It's oh-so easy to fall into routines in our daily lives. When we work towards goals, it's just that, WORK! Accomplishing your goals is not easy, not glamorous and most of the time, it's not fun. It's easy to fall into a pit of despair, especially when you start comparing yourself to others. Social media is both a blessing and a curse for those striving for more. There are so many resources to inspire positive transformation and provide resources to make your dreams reality. But, it's also easy to fall prey to seeing what others want portrayed, the end result, not the difficult journey it took to get there. I have found myself there. Wanting instant gratification, a successful and thriving non-profit. Comparing myself to other well-established non-profits. I've been tired, frustrated, aggravated and felt hopeless.
But, along came Summerhill Doug. A friend had done some chiropractic work on him. He was owned by the Amish and not in great shape. He was not able to fulfill his duties as a road horse anymore. He was to be sold directly to a meat buyer, but the family agreed to sell him for what he'd pull at the factory. With assistance, Dougie was obtained and saved from that ending. So many stepped up and helped him in different ways. He eventually landed in my barn. This 16.3hh trotter must've been so impressive back in the day, but boy, was he ever a mess now.
Dougie stayed with me for half a year. He wasn't supposed to. I went into this thinking he needed to get back on a proper diet and that he'd be adopted out. He reminded me so much of Major, the first horse I'd had to put down. His spirit rebounded, but his body never would. Poor, sweet Dougie had a myriad of physical ailments and if I was independently wealthy, I could've sank thousands of dollars into him to try and get him pasture sound. The reality was, Dougie's injuries made it difficult for him to get his massive body up after going down for a roll. It became abundantly clear to me what had to be done when he couldn't even get up off of dry grass without a struggle. So, the appointment was made. And, once again, I was reminded why I started and then aimed to grow ROC the Standardbred. It's the Dougie's (15), Major's (15) and Ben's (8) that have driven the mission. It's the hope that, with time, Standardbreds will have more cushy retirement options, as pleasure horses and pets.
I thank the Universe for bringing me Dougie. To reignite my drive. To remind me why I started and why I should continue. He was loved by many people those last six months. He had unlimited food and care. He had a herd of brothers who he connected with, played with and with whom he got to just be a horse. Most importantly, he was able to leave this life humanely.
So, I urge you, if you have a dream, a vision, a goal and you've been thinking about quitting because the path is not easy, REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED!