Lil Shot Of Whiskey
I was assigned to lunge him on 9/11/2001. He wasn't my favorite. He was a paint (half arab) gelding and, quite frankly, I just didn't like his white and brown coloring.
But I took him out to the enclosed round pen and started his warm up.
A few minutes later, Johnny came in and told me to "get in the office."
The details? Blurry. It was 20 years ago and I was only 18. I worked on a horse farm a few miles from NYC. We saw planes daily, presumably flying to JFK.
I went in to that office, annoyed that I was taken away...for what!? I was a professional groom and my job was to get these youngsters ready to work for the trainers.
I'll skip ahead.
That day, I was surrounded by U.S soil born Americans....and also immigrant "farm hands" who did the dirty work. They cried, they mourned, they were so incredibly upset. I'll never forget that. And ya know what? Those men went back to the barn to make sure the horses were fed, watered, and happy. I remember walking back through this fancy show barn and watching them clean stalls and fill water, tears in their eyes. It was intense. I just wanted to go home. They wanted to make sure the horses were tended to.
I didn't much care for Lil Shot of Whiskey...but I will never forget the impact of that moment. Those men I worked with. That day. No planes after "it happened."
And we saw the smoke from the twin towers from our little dot in New Jersey.
I decided to pursue a career in Emergency Medicine on September 12, 2001.
I'm now a paramedic and a registered nurse. I help people regardless of where they are from or what they do. Horses were there when shit hit the fan and they continue to be there.
If you're lucky enough to have a horse in your life, give them a big ol' hug! It's ok not to be ok. It's ok to be too sad to post a remembrance. It's ok to not go on social media on 9/11. Your horse understands. It's ok.
And please, make friends that are not U.S born. They are human, they are people, children...be a good person, in the barn and in everyday life.
And always check your girth,
April, RN, PHRN