People in the 10: “Gather, pray, and smudge for protection.”

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Wind River Country is filled with unique people with diverse backgrounds. People in the 10 is a County 10 series that shares just a small piece of the stories that make up our community.

Allison Sage and his son Elk lead a horse culture program as part of meth and suicide prevention for young people and anyone who wants to participate. Right now, healing rides have been a large part of the program due to COVID precautions.

A ride is planned for tomorrow, February 20th starting at 9:00 am. All are invited to bring their horses and join them as they ride together from Givens Road and 17 Mile to Ethete.

We have got to get kids outside. If they are having issues we get them in contact with people who can help them. We want them to find their voice so they can ask for help.

We teach them how to pray. Prayer is an important part of the ride. I realized today it’s just another form of church. We pray all the way through.

We are developing a relationship with each other as we ride, sharing camaraderie as we ride, sharing stories. No phones, you need to concentrate on the horse.

The horse has another sense that we don’t have – it can tell if you are afraid, hurting, sad or happy. They can sense that. They also have a healing nature, they give out good, positive energy. They make us well, they make us happy, they heal us. They have another dimension of healing that we don’t have or don’t use it. It’s a higher consciousness of operating. Prayer puts us to another level too. We remind the kids to pray as they ride.

For me, it’s a great opportunity to reach young people and anybody that wants to learn and participate with horses. We take time, it’s organized. It teaches respect, team building, and cooperation. If we don’t do that, who is giving it to us?

The long-term benefit of it – when you ride a horse you have to be in control of the horse. It gives young people the chance to learn and keep their self-esteem.

The key to this is wellness and healing. If you give people some hope and something to look forward to, that is a positive aspect in their lives, and sometimes that’s all we have.

-Allison Sage

This program is supported by funding from organizations like the White Buffalo Recovery Center where Elk works as the Director of Suicide and Meth Prevention, noted Allison, who also has a master’s degree in social work. They also recently received a grant from the Jackson-based Molly and Wayne Hughes Foundation.

That support helps pay for things like food that they provide with every ride.

They are trying to make the rides happen every month so they are consistent.

You can find the latest updates on the Woxhooxeibii Facebook page.

h/t Allison Sage – His horses