Re-discovering my purpose

Riding as therapy - Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center

There are a lot of things that really rile me—lazy journalism, poor table manners, men who won’t open a door for a lady, people who don’t use turn signals… Okay those are pretty standard. But a true passion of mine ever since I wrote a profile of a horse and rider for my Intro to Journalism class is the healing effect horses have on people.

During my college years, I wrote several articles about the work of the Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center. The first article I ever wrote in my life was a feature story on a girl named Katie and the horse she rode at the center, a Norwegian
Fjord named Kurt. You can read their inspirational story here.

I did another story on the center and another life touched by the horses – here.

These are cases where children and young adults with physical or mental disabilities find new strength and confidence through these incredible animals. There are therapeutic riding centers all around the United States who do this amazing work and touch thousands of lives.

On the other side of the coin, I have been involved with organizations where it’s the people helping the horses. Horse abuse and neglect affects every state and most horse rescue organizations are underfunded and overwhelmed with rescues. One organization, People Helping Horses, in Arlington, Washington, has taken dozens of horses at one time. They are also actively involved in advocating for criminal charges against the owners who abuse or neglect their animals.

One of the rescued horses at People Helping Horses in Arlington, WA.

How does all this tie into my writing and my “historical fiction” blog? My new work-in-progress evolved into a story not only of a woman searching for healing, but a horse who must overcome the mental strain of abuse and abandonment.

These two wounded souls find sanctuary in each other and together overcome past scars. In real life, not all stories end so successfully. I’ve seen horses so emaciated their ribs stuck out through their thick winter coats. I’ve seen horses wounded and left to die in the fields. Organizations like People Helping Horses assist Animal Control in saving these and finding new homes after a long rehabilitation.

I have photos and stories of hope and healing that I’ll feature in future blogs. This isn’t a plea for you to pull out your wallets and donate to local horse rescues or even the Humane Society. These stories need to be told.

More about Nicole

Community Champion at Buffer ~ writer ~ reader ~ urban homesteader ~ former rodeo queen ~ @nmillerbooks

  • Good work, Nicole. We have an organization in our town that takes in abused and neglected horses. It’s amazing and sad to see how many they have grazing in the pastures.

  • It was nice to stumble upon this and find out where you are these days; your writing was instrumental in helping People Helping Horses grow… thank you for the time you dedicated to our organization. Looking forward to seeing more of your work in the future; happy holidays!