Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Gift Horse Talks

Okay, I'm going to give this a shot...I have the distinct feeling that this original post here may be edited several times, as some of the feedback and experiences that I am sharing are all muddled up in my head. I'm not at all sure how it will type out from my brain to this blog, but I will try to keep it as organized as I can.

Before I go into a lot of detail, I have to say that I was a bit skeptical of this whole thing. I wanted to talk to my horse, of course (wouldn't anyone???), but bigger than that...I wanted to HEAR HIM. I know he hears me. I see him twitch his ears, bend his neck, drop his head, even roll his eyes at me. I know we connect. We always have; it's why I belong to him, and it's why I walk around calling him Big Guy. We get each other. But like all of us meandering around here in the human realm, we wonder what it is that the animals know that we don't know. We wonder how their lives can be so simple while ours are such a friggin mess. We marvel at their no-nonsense simplicity, and how easily they find such joy in the most minutely satisfactory things...like food and fresh air, and companionship. But, I digress..sorry. Anyway, I was skeptical that it would be possible for me to truly talk to CJ. And for CJ to truly talk to me. I had found a very highly respected person to help us do this, but...if you've never done anything like this before, you feel like a weirdo.

At the end of the day last Sunday, I was sapped. Drained. Beyond exhausted. I have never felt quite that tired before in my life, and trust me...I've had a busy life. In retrospect, I think I was drained to that degree for a couple of reasons. For one, I had very high expectations and my excitement for the day had been building for a week. I had so many questions rolling around in my brain, and so many worries about what I may find out...like, what if the horses hate me? Also, I have a bond with all of the horses who had a reading. I was there for all 3 readings; if not holding the horse, standing very close by, and was involved in each of their experiences. I didn't know the meaning of the word "tired" until Sunday.

Our communicator came very highly recommended. I won't use her real name here. We shall call her Sherry. She started off with Dancer. As it turned out, Dancer had the most to say. She is 4, almost 5, and has been owned by my client since she was 29 days old, brought to live with my client when she was only 3 months old. I came into her life when she was 6 months old, and have been a steadfast part of her education and well-being ever since. She told Sherry (and us) that she wishes she could get more time outside to play. She said she is the most special horse in the barn because she has 2 moms. (Insert teary-eyed grin here) Dancer wants more pink stuff, as she says that too many people mistake her for a boy horse. (She is a big girl, so that may be why that happens...and it really does happen.) She wants more time with her boyfriend (CJ). She has some tummy trouble that her mom already knows about, but she wanted to confirm that...but also wanted us to know that she will be okay. It's part of a 3-part process, and the next steps will reveal themselves at a later date. Dancer wants me to relax, and to not push her. I had to laugh a little bit, because she's almost 5 and we have YET to canter under saddle. If I go any slower, she'll be in retirement before we take a trail ride. But, that was DEFINITELY something Dancer would say. Dancer also had some very private messages for her mom, which I won't share here. But, there is no way that Sherry could've known the things that Dancer shared. No. Way. In. Hell. Dancer had Reiki performed on her, focused mostly on her digestive area. She "released" (more on this later) by attempting to french-kiss me (no, I'm not exaggerating, ask her mother) and by flopping her big ole head all over the place. Sometimes, she had to take a break and just walk it off. Incredible stuff.

