Back on Track ‘Horse Therapy’: Jennifer & Mako

Each Tuesday we feature reader-submitted stories about horses that have gotten them “back on track” after a rough patch. Today Jennifer Terrazas shares the story of her horse, Mako.


I have always been that horse crazy kid. It didn’t help that I grew up in the horse capital of the world and was literally born in the thoroughbred industry. I grew up with some of the greats! Storm Cat, Carson City, and Unbridled Song are just a few and to me I never could bring myself to think of them as all powerful bloodlines, but as my friends who put up with me more than they should have.

As I got older I changed. Yes I was still the horse crazy girl but I was an emotional wreak. Not that I ever let it show. It had been six years and I hadn’t shed a single tear, even at my best friend’s funeral. The amount of guilt and sadness I felt was overwhelming yet I never cried.

Part of it was no one really knew my best friend. He was kinda a secret I kept from my parents for several reasons: he was older, a male, and was the reason I got into boxing. They would have never approved of him and as the emotional pain grew stronger I turned to boxing so I could at least physically control the pain.

When I was 16 I finally got my first show horse though he was the farthest thing from it. Mako was one of the ugliest yearling colts I had ever seen in my life. He was the farthest thing from tame and the farthest thing from my dream horse. Yet he was perfect for me even if I didn’t know it. The rest of the year was simply us getting to know each other which meant endless hours of one sided conversations, treats, and ground work.


When it was time for me to start Mako my emotional barrier was destroyed. A speaker came to my school and summed up my secret situation to a tee. For the first time in six almost seven years I cried. It left me emotionally raw for a long time. Mako was my support for no one else truly supported us and they made it clear. Though he may never know it he saved my life.

After that my confidence was shattered. Everyone put me down over my horse. Saying I had done terriblle and we were dangerous. These were adults that were suppose to support me and give advice. I cried a lot to Mako through it all but the dark thoughts stayed away. I no longer thought of hurting myself or ending my life because he was me reason to live.

Now two years later we have proven ourselves way more than we should have and we still have a lot to do. We have proven to those who didn’t support us that we could be something. Though I have no clue what I’m doing my ugly rock has always been brave for me. Whoever said your horse is only as brave as you are never had a horse like Mako.


Here at Horse Nation, we believe that the best therapists are our own horses. We love sharing the stories of special equines and the lessons horses have taught us — email yours to [email protected] to be featured in an upcoming edition of Back on Track “Horse Therapy.” Go Back on Track, and Go Riding!

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