Horses are my Drug

Dakotah Lavender

I have loved horses since I was a girl.
I asked for one but of course I couldn't have one.

I was 12 when I was first introduced to barn work.
I always wanted to ride.
Unfortunatly I was never allowed to by my stepmother.
She never allowed me to go to the ranch but allowed my sisters to go to work for their lessons.
I never understood why, so from there my depression thickened.
No one knew what I was going through.

I met my first love named Stormy.
I brushed him once and we bonded instantly.

He was the original horse my stepmom and dad were going to buy for my sister.
He didn't really like them.
He was a grouch and so she found a different horse.
This beautiful sorrel horse with his white face captured my heart and vise versa.

Any chance I did get there at that ranch, was thanks to my dad. I would instantly run to Stormy or the other way around..
I called him and he would come running.
It was like the end of the world when I left, he would stand and whinny.
"What did you do to that horse?" My dad asked.

What dad didn't know is every moment I was with him,
I would love him unconditionally and he loved me back, no doubt.
When grooming him I would talk and vent to him wishing he was my partner in crime.
I tried so hard to control my rage at school. But you see, at home my stepdad would be.
The only way I could make people see was to cry out for attention. I would get in trouble just to get in-school detention. I liked it a lot more. Other days, I was the school fool. 

13, I was afraid sometimes to go home because I never knew his mood.
My mother worked three jobs to keep us fed while he would go out and drink.

Him coming home is when I would fear the most, for fear of being bruised or worse. A three year old sister I had to watch, doing his job instead. Three year old sister had to watch as his hand was around my neck, while I squirmed and kicked to get free. Can you tell me why I would act like an ass in school? 

With all my medications I was given , that wasn't even needed. Perhaps it was the living situation that was causing problems. A young child being a stress relief target, had two grown adults bullying her.

The only place I truly felt sane was that barn with the little red horse, my bald faced knight. But one day my problems got the best of me in school, as I was always in Trouble. Small things triggered me, the pain masked by picking on teachers.
It was that behavior which turn my chapter darker yet.
"Go get stormy" my dad requested for he knew I knew that horse the best.

It was storming that day and he knew with me he would come without a complaint.

He was squirrelly, and jumped a tiny bit alaway from a lightning strike. A ladder was holding him up for a minute. I then pet him and softly spoke to him, until he gained confidence. We walked proudly into the indoor arena. It was then my heart snapped in two when I realized I was bringing him to his new owner.
I ran to the bathroom to cry, the only one I felt who understood me, ripped away from me in the worst way.

It got worse from that point, my depression took over me like a monsoon. I became angrier, I became more resentful. More fights broke out at my mom's with my stepfather. I grew tired of the bullying. I didn't know how else to handle it.

Then one day, I made one small mistake, it led me to the lesson of never trusting people you think are your friends. I got expelled. All because I thought I could have a friend flush my depression medication for me. See I was always in trouble, I wasn't allowed to go to the bathroom. She was.  

This was probably the best news to those who wanted me to mess up. It was my dad's week to have me. That night, she brought me to to pick my sister's up from their riding lessons. I planned on sitting in the Jeep. I knew I would never be able to go there again. I was told to get out. We walked to the barn, the she motioned my sister to come over. When she arrived on her horse, the thing she said was something I'll never forget. Pointing at the horses nose. "You see this, don't even touch it. You will never have this". I went to turn and walk to the Jeep but was denied. So against the wall I sat, having to wait and watch until they were done. 

When we got home, there was a party, in the room I shared with my two sisters. Blankets going around my bed so I'd be separated from them. Then my dad came home and ripped them down. I remember the respect I felt for him standing up for me like that. 

Life started calming down for me when my mother left divorced. With everything that happened, it's hard to just be a normal child. I was left hurt, angry, and just wanting to live.  

It wasn't until I turned 15, my mother allowed me to voluteer at a rescue farm called Wiscountry Dreams.
It was there I learned the true meaning of a bond between horses and human.

A joy within me sparked seeing all these poor creatures once suffering, happy and eager to work with me, and to please.

I had the responsibility of working with 14 horses and their lovely owners.
That was all I ever asked for, I started improving in school.
I LOVED them and they loved me like I was part of the herd.
I played with them all in the field.
I ran and they all came galloping behind me.
I was their alpha, the leader, and I loved them with a passion.
They loved me back.
How was a 15 year-old capable of all this?It was the unconditional love I had for them.

As a victim of previous abuse, having depression, and anxiety, they were therapeutic. They listened to me when no one else would. Together we healed.

Bonds ever so strong it was a joy to see some go to a loving home.
With radiating love, I gave them confidence again, just as they did the same for me.
Of course with rescues there was heartbreak.
A couple hadn't made it from such abuse they endured, but they passed knowing they were loved and cared for.

I now have a husband and children.

My husband and I tried working on a Draft farm but it didn't work out.
The owner wouldn't allow me to work on her horses' manners as she spoiled them rotten. Not that it's bad, they were just a little rude.

I don't know about you but I like horses to respect me and my personal space.
It pained me to leave though, I was just getting to know those horses.

The owner was nice and she had her way of running things.
It was such a shame it didn't work out there.
My favorite memory with those horses was her stallion Bomber.
He was known to rear and punch a person, quite intimidating.
I remember turning him in for the night and he looked right at me I could see what he was up to.
Then in a soothing voice asked, "Bomber what is wrong?" He walked up to me and gave me a hug with his giant shire head.

All these experiences with these horses touched my heart.
I will never forget all the horses that changed my life for the better! I think that they for the most part saved me from myself.

  • Author: Dakotah Lavender (Offline Offline)
  • Published: March 20th, 2017 10:35
  • Comment from author about the poem: There is obviously more I could have added but it was not relevant to why horses substituted my meds when I denied them.
  • Category: Reflection
  • Views: 17
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  • Tony36

    Better than some drugs people get addicted to, and much healthier to. Great write

    • Dakotah Lavender

      Right, I love horses.

      • Tony36

        Horses are AWESOME do not own any myself though I do go over to a friend's house and ride their's every now and then

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