Horses have taught me some of my greatest lessons

dru and jessie003

Dru & Jesse 1980 something

Hoses have always been my teachers and my barometer for how my life is going.  They help me see my path clearly esp. when my path is clouded.

This past year has been an intense period of change for me.  So many loses, so many changes, so many decisions about what I do or do not want in my life.  Its also been a period of intense internal examination.  Who am I anymore??  I asked myself this many times over the last year.  It seemed there was a part of me that wanted to shut down.  The part of me that wanted to shut down is my intuitive self.  It was almost as if the level of information and level of communication and feeling coming in were now causing me grief rather than joy.  Something was changing in me and not for the better.

Years ago, I began making a strong correlation between my horse’s health & behavior and what was going on in my own life. If all is well with me then all is well with my horses.  If all is not well with me then it is dramatically reflected and communicated by my horses.

About a month ago I was standing out in the paddock with 2 of my mares, Lotta and Shadow.  I was standing in between them.  I was rubbing their necks and thinking I can’t believe its been a week since I touched either of you.  A week earlier we had euthanized the third old horse on our ranch.  In the weeks prior to that I had euthanized two of our other older horses.  All of this on the heels of human loss, human illness, massive change, it was just a bit to much for me.  I was beginning to feel like I could barely cope or keep up.

As I stood in between Lotta and Shadow, I intuitively heard that standing there at that moment was not a good idea.  I felt almost angry to hear this information and made the choice to ignore it.  I rationalized and thought to myself, I have barely seen these girls in the last weeks; life has been hell, so I am going to stand here and rub on them.  As the thought was barely finishing my own head, Lotta swung around to bite Shadow as she does sometimes when Shadow is to near and not respecting her space but instead of biting Shadow, Lotta bit me.  She bit me hard right in the stomach.  I screamed and Lotta bolted a few feet away from me. She seemed just horrified.  She stood facing me with eyes blinking rapidly as to try and process what had just occurred.  Of course I burst into tears and thought to myself that I had just been warned not to stand there and I had just decided to ignore it.

I went in the house, took some arnica, got some ice and sat down to process the event.  I couldn’t believe what I had just created.  I had clearly heard not to stand there and I angrily chose to ignore it.  I was almost perplexed by my own behavior.  I am NOT someone who ignores their intuition.  To the contrary, I listen carefully and do my very best to understand the information and act on it.  Its given me an amazing life.  So why on this day would I ignore it???  I concluded that I was tired.  So tired from all the loss and the pain and feeling it all to such a degree that I almost felt like I was dying.  I had had many thoughts in the past year of shutting down all I had created and moving out to a cabin in the woods.  I wanted to run away.  I wanted to run away from me and from all I felt.

The event with my mare Lotta got me to thinking about when I was a young girl.   I was born very in touch with and aware of my intuition. From about age seven I understood that I knew things that sometimes upset other people.  I understood some things that not all adults did.  I felt everything from everyone around me.  I knew when someone was lying and secrets made me feel crazy!  As an adult I found these abilities to be a gift but as a child from a family in turmoil, I was often punished because of what I knew. What I knew often scared people and I didn’t understand that it was the intuitive information they were scared of.   I thought it was me that scared them and that I was bad.

When I was about 13 or 14 my family was going thru some very difficult times. The way I saw my family at that time was that they were in a silent uproar, I could feel it, see it, taste it, it was making me crazy.  There were smiles on their faces and pain behind those smiles.  Being a child I of course internalized all of this to be my fault.  I believed that because of how I was “wired” seeing, knowing, hearing and saying that I was causing my family to be miserable.

On one particularly difficult day, during that period of time, all those years ago, I was up at my barn doing Liberty work with my Arabian gelding Dru.   It wasn’t called Liberty work back then, but it’s what we call it now.  Back then I was just communicating and having fun with him.  As Dru & I danced around the pasture, my feelings began to shift; I began to think about the very painful upsetting situations at home and in my life.  I began thinking that if I was just different things would be better.  I thought if I just let go of what I know and how I am everyone would be happier.  As these thoughts were moving thru my mind, Dru grabbed me by the side of my neck with his teeth, picked me up, shook me and then dropped me to the ground.  I laid there starring up towards the sky feeling completely stunned, unable to understand what had just taken place.   He stood over me and we stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity, but I’m sure it probably wasn’t any longer 30 seconds or so.  Dru then turned and walked back to the barn.  It was a life changing moment for me.  A gift given that at the time did not seem like any kind of gift at all.  I remember being very confused by how aggressive the event was, and how neutral Dru seemed after the fact. It was almost like he was stating something very simple, by that one aggressive action and the aftermath of complete calmness and neutrality.   I knew at the time, that this meant something very significant, but I had no idea what.

I ended up selling Dru about a year later; I just couldn’t get over what had occurred.  The event played out in my mind almost daily.  Trying to come up with reasons such a thing would happen and all of the reasons I came up with had to do with outside circumstances and other people.  At that time I didn’t have the knowledge that comes with years of experience or the tools to understand what had occurred and how it involved me beyond me being a victim of circumstance.

What I know now and did not know then, was the level of gift Dru had given me, what he did for me on that day, helped change the course of my life forever.

He helped to snap me out of the place I was going with in myself, where the true me, might have been lost.

The day it occurred I had been contemplating how negatively my intuitive abilities affected those around me and that maybe I was in fact, crazy and difficult and I should just conform to family and society rules. I was lonely and sad.  I thought if I stop being who I am then I will fit into my family and society better and I won’t be so alone.  I was so afraid of being alone.   As this thought and serious contemplation of dis owning a huge part of who I am, ran thru my brain, Dru grabbed me by the neck and shook me.  He snapped me out of that thought pattern.  From that day forward, anytime I even considered dis owning who I truly was for what ever reason, I was snapped out of it by the memory of my horse grabbing me.

So when I stood with my two mares, many years after the original event, feeling tired & broken and contemplating change that was more about running away from myself, my mare Lotta did exactly what Dru had done.  I was thinking about abandoning myself once again and she snapped me out of it.

Dru gave me an immeasurable gift as a teenager and Lotta gave me a great reminder as an adult.