Monday, December 19, 2016

Spreading Christmas Cheer

On Sunday the 4H group in our barn took some horses over to the Oregon Veterans Home for Christmas caroling.  The Veterans Home is a skilled nursing center about twenty minutes from the barn that is for vets, their spouses, or parents of servicemen killed in action. While most of the residents are older, there were a few around my age that had sever physical, mental, and/or emotional disabilities.
Christmas Peebs 2.0

I had orginally said I'd go to help, and wasn't planning on taking Peebs.  But Sunday morning one of the 4H'ers decided not to take her horse so there was an empty spot in the trailer.  I figured why not, and did a quick sock wash and muzzle clip on Peebs.  We then proceeded to deck the ponies out in more Christmas finery, including bows in their mane and tail, garland around their necks, and glitter on the butts. All of us wore Santa hats.
This guy kept saying Peebs was a pretty boy.

All the horses unloaded fine and we proceeded to walk around the parking lot while residents came out. One of the 4H'ers brother had his phone plugged into a portable speaker and was playing Christmas carols.   Another brother was passing out Christmas cards from the group.  There were probably 15-20 vets that came out to see the horses and a bunch of family and friends joined in.  It was 28* so they didn't stay out too long, and most had blankets wrapped around them.
Meeting Chris

I was shocked at how good all the horses were.  Most were in wheelchairs or had walkers and none of the horses cared.  Some wanted to pet the ponies, and all were agreeable.  There was one guy, Chris, who probably isn't much older than me, who is wheelchair bound and has difficulties talking and moving his hands.  But he absolutely loved the horses.  He kept grabbing their halters or necks and hugging and kissing them.  His mom tried to take him inside when he started shivering but he wouldn't let her so an aide brought him a blanket.  He asked if we had brushes so he could brush them and all of us were so upset that we didn't. We promised him that we'd come back in a few months when it was warmer so he could brush them.  He kept telling us to make sure to take pictures.  I was battling tears the whole time.
Kisses for Chris

We then took the ponies for a walk around the campus so residents that weren't able to come outside could see them from their rooms or windows.  Peebs saw a monster in the fog and decided that going around one of the building was not happening so we had to turn back.  He was completely fine otherwise.
Right before the attack of the fog monster

I am so glad I decided to take Peebs.  It was such an amazing thing to see how happy the horses made the vets and just how good Peebs was about everything.  I'll definitely be taking him back when the club goes again in a few months.
Peebs kept trying to put his head in this guy's lap


  1. Aww, what a great thing to do. I hope when I'm old someone brings horses to visit me :)

  2. everything about this is just so awesome. Peebs looks really great too!

  3. This is so wonderful of you guys, really warms the heart!

  4. This is really cool!! I'm so glad that you guys did this.

  5. I love everything about this. I want to say especially the glitter on his butt, but Chris definitely is the best part.