Equestrian Aid Helping Those In Need

Friday, February 27, 2009

Last night at the Markel/Palm Beach Dressage Derby Inspection Reception DressageDaily launched a weekend silent auction to raise funds. Here is an example of how it works...
“ … to have an to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish,'til death do us part … “
We’ve all heard these words before.  They ring in our ears of great promise and good years ahead.  It’s difficult, however, to live life without a few bumps along the way.  It’s during these moments of marriage that this vow truly becomes sacred.  In a conversation I had with Nancy Wight – the wife of an Equestrian Aid Foundation recipient – the bond that has taken them through good and bad is evident.  “In our many years of marriage, Loren and I have certainly experienced for better and for worse; this isn’t the worst; this is just very hard.” Very hard indeed.

Loren and Nancy Wight own breathtakingly beautiful Rockin Heart Farm (www.rockinheart.com) in Potlach, Idaho.  At the ranch (that’s what they’re called out west) they breed, raise, train and show Eqyptian Arabian horses, as well as Eqyptian Pharoah Hounds and the smaller Cirneco dell’Etna Hounds. It’s a daily struggle after Loren’s crush injury, but the Wights persevere with dignity and grace. Last summer, while Loren was teaching a helper how to operate the tractor, it lurched forward and knocked Loren down – running over the lower portion of both of his legs and feet.  Loren was trapped under the tractor’s giant rear wheel and the only way to get him out was to back over him again.

Loren suffered a catastrophic crush injury and in the resultant fall, he sustained a head injury too.  In an unsuspecting moment, everything changed.  Currently confined to a wheel chair and undergoing extensive rehabilitative therapies, the fate of his lower right leg still remains uncertain and may require amputation at the ankle. Now Loren has become legally blind as well.  Loren remains philosophical about his injury, “there is a reason the good Lord decided to spare me; I still have much I need to accomplish in this life and we have a 16-year-old daughter to raise.”  Loren and Nancy, who have committed their lives to giving and helping others, are learning how to be on the receiving end.  “I don’t know how, but I vow to give back to the Equestrian Aid Foundation once we get through this little bit of tough times,” Nancy declares.

I am truly humbled by the strength, determination and resolve of the horse people the EAF assists.  They all have a story, like the Wights, who have never had to ask for financial help. The EAF is honored to know them and help them through these tough times, but we need your help to continue our mission of hope.  Even during the hardest of economic times, there are those that need our help.  Your donations can – and do – make a difference.

For better, for worse … in sickness and in health … These are more than a marriage vow, especially to the many recipients we’ve been able to help during their time of need. 

I am so grateful to Mary Phelps for allowing me to share the stories of tragedy, triumph and heartfelt thanks that I am privileged to experience on a daily basis.  Unless consent is granted, the identity of an EAF recipient remains anonymous.  In these cases I may be the only person who hears how considerable your role as donors, play in their lives.  Thank you on their behalf. 

Janise Gray
Director of Grant Recipient Services
Equestrian Aid Foundation