Dear Santa,

It’s me, Bindy the little ESS donkey, writing my Christmas letter to you again. Last year was a huge year for me and all the equines at ESS. After we got our forever home I knew for sure that there really is a Santa and that there are angels also. This year, more than ever before, I saw the angels.

I saw angels in the faces of the little children who came out to ride the horses and the riders in the therapeutic riding program. I saw angels in the faces of the volunteers who came out to help so these kids could ride, and who spent countless hours cleaning up after us messy equines and making sure our home was safe and tidy. I saw angels in the faces of the Native American teens who came out for our equine-assisted therapy program. And I saw horse angels – the horses that patiently served in the programs, supporting their fragile riders and teaching each participant at the level that they could relate to.

I saw angels, too, on the sad days when we said goodbye to our dear horse friends. The horse angels helped Badger and Comet pass peacefully to the other side. They were there when Vilmar colicked and there was nothing our human caretakers could do to help him. I’m a sensitive donkey and I don’t miss much that goes on here at ESS. That day with Vilmar was so hard. Every time he laid down I cried, braying my little lungs out, until the horse doctor came and put an end to his pain. There were many angels with us that night. Ruth saw how upset I was. After the doctor left, she came and put her arms around me and held me, and in the darkness that night she said, “Bindy, look at all those stars up there. The stars are all like angels, here for us.

They will always be here for us. And now Vilmar is an angel star, too.”
Ruth says it’s been a hard year for many people. I am counting on the angels to see us all through our difficult times. I know that they will, because I see it happen here so often. I see so many angels and now as Christmas draws near I know that they will be helping you, Santa, as I ask you to help out needy equines throughout the land. I know there are people that could feed one more horse this year, or make a donation or volunteer at a horse rescue. It is important to inspire people everywhere with the giving spirit, not just at this season but all year long. This could really help many horses in need (and us donkeys, too). It makes my heart heavy to know that there are equines out there that are hungry, cold, with no shelters, their tummies empty, who do not have someone to love and cherish them. I know that not every little donkey is as lucky as me.

I’d be happy to have a few bags of carrots again this year to share with my buds. But I have already been given the best gift I could ever imagine. A long time ago, I had a best friend named Marley. Marley spent a couple winters with me. His owner had said that someday she would donate him to ESS and he could live here all the time. But years went past. I missed Marley terribly and wondered if he’d ever be back. Well, miracles do happen. Now Marley is back, a permanent resident. Dreams do come true here at ESS – even for us little donkeys!

As we celebrate Christmas this year, my wish is everyone will know that there are many, many angels among us and that everyone will find the comfort and peace that they bring. I believe in Santa Claus. I’ve figured out that Santa really is secretly an angel, too. And I believe the magic of the season - always!

Love,
Bindy

Marley, Hava, Rosie, BB, Sally, Hope, Gypsy, Dustee, Chico, Champ, Mariah, Soxy, Baylee, Kat, Gray,
Midnight and Lit’l Black, Elvis, Cisco, Red, Laureate, Peggy Sue, Basquine, Lady and Lucky

Merry Christmas 2016!