A Veteran and His Mother
I first visited Project Comeback (Holliston, MA) in April of 2022. I had just been accepted to Framingham State University the month before. After years of planning the next evolution of my work as a holistic coach, I was finally going for it.
After Lindsay, the founder, gave me a tour, I didn’t want to leave! I felt like I was having a beautiful dream. I was enchanted with her approach to interacting with the horses – watching carefully for any “No” and respecting their boundaries.
My love of horses began in my childhood. My brother and I took riding lessons for a couple of years at Little Acorn Farm in Millis, our hometown. I dreamed about one day being a caretaker for a herd of horses, and that dream came true in a sense when I began the level one training with Lindsay and her team.
I remember talking about my experiences with the horses with a fellow veteran as we walked up to a monthly meeting of the Natick Amvets. He asked me how the program was benefiting me, and I told him it had opened my eyes to how bad my own personal boundary was. I was so eager to interact with the horses, I was happy to let them push me around. I was at the farm visiting between the level one classes and Lindsay saw one of the horses, maybe Blue or Charlie Brown, kind of walk “through” me. She called out to me to let me know that was not right.
I didn’t tell my mom about the program for several weeks, as I had become her primary caretaker shortly before she retired from driving school bus five years before, and I needed this to be just for me.
She has struggled with depression, especially after her sister died in 2014. Until I told her about Project Comeback, I never fully realized how much she adored horses. She lit up “like a Christmas tree” when I told her, and we began visiting the herd together once or twice a week.
The last two years have been emotionally tough for a variety of reasons. I am eternally grateful for the joys of learning more about the horses, and for how they have helped me to better know myself.
Now the dream I am planning for is to open a horse sanctuary of my own in Tennessee, and become a part of Project ComeBack's big dream of running programs in every state of the country.