About Charlie Brown
I believe that every horse touches our lives for a reason, that each horse has something to teach us. This is Charlie's story and what he has taught me.
By: Lindsay Andon
I met Charlie in 2014, he was a four going on five year old at the time and had been hauled in to a local auction barn. Tacking him was a struggle and he wouldn't stand to be mounted. He seemed unsure of his new environment and as a result was very apprehensive and nervous.
Riding was a challenge, he did not know much but had a willing attitude and learned very quickly. By the end of our first ride he had gone from not stopping at all, to stopping off of a soft weight shift in my seat. I was hooked, I knew I couldn't let him run through the upcoming auction.
Against the better judgement of my parents, I spent everything I had to purchase him. I spent my final two years of college working anywhere from 3 to 6 part time jobs at a time to pay for him.
With a lot of time and hard work we started to become a great team. Charlie and I went on many adventures together, including riding through the local Dunkin' Donuts drive through one hot summer day. We watched a mounted shooting competition, and rode 10 miles dressed in pink to support Breast Cancer awareness. We learned together, grew together, and fell together. To say he has become my best friend would be an understatement.
July 17, 2015 Charlie had a traumatic accident. While in turnout he had somehow managed to break his withers and suffer from a blunt force trauma to his shoulder. The repercussions of his injury have made him unridable. Nerve damage causes his front legs randomly buckle and shake and his right shoulder to dislocate when he walks downhill.
Our journey doesn't end there, it can't. How could I discard my closest friend and partner because he could no longer carry me on his back? Together we have gone on to do everything at liberty. From leading, to brushing, to groundwork, to just being together, we do it all with nothing on his head. He has shown me that when you take everything away, the tack the halters, the force... you see truth. When your horse has complete freedom to choose to be with you or to walk away, you have to ask yourself, "if I was my horse would I want to be with me? What's in it for him?". Charlie has taught me that you can still have a wonderful fulfilling life after a traumatic injury, you can make a comeback. Its just going to look a little different.
Being Project ComeBack's first horse will be Charlie's second career. He will be able to pass on all of the lessons he has taught me to future participants. Charlie can share his comeback story with everyone he meets while he continues to grow and teach me.
"They say nerves heal real slowly. Lots of things about us heal real slowly."
-Buck Brannaman, The Faraway Horses