Press Article - October 2000
while planning for the Boulder County Horsemen's Association's
Annual Public Lands Appreciation Day, I was reminded again of
the many ways in which horses touch people. The event was to
take place at the Gold Lake Mountain Resort and Spa near Ward,
CO on September 17. During one of several visits to the site
I met the horse concessionaire, Moe Wilson.
dedicated her life to her string of horses and helping people.
She manages dozens of trail rides daily all during the resort's
heavy tourist cycles and still finds time to invite inner city
and underpriviliged children's programs to come up to Gold Lake
and meet her horses.
to Moe share her stories is captivating. She talks about children
and teens who visit her stables, many of them seeing a horse
for the first time. They unload from a Denver bus and display
their dissatisfaction with life the minute they set foot in
the dusty stable parking lot.
wild like a high-strung colt let out to pasture with uncontrollable
urges to get into anything they can. Others are sullen and dispondant,
wandering around dragging their feet, eyes fixed on the ground,
hands jammed into pockets extending well below the knee, making
sure it be known they are unhappy to be there or anywhere else.
Three or four stick together in a deeply bonded cluster and
one or two others wander off on their own.
herself in these kids. She tells me horses saved her life when
she was a teen and she wants to give these girls and boys that
chance too. Moe knows her horses like she knows her own children.
She knows what horse will give what type of kid a chance to
with each group by demonstrating safe horse handling and grooming.
Then begins by allowing each one to come to her and touch a
horse. With some, Moe tells me, all it takes is the initial
contact and a spark of life happens. With other teens, it may
take several visits before any transformation is noticed.
one girl in particular who was shy to the point of not lifting
her head or talking to anyone. Her friends told Moe she had
tried to commit suicide twice and was at the end of trying to
save herself. Her parents, too, were out of solutions. She went
with her friends to visit Gold Lake in hopes she might like
being around animals and surrounded by the beauty of nature.
that from the time she arrived to the time she left that very
first day, she noticed a slight change in the girl. There was
a hint of a smile on her face when she was around the horse.
Moe told her she needed a helper during the Summer and hoped
she would come back. The girl came back the next weekend and
then on a regular basis and became one of Moe's assistants.
the horses, she loves her time at the stables, she feels needed
and wanted, she has a purpose, she has a life. For several Summers
now, the suicidal teen has been coming to work for Moe as a
regular employee. She has turned out to be a beautiful girl
with lots of joy exuding from her face. Her life has direction
and it all started with touching a horse.
To sit and
listen to Moe's stories is to get perspective on life. This
Summer I got to know Moe and step into her world of giving to
and loving people through horses.
and organized the BCHA Public Lands Event to bring land use
officials together with horse people in a friendly and casual
setting. Little did I know what else would result. Moe and her
horses had a similar effect on our public official guests. This
year the Mayor of Boulder, Will Toor; Boulder City Council member,
Francoise Poinsatte; Boulder County Open Space Parks Rangers,
Ann Wichmann and Maria Mayer; to name a few, joined BCHA members
in trail and wagon rides around U.S. National Forest lands.
was beautiful and the smiles aplenty. Several of our guests
had not ridden in many years, if ever, and were delighted at
the first sightings of the horses. Several breeds were represented
along with two giant Percherons pulling a Conestoga wagon. The
atmosphere was positive and thoughts were turned to enjoyment
and beauty rather than government issues and land use worries.
rides we all joined for a barbecue lunch overlooking Gold Lake.
Once again looking around the gathering I saw what horses could
do for people. Families and strangers were talking and laughing
about their newly found experience with a horse. So many of
our guests expressed their gratitude for this event because
it gave them a chance to relax and see nature through the eyes
of a horse.
or I may forget on occasion is what these gorgeous, saintly
creatures in equine form offer to people. Whether it be as simple
as helping a friend through a rough time, or as complex as aiding
the mentally or physically disabled, the emotionally unbalanced
or the economically challenged, horses give they don't ask for
anything back. They deserve respect, compassion and comfort
but they never ask for it. We owe a great deal to horses who
take care of people. And we owe a great deal to a person like
Moe who has recognized the value of every horse and human she
meets. Just over the course of a couple of months, meeting Moe
has meant a great deal to me.
you know or know about to meet your horse or to the Gold Lake
stables. You never know how that experience will benefit their
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