Wishes Are Horses | Brian’s Story

During the spring and summer months we can receive up to 20 phone calls a day from prospective clients asking about the ranch.  We check calls in the afternoon so that we can return them within 24 hours.  As I was listening to the calls, I was struck by one particular caller.   I wasn’t sure if it was the her tone of her voice or the words she used, but I felt compelled to call her back immediately.

After I told her who I was, she paused for a minute, apologizing for her hesitation.  She explained that it was hard for her to talk to me but she needed to try to continue.  She told me her seven year-old son, Brian, had a diagnosis of Lymphoma.  He had been very ill, but one of the things that kept him going through his treatments were stories of horses and his wish to be able to visit one.

K2 Equestrain Center | Brian's Story Wishes

Wishes can come true at the K2 Equestrian Center

“Just to touch a horse is all I want,” Brian would tell his nurses.

A friend of the family had heard about our ranch and told him about us.  Everyday Brian would ask his mom if she had called us.  She was afraid that we wouldn’t want to work with a terminally ill child.  I assured her that it was not the case and asked how soon could they come to the ranch.  We made arrangements for Brian to visit the next morning.

After the call, I went down to the horses and talked to them about the very special little boy who would be joining us the next day.  It was important to give him a place he would feel safe and to give him his biggest wish, the friendship and love of a horse.

K2 Equestrian Center Horses | Brian's Story

Waiting to greet Brian and make a wish come true!

The next morning I was down in the barn when they arrived.  I see a  frail little boy get out of the car with a huge smile on his face.

“Oh my! Oh my! Oh my! Look at all the horses!” he exclaimed.

As excited as he was, he didn’t run to the horses, but squealed again, “Oh Mom, look at all the horses!”

I introduced myself and he said his name was Brian.

“Can I please pet a horse?” he asked.

“Yes, are you ready?” I asked.  I put out my hand and he took it right away.  We walked down to the pasture.

Quincy, one of our Paint Horses was standing at the fence. Quincy put his nose over the fence and Brian put out his hand to stroked his face.  Sheer excitement came over Brian’s fragile little face.

“Oh, he is so soft; I knew they would be soft,” he said to me.  “I would think about how they would feel when I was in the hospital.”K2 Equestrian Center

I looked over at his mom; she had tears coming down her face.

I asked Brian if he wanted to groom Quincy.  He was very excited to do this.  We put a halter on Quincy and we led him into the arena so I could teach him how to groom a horse.  He was a natural!  After about 45 minutes, Brian’s mom said it was time to leave.  Brian’s head dropped, then he looked at me with a sad, emotional face.

“Hey buddy, this is just the beginning,” I said. “You can come back anytime you want.  You still have eight other horses to meet.”

His face went from deep sadness to elation in seconds.

“Really, I can come back?” he asked. “Anytime, you want,” I replied.

This was the beginning of an amazing friendship. Brian has come out to the ranch for eight months now. He talks to me about dying.  He told me that he can’t talk to his mom about it because “it makes her cry.”

It’s not like I am the ‘Rock of Gibraltar,’ as I have many moments, myself.  But I feel honored to be the one he talks to about it.  He’s concerned about who will help me with the horses when he is gone.  He’s told me he isn’t afraid to die, but he will miss his family and the horses.

His mom said his visits to the K2 Equestrian Center have been the greatest gifts he has received.  The visits have allowed him to get through some rough treatments.  He has pictures of all the horses in his room and takes a book of the horse’s pictures to the hospital with him.  He tells the doctors and nurses he is “my ranch hand.”

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