive his/her just rewards.
The group has as its Leader a tall slender woman with curly hair. She is always dressed in jeans and she is constantly on the move; making it nearly impossible to contain her energy and her commitment to the cause. According to my sources she is known simply as Jan.
Somehow, she has recruited some very talented people who have dedicated much of their own lives to putting her plan into motion. I won’t reveal last names yet I believe that anyone familiar with HORSEPOWER will recognize these members of the tall woman’s posse.
Here are but a few of the members: Emily, Jean, Chuck, Marin, Caroline, Brian, Bennett, Jim, Mary, Penny, Miranda, Lorie, Darlyne, Lee, Michelle, Ann, Perry, Adam, George, Jay, Dan, Isadore, Deborah, Pat, Bud, Vernon, Doug, Robb, April, Tilden, Maureen, Tibe, Chris, Meike, Mark, Melissa, Rachel, Dylan, Emma, Dana, Kaitlyn, Renee, Susan, Yvette, Jerrie, Kadidja, Shelby, Val, Victoria, Zoe, Hunter, Pati, Carlisle, Maria, Claire, Lydia, Traci, Baylee, Breanna, Sami, Grayson, Savanna, Mendy, Mallory, Jeremy, Christie, Kim, Erin, Jenny, Tina, Aldan, Ashtyn, Taylor, Katie, , Lindsay, Casey, Sarah, Mikayla, Alyssa, Mimi, Barbara, Janet, and many, many others!
All I can say to these folks is………. HAPPY NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK!!!!! WE LOVE THAT YOU CONSPIRE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD AND THAT YOU CHOOSE TO GIVE OF YOUR TIME AND TALENTS HERE AT HORSEPOWER THERAPEUTIC LEARNING CENTER!