The transformation in Polly, one of the two horses the neighbors gave to me back in August, has been astounding. Though there’s still work to do, she’s filled out to the point where you can no longer see her ribs. Her hindquarters aren’t bony, and she’s actually developing a topline. In horses that means that the spine no longer is prominent and there is some padding there on either side. She looks great. She clearly feels great too, because if I so much as peek out the window of my office cabin around noon, she’ll stand at the fence and whinny at me. It’s her way of saying “hey, I’m here. Don’t forget my extra food.”

One of the hardest things for us to do is to ask for what we want, or even what we need. We “don’t want to bother” people by asking for help. We feel as if we should do it on our own. Well Polly is here to tell you that no, there are times when you can’t do it on your own. If she could have eaten what she wanted and maintained her weight by sheer will power she’d be plump little pony. Instead, she needed help. She needed someone (me) to take her in, realize that it wasn’t preordained that old horses would be skinny and give her the groceries she needed. And you know what, it wasn’t that difficult. She eats morning and night with everyone else. And then in the middle of the day, on my lunch hour, I give her a scoop of alfalfa pellets and half a scoop of senior feed soaked in water.

Which is a good reminder for us too. Often the things we need or want are not a burden on anyone else and we shouldn’t feel ashamed or sorry for asking for help. The people in our lives want to help us. Can you tell this is something I’m learning for myself as well? They don’t want to see us struggling anymore than I want to see a skinny horse.

So don’t be afraid this week to ask for what you want. That’s the wisdom of horses, and that’s what Polly has been teaching me. Take care!

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