T- I - double G - R ….and yes, he’s as fun as his name is. Tigg'r is full of spunk, curiosity and mischief. He also is learning to trust and love well.
We don’t know a lot about this little mister but, the story is that when Ken & Christi brought him to the ranch he was incredibly underweight…almost pick-up-able. For reference sake, he’s now in the mid 300’s weight wise.
Over the past couple of years I have been privileged to see Tigg’r continue to be found, and not just when he zooms out the hardly-open-gate either. He can be quite the escape artist! I’ve had a front row seat to him turning away from me in mistrust, to then watching him a minute or two later accept the curious hands of a child do essentially the same things I was doing in loving on him…but it was only received from one of us.
I wondered how he would do with his big buddy Cohete no longer hovering over him and Spirit. Maybe somehow he knew.
I’ve been there when Tigg’r has had his springtime vet checks and when he’s been colicking and needing medical attention, situations that bring his eyes to grow in intense resistance to intervention and medical care as he would do all within his mini power to escape.
For the last few months I’ve taken on the weekly duty of giving our four legged friends an herbal dewormer….and Tigg’r has been like a puzzle as I’ve been searching for ways to gain his trust and be able to administer the paste through a needless syringe tube. Today was a break through day….it was a banner win for both of us! He even allowed me to celebrate with him afterwords in a way that at a point not too long ago would have been over the top for him.
Armed with a few rewards and time I gathered the two compadres (Tigg’r & Spirit) into the arena. Like the trouper she is in general, Spirit was simply unconcerned about the process and within less than a minute she was enjoying a crunchy reward. Though sneakily curious, Tigg’r kept his distance.
So what does one do? I sat. I sat. I sat. I sat. Remember, I was armed with time. And my goal was to get him to think the whole thing is no big deal.
Eventually my “nothing” permitted his curiosity to show up closer and closer. I clipped the lead rope on him and he lingered, meandered some but was showing no signs of flight. Having the syringe/tube in one hand or another at all times we played various games in the arena, shifted speeds, directions, draws and send aways. He sniffed the tube several times. I moved with him when he felt the need to move his feet (find “ok” in this sense) and just chilled. I put my finger in his mouth as I would the syringe several times and played some more. Honestly, I think he was enjoying the most of it and per his behaviors, he never felt threatened, unsure a few times but I gave him space to work that out too.
Having spent time just being and playing I figured if I was going to make it home at some point I needed to shift to the task. Through my demeanor I asked him to match my calm and he lowered his head to the arena floor. I placed the tube of paste next to his mouth and he didn’t budge! Being consistently calm I tucked the syringe into his mouth, pushed the plunger and we were done. Bam. Nothing. Exactly nothing but “hey, no big deal”! That was my hope for him.
Incredibly excited about the success I put my right arm over his neck and scruffled him up with love, thanking him for being such a great little horse and for trusting me. It may sound a bit silly, and that’s ok, but as for Tigg’r, I don’t think he’d say it was silly at all. I could have fairly easily pushed him through the paces of it, forced him to “take his medicine”, but it would have gained nothing for either of us. Horses process in motion, they work through “their stuff” in motion (we do well with the same!), it helps to release the energy and bring them back to calm. Forcing him would not have given him the opportunity to learn something new but would have continued to reinforce what he thought was true and build upon his fear/anxiety.
The gift of time is priceless, I’d say it’s necessary. I wonder how much would change in our lives if we had the time to work through things, if our kids had time to work through things. We live in such a push-paced culture…buzzing from one activity to another. What if it were even just a little different?
When I consider the patience and walking-with-me that God does, I don’t ever feel it rushed by Him but rather guided in wisdom, an intentional stroll or walk. It’s life giving, not draining nor anxiety provoking but inviting and filled with opportunities to grow in love and trust in who He is. He promises to keep us in perfect peace when we keep our minds focused on Him and trust in Him. (from Isaiah 26:3) How timeless are His words of hope and promise as we journey in this face paced, get-it-done-yesterday culture. I love that God’s invitation is always open, that His words are without fail and that stepping into His ways offer peace, hope and growth like none other.
I’m thankful for the sweet reminders that were brought through “Tigg’r time”, unfortunately I need them often but I’m glad that the horses cause me to slow down, breathe, remember and consider God’s truths. And when I think of the kids and families we serve, I know that they too gain so much from the calm, comradery and heart of God that is lived out at the ranch.
Thank you to everyone who continues to pray for and financially partner with Crossfire Ranch, please don’t stop, in fact invite others to get to know us. We have an opportunity for a well suited property coming down a short pike and will share more in the near future. It is something that will require "all hands on deck" to purchase, we are praying and seeking guidance through this phase. We know that we have only begun to scratch the surface of our vision for Crossfire Ranch, but it requires space to do so.
There is an opportunity coming up on Thursday, September 14th to do just that. Our fall Round Up will be held in Brillion, it is a “friend and fundraiser” will be a time to learn more about our mission, vision and discover ways to partner in building resilient youth through Crossfire's mission of hope and healing. We have a wonderful opportunity to share and look forward to getting to spend time with everyone!
Founder & Executive Director
“Your continued support of Crossfire Ranch enables us to provide services for individuals and families who are experiencing challenging life issues. We are blessed to have you be a part of our loving community! All of our mentors, volunteers, and donors help us further our mission of supporting individuals through equine partnership. Thank you for all you do!