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Public asked to help give 'healing horse' a home

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Glenn Martin relishes each time he lets people with disabilities or physical limitations hop onto Cody, his “healing horse.”

Glenn Martin and Cody, his Arabian horse, at Ravenwood Stables in Carleton, Mich.

“All I’m trying to do is offer myself to help folks much as I can,” the Detroiter said. “When they have a million-dollar smile on their face, it gives me glory. It fills my heart with joy.”

Now, Martin is turning to the public for help to extend that goodwill.

His 22-year-old Arabian typically spends the warm months at a commercial property in Highland Park, but to keep offering “therapy” to others, Cody now needs a boost to stay in another home throughout the winter.

“It will be a blessing,” said Wanda Simmons, who created a GoFundMe page seeking $3,000 to aid the quest. “Glenn’s a great guy but he honestly doesn’t have the money to board Cody.”

Glenn Martin gives Jeanae Foster a ride on his horse Cody in Detroit on October 29, 2016.

Metro Detroiters may remember Cody as the horse found galloping through Highland Park streets this fall. Martin, who said his beloved animal’s wanderlust was unusual, corralled him after finding the creature eating grass nearby. The escape, captured on social media, sparked awe among passersby and a visit from the Michigan Humane Society. “They said that was the best complaint they’ve ever been on,” Martin said.

Martin, who runs a limousine service, long has worked to showcase the equine across the area. Cody has trotted out at schools, church programs, birthday parties, family reunions and other gatherings. He also served mentally challenged visitors during about four years at a ranch headed by a Detroit church, his owner said.

Those outings have led to more connections. Martin, who has ridden horses since growing up in rural Virginia, loves reaching out to people who could benefit from a romp with Cody.

“I can’t even tell you how many people with disabilities have been on his back,” said Martin, who has ties to the Michigan Black Horsemen’s Association.

When the duo showed up at a church fair a few months ago, the 59-year-old insisted that Prema Greenwood, who has multiple sclerosis, saddle up after her daughter. The Detroiter initially was intimidated gazing at the enormous, nearly 1,000-pound mahogany creature. But Cody “was so peaceful and he put me at ease,” she said. “Then I wasn’t afraid anymore.”

Greenwood soon agreed to meet up for regular rehabilitation rides to extend her physical therapy. Martin offered free weekly sessions at the Highland Park property and elsewhere, then even developed exercises she could execute on Cody’s back to strengthen her leg muscles as well as restore balance.

“He has increased the quality of my life,” Greenwood said. “It just has opened up the possibilities for my life. So now I’m trying other things because he has really helped me believe that everything is possible, that I can do it. … I really feel like there’s so much more I can do. Cody really helped me dream again.”

Noting her cousin’s transformation and learning that Martin needed a financial boost to relocate Cody in the cold weather, Simmons immediately thought: “I’ve got to help any way that I can to keep this going.”

“He cares about people. That’s the bottom line,” Simmons said. “He loves to bring joy, he loves to help. He has the heart of a servant.”

Martin has raised enough money to move Cody to Ravenwood Stables in Carleton, which has an indoor arena, and house him there through late January.

Cody once stayed at the Monroe County site; his previous owner also worked there, proprietor/operator Denver Martin said.

The horse’s temperament stands out. “He’s very gentle,” said Martin, who is not related to Cody’s current owner. “He’s a good horse.”

Lacking extra funds to keep the horse there until spring, Glenn Martin hopes for donations so they can continue their rehabilitative efforts.

“He’ll be in a facility where I can help even more,” he said. “It would enhance his life and his lifestyle, as well. ... I’m happy that he’s there. I’m going to do my best to keep him there for the whole winter no matter what.”

To help

Go to https://www.gofundme.com/cody-the-angel-of-hope-horse?ssid=807882738&pos=3