We call him JW or J Dubbs. His real name is John Wayne. If you follow me or Thrive Farm on Facebook you have probably seen JW stuck laying on the barn under a hay feeder. He is a 32 year old palamino quarter horse with a life expectancy of 30-35. His personality is magnetic and everyone that spends time with him falls in love with him. He is easy going and a straight shooter. There is a story behind how JW came to retire at Thrive Farm.
After cancer I knew I had some healing to do. For about 20 years prior, I blamed my sister’s horse for her death. (Another blog some day.) I chose to begin my healing journey with equine therapy and seeing what equine therapy was about. I began weekly sessions with the owner/equine therapist of Solia Farm, Kristyn Fabela. After a few sessions with JW, he reflected back to me that I had unhealthy boundaries. This was a huge AHA moment and everything changed for me from that interaction with JW.
After several sessions I disappeared from Solia Farm to reset some boundaries. Turns out teenagers and spouses don’t want new boundaries. Months and months later, while in Mexico on a yoga retreat at the tail-end of my extremely stressful divorce, I was thinking about what brings me joy. Being at Solia Farm around Kristyn who is so authentic, and the horses that are so grounding came up for me. I immediately reached out to Kristyn and offered to volunteer to feed the horses and tutor one of her children.
That email from Mexico led to a close friendship with Kristyn and her family. Eventually JW came to snack on my lush pasture leading to his retiring at Thrive Farm with me.
JW has served many more people than me. My hope is that we have a few more good years left with J Dubbs. Sadly he has been down a few times requiring him to be helped up but he is still happily grazing in the pasture.