Jamie was a ten-year-old boy when he first came to the Equine Partnership Program (“Partners”).
Jamie was a foster child who had been in agency care since he was five. He had been in six different homes since he was taken from his parents’ care. Jamie had also seen therapists since he was initially taken from his home due to the traumatic abuse that he suffered at the hands of his parents. He suffered from a multitude of disorders and organic brain damage because of a beating that left him with a closed head injury, broken leg, and several broken ribs. Even with the amount of therapy that had been provided to Jamie, he had never been able to talk about his abuse and the beating that brought him into the foster care system.
Jamie was the first kid to work with Wiser. Wiser was a severely neglected, eighteen year old quarter horse gelding that came to Partners. Wiser and Jamie became great friends and were always really glad to see each other. Over time, Jamie told his story with the help of Wiser. He would groom Wiser and tell me that it was very important to be gentle with Wiser’s leg, because that is where Wiser had been beaten with a board and had his leg broken. He would find little nicks and cuts on Wiser and tell me that they were cigarette burns. Jamie always insisted that the lumps on Wiser’s head were when he had been hit with a baseball bat.
To this day, I am amazed at a child’s resiliency and the power of the horses to help them tell their story and work through the trauma that has shadowed their lives. Jamie and Wiser did some great work together and both benefited greatly from knowing each other.
Wiser when we first picked him up and Jamie began working with him.
Wiser eight months after being in the Equine Partnership Program.