In April 2013, our second son ended his own life in his room at our house. He was 27 years old and left behind a six-month-old baby girl. He was not married to the mother. My husband and I thought he slammed his bedroom door but it was the gunshot. My husband kicked down the door and found our son slumped over the side of his bed. He was gone.

Two years ago I was talking to my brother on his farm. We were standing by the gate and this horse just walked up and laid his head on my shoulder. My brother said that it was one of his own horses, Harley, and that he was a real people person. I was thrilled that this magnificent animal had walked up to me! I started spending more time around the farm. and finally became brave enough to feed Harley a treat. With my brother’s help, I began to groom Harley and walk him around the farm on a lead line. I couldn’t believe it but I wanted to ride Harley. My brother hadn’t ridden him in two years. The last time he had Harley on a trail ride, Harley threw him and sent him to the hospital.

We have a mutual friend who gives riding lessons. So it began in 2017. I started lessons on Harley. The instructor was amazed how patient and calm Harley is with me. He has been the perfect gentlemen. We have only done ring work the past year. My goal is to be able to take Harley for a trail ride. I am absolutely in love with this horse. When I pull in the driveway and call his name from my car window, Harley comes running. I feel such a sense of peace when I am with him. When the terrible moments of grief sneak up on me I make my way to the farm to see Harley. I feel he has been such a wonderful tool in helping me to continue after the loss of my son. —K. Bennett

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