A few summers ago, I worked at a therapeutic riding stable.  It was such an amazing experience.
I met some incredible kids.  They were inspiring and uplifting. They were wonderful.
I also worked with some awesome horses.  They all had their silly personalities.  The crazy ones, the needy ones, and the one that would eat your freeze pop if you weren’t looking.  But when they had kids on their backs, they were great!
There was one horse in particular though, he was special.
He came to the farm that summer. 
When he arrived, he was skin and bones.
He had been neglected. 
We didn’t know much about him. 
Except that he was an appaloosa.
Gray, brown, and white, with beautiful deep brown eyes.
I loved him immediately.
I walked up to him slowly and placed my hand on his slender neck.
He looked at me, directly at me, and I knew we bonded,
We shared similar qualities, similar flaws, similar feelings.
We understood each other.
Everyone knew we had a special bond.
Everyone knew he was my horse.
We named him Second Chance, Chance for short. He got another chance to live and be happy.
Some doubted that he would be a good therapy horse, but I knew he would.
I knew he could do it, he just needed time.
Things were tough at first. 
He spooked easy.
But over time he understood.  He knew we weren’t going to hurt him. He trusted us. We loved him.
The first time I rode him, we truly connected.
The ride wasn’t the smoothest, but he understood me. We fit together.  
Over time he grew more confident.
In fact he grew to be a bit of a brat sometimes, but I still loved him. 
When I would feed him in the morning, he would kick at his stall, whinny, and stamp his feet.  He was ridiculous.
But that was just when it came to food..
After a while, we were able to use him as a therapy horse sometimes.
He was good at it.
He was soft and gentle with the kids.
He took the best care of them.
I was so proud of him.
Then the end of the summer came, and I had to leave.
I was sad to leave Chance.
I could tell he sensed it.
The day I had to leave, I cried.  I buried my face in his neck and cried.
He rested his head on my shoulder.
It was his way of comforting me.
I wrapped my arms around him and kissed his nose.
“I love you.” I whispered to him. “You are forever mine.”
He whinnied very softly in return.
I looked into his eyes.
I could see the trust, the love, and the understanding he had.
The same feelings I shared. He was an amazing horse.
He was my Appaloosa.
No matter what, he was mine.

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