“My horse Koda has rescued me from depression and anxiety. Just six years ago, I lost my hero, my dad, and within that same year I lost my brother to sleep apnea unexpectedly.

It’s hard to put into words the type of emptiness one feels when losing a parent and sibling within the same year. I struggled with depression and anxiety constantly. Death had become my worst nightmare and I lived in this nagging fear of it every day. I couldn’t shake it and no matter what I tried nothing helped, that is, until I met ‘Koda.’

Just a year ago after attending a tack sale, I spotted this beautiful tobiano Walking Horse mare. I had no intentions on buying a horse that day; I was just there to hang out with a friend. Oddly enough, that horse didn’t sell because the owner pulled his horses and went home. I could not get that horse out of my head. This little voice in my head was telling me to try and find her.

Through messages on social media and a post which I figured wouldn’t work, the owner saw it and messaged me! I drove two hours to go see her and ride her. When I got off her back that day, she followed me and nudged my arm. It was like she was saying,’Hey you need me and I need you.’ I ended up buying her and on December 11, 2017, I brought her home. In just the past year, my depression and anxiety have practically vanished. I look forward to seeing this amazing horse every single day. She has been the perfect horse and has taken such good care of me in the saddle on many, many trail rides. I can’t imagine life without her now. Oddly enough, her name Koda means ‘Friend’ in the Dakota language. How very appropriate because she has become my best ‘friend.'” —Laura W.

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