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The Nursing Home



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3-29-10, Sudan, TX - It was a day for visiting.  After saying goodbye at the farm, the team and I started back across town. Our first goal was to visit the Littlefield Hospitality Nursing Home.  I had several visitors this morning before I left; including, a Local Newspaper Reporter and a man and his wife.  The man’s 95 year old father was at the nursing home, so I agreed to stop there.

But first, I had to stop to get some gas for the generator, then I hit the grocery store for a few supplies.

On the way to the nursing home, I stopped in front of the High School so a bunch of kids could come over and pet the horses. They had a great time. In the picture below, B.O.B. is posing for a “Mass Petting”.

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“Hey, this horse is so big, we can all pet him at once!”

Since I was driving the Belgians, I had Doc available to lead around and greet the residents. He’s very good around wheel chairs and moves carefully.  The two Belgians also stood real slow when some residents wheeled up to them.  I think horses sense when people don’t have all the normal abilities.  They then treat them like small colts or horses laying down in a herd.

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Introducing Doc to the Nursing Home Residents.

For me, visiting Nursing or Retirement Homes is every bit as satisfying as going to schools.  Residents usually don’t have a lot to brighten their day, and a visit from the team helps out a lot.

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The Belgians were very curious about everything that was going on.

The next picture really illustrates how remarkable is Doc. When I lead him up to a wheel chair, he automatically stops his legs, just inches short of the chair, then, without coaching, lowers his head into the residents lap, so he can be petted.

After about 45 minutes with the residents, I drove the team out to the front yard, unhitched them, and fed their lunchtime oats, Then I went inside and enjoyed a patty melt for lunch.  This was a very nice trip, and I enjoyed myself immensely.

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A truly incredible horse.  When some residents wheeled their chairs close to his back feet, he looked back and made sure they were clear before moving.

After lunch, we hopped on US 84 and headed for the state line (a few days away). Traffic was fairly heavy, but there is a good shoulder, and there was no problem maintaining adequate separation from the cars and trucks.

We drove to the roadside park in the town of Sudan.  Not long after we got there, there were several groups of visitors. The first was a nice family that were coming back from a 4-H project, judging horses. I put 4 kids up on Doc and he didn’t mind a bit. Another family was from Muleshoe, TX, and were really into the idea of the wagon and what I was doing.  They left a nice gift, and promised to meet up again when I get to Muleshoe (probably tomorrow).

Until it was close to bed time, I had the horses in the playpen so they could roll, wander, and unwind.  Before heading to bed, I tied them to a chain link fence. With the fairly close proximity to the road and a set of railroad tracks, I know I’ll sleep a lot better if they’re tied.

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Doc really wanted to answer the question - How many kids will fit on a draft horse? - But, we ran out of kids without finding out.

This was a really great day!

P.S. - As they say in Texas, “If y’all wanta squabble, please don’t do it on the Guestbook.”