Jade is a difficult horse. But Christine is used to difficult.

Christine and Jade

She used to bite. She used to kick. Jade was one of the more difficult horses at Camp Cowboy, a non-profit in Texas that connects horses with people who have emotional trauma. Their work helps with things like anger, anxiety, even PTSD. Jade had a lot of behavioral problems, which made it hard for students at Camp Cowboy to work with her. But Tony Cole, the director of Camp Cowboy, had a feeling she might be a good fit with Christine.

 

“There were some real, deep seeded issues in the beginning. Since then Christine started working with Jade. That horse stomped her, and kicked her in the first two weeks.”

-Tony Cole, Director at Camp Cowboy

 

But, Christine wanted to keep working with Jade. She knew why they were put together. Christine, who was on a bad path in life, even saw a little bit of herself in Jade.

 

“I come from a very troubled past, and I’ve been in trouble, and I’ve hurt people, and I’ve done wrong things for so long. I was once like Jade. Very mean, pushy, not wanting to do things. And she was very mean. Very, very mean. She stomped on me, she’s kicked me, she has bitten me. I was very afraid of her. There have been times I thought I lost a toe, she stepped on me so hard.”

-Christine

 

Despite the difficulty, Christine kept coming back week after week. It was a slow process. It took Christine forty-five days of the ninety-day Camp Cowboy program just to get Jade to listen while in the pen. But eventually Jade started to listen.

 

“You started seeing both of them getting a little softer and a little softer…The horse was interacting with other horses, the horse was calmer in the stall, it ate better…[Christine] started laughing and interacting.”

-Tony Cole, Director at Camp Cowboy

 

After the weeks of hard work, things started to turn around. Christine started to get Jade to open up, while opening up herself. Jade was becoming more peaceful, and Christine is proud to be the one who made that turn with Jade.

 

“I was able to put my kids on her…because she was so calm and docile. I did that. That is what I did.”

-Christine

 

For Christine, Jade has helped her work through anxiety, and trauma. For Jade, Christine has served the same role. They’re both happier now. They’re both more trusting of people. And they’re both working one ride at a time to continue getting better. That bond is the reason Feed It Forward is happy to support organizations like Camp Cowboy.

Learn more about Camp Cowboy.
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