Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Story of Luther



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When my son was small he kept growing excessively, and this threw off his balance and coordination. ( Hey - we don't call him 6-6 for nothing....)So this required that he have physical therapy, and speech therapy,occupational therapy, and swimming everyday, and even therapuetic riding. Now we were not rich parents, so this was not something that we had budgeted for when he was a baby. Nurses and teachers don't make alot of money. So my Ex worked alot of overtime and the Enigma fought with the Insurance companies and tried to get things paid for. And we found ways to get the Son what he needed. So there I was in my late 30's negogiating with a Riding Program, offering to clean stalls and take care of horses so he could get the Riding lessons he so badly needed, that helped his balance and coordination. The Horses gave him confidence and touched him in a magical way.

So I learned how to care for the horses, every weekend for a couple of years, I cleaned and cared for 20 horses. I fed them what they needed, gave them pasture time, watered, brushed and yes, even cleaned out their stalls. I learned about laminititis, shoe-ing, and what they could and could not eat. Some were retired Race Horses, and a bit highstrung. So I took courses on Tellington Touch and Massage and learned that these beautiful Creatures were smarter than I and more communicative than most knew.

My Son fell in love with them all, one by one, and he knew what they ate and Who got along with Who. ( This was critical when putting horses in fields.). He was 7 and he knew that sometimes they needed to play and he also knew that if we put Chantilly in the one field she would eat too many apples, but it would make her happy. He loved the one big old Black Morgan named Luther. Luther was a big easygoing fellow, and he was not doing well with the riding program because he himself was having coordination problems. My son had great compassion for Luther, because they were bonded on this issue. And in a funny way, my son knew that something was making this problem worse for Luther. And lo and behold he figured it out. One day putting Luther in the field, my son of 7 said, "Ya know , he likes this field, but it's not the plum trees or the apple tree, it 's those plants down by the fence, the onces with the berries. Are you sure he can or should be eating those? " I was struck by this, and sat down with my son and watched Luther, and sure enough he beelined for the plants with the berries....And over the weekend, my son was right Luther's co-ordination was definently worse in the evening.

So that weekend we did alot of research and found the Luther Plant in a book, it was Nightshade, and it was indeed poisonous, and could indeed cause Major Coordination issues. So we talked to the Managers and the owners and the Vet, and what was figured out that Luther was going to need PT and OT and lots of care, and to move to another barn and be watched and cared for, and Time to get better. We mentioned to the Vet that ended up adopting Luther that we had been to see the Seattle Police Horses in their barn, on a field trip and that they got beautiful care, and she was intrigued with that idea.And she found a home for him with the Seattle Police Horses. So Luther ended up getting the care he needed ,and he got better and he also ended up being a Police Horse with his gentle unflappable disposition.Everytime I see a program on Police Horses I think of this gentle Morgan with the Brown soulful eyes that touched my son's life.

My son did a Good Thing that summer....he may not remember it. But I always will.

9 comments:

Larry said...

That's a nice story. I guess we can all relate to something enough to make a difference.

Even a small boy.

Good post.

Peacechick Mary said...

What a swirl of two events - both needing therapy and special care - and you were there for both. Lovely.

D.K. Raed said...

OMG Enigma, nightshade? It's a good thing Luther was so large, that stuff is deadly. Your son was smart not only to notice where the horse went, but NOT to try those berries himself (although all parts are toxic). There's a theory that medieval witches used non-lethal doses of this for the feeling of flying & other hallucinations. Nightshade = belladonna. I just shudder to think how it even got there. It's a pretty hard plant to grow over here. ~~ D.K.

enigma4ever said...

He was huge , about 17 hands...It grows pretty easily in the NW , I guess, we ended up spending that summer clearing out the pasture of all kinds of weeds...The concern was that Luther would go looking for it again.....It was a run down old farm..and horse barn...kind of sad really...But beautiful place, and good for my son living in an apt at the time to see and feel fields and horses...

enigma4ever said...

BTW: epilogue to the story...son does indeed remember Luther and the berries...he remembers him well, after all of these years...

aballoflight said...

not to sound insensitive, but I laughed when i read about Luthor beelining straight to the nightshade berries & getting himself buzzed... we had a sack of grain that had fermented... it took a couple of days before we realized that the next day after giving them a few scoops of (high-octane mash) grain, they were (hungover perhaps?) cranky and unwilling to work with us...

enigma4ever said...

OMG.... we had a grain incident too...and they were all snoring soooooo loudly and they all slept late- I gave them a wrong batch....and when we came that Sunday morning , the snoring was soooo loud

I loved Luther- and the way he ambled down to that spot- all his own, poor fella...he was a real gentleman , left to plum trees for the girls...

You are not insensitve...you just know horses...these things happen...

justin barker said...

There's a movie starring belladonna called Hukkle. It's worth seeing.

enigma4ever said...

Thanks JB...I will add to the NetFlix list today...