CJ was next. I recall my heart pounding when it was time to get him out of his stall. Sherry said the first thing she got from him was that he didn't feel good. His tummy hurt. He was sick, and he had been for quite some time. He said he was ashamed of his coat, that he's always been the horse in the barn with the prettiest coat (SO TRUE!), but his coat isn't nice because he doesn't feel good. (Yes, folks, I will be power-packing him for worms.) Sherry said he also felt a "heaviness" in his belly, separate from the sick/nauseous feeling that he had. I didn't piece it together until later, but we did find sand in his gut 2 years ago when we pulled his fecal. He probably needs more Metamucil treatment...fecal wasn't pulled this last fall. Bad Mom. :( Next, he asked where Dad was. I was speechless. And thoughtless. Dad? Meaning...my husband? Well, he's just not a horse person, and has been around CJ a handful of times in the last 5 years. Only 2 of those times were since we "purchased" him. I was embarrassed that CJ was calling us out on it, and I also felt a chest pang...as if CJ's feelings were hurt. It was so weird, and surreal. So, I vocalized to him that Dad didn't have a lot of time, and just wasn't a real animal guy. Sherry said CJ thought that was fine, but that he thought Dad was a pretty cool guy and he wished he would come out and visit more often...be a part of the family. I was blown away by this, because it really is only me and the girls that spend time with CJ, and even that is very rare. CJ and I give lessons and when we're done, I go home. That's our routine. Which brings me to the next topic...CJ wanted to know why I don't spend more time with him...one on one. Immediately after asking that question, he asked me why I felt so guilty. Well, here is where I burst into tears. How could he know how guilty that I felt? When I composed myself enough to speak, I explained that I felt bad that he had to work for a living. I felt bad that he had to earn the money for his keep. I looked around the barn at the horses that didn't have to work so hard, and I apologized to CJ for putting him in that position. Sherry was crying now, too, ...and CJ said....that he didn't mind working at all.

< I was so shocked. So, this horse who has developed a habit of pinning his ears and swishing his tail, feigning like he's going to bite his rider when they squeeze for forward movement...he doesn't mind giving lessons? What?! I wasn't prepared for this. I thought he hated what he was doing. My shock must've shown on my face...CJ said he acts this way because his tummy hurts and he just doesn't feel good. Once his tummy is better, he will act better. Wow. He also had these requests: More time with Dancer, his girlfriend No more purple halters and leadropes; he likes blue and wants blue stuff He will behave himself in the trailer if I'll stop making him go to shows; he wants to ride the trails. (GASP!) He likes little kids, but especially little girls. He mentioned names, which I won't mention here. He wants me to start braiding his tail again. He wants more treats, and specifically wants pears. He would like to try an orange. (I have never fed him a pear OR an orange, so...I'll keep you posted on those) His saddle doesn't hurt, other than pinching his belly sometimes (yes, I have a fuzzy cinch I can start using again), and a little over his withers. He requests a soft foam thing to go in that spot. Help??? He is afraid of loud noises and some men. Loud noises? I have been ON him when someone started up a chain saw on the other side of the wall, and he didn't bat an eye. I have never known him to spook from a sound. His rebuttal? He takes his job very seriously, so if someone is riding him, he knows he shouldn't jump around, so he swallows his fears. Had no clue about the men, either, but he's not around many of them, so... He wants his stall to be on the other side of the aisle. And, he wanted to know why he couldn't have the double stall. I had to laugh at that one! Greedy hound. :) He loves Toi like a brother, but Toi can be irritating. (Toi is a high-energy Arab cross, and CJ's turnout partner...this wasn't surprising news to me) I can't remember a whole lot more right now. He gave me his opinions of some people, which was very helpful for me. I want to make the right choices for him, and his input was greatly appreciated. I have to mention that the entire time he was communicating with me, Sherry was performing Reiki on him. The entire hour. My very well-behaved gelding stood in the aisle on a loose lead, and with a rubber feed pan between his teeth, he proceeded to shake his head up and down for at least 15 minute intervals, non-stop. I have never seen him do anything like that before. Ever. The energy work requires the animal to "release" and Sherry explained to me that this is what he was doing. It was incredible to see this...I have no words to describe it. She spent almost a full 30 minutes on his left knee (who knew?) as this is where he kept asking her to work. He also demanded work on his legs more than anywhere else in his body. Makes sense, for a "navicular" horse, doesn't it? Just wow.


A very good friend of mine brought photos of her dog and cat, and Sherry spent the next hour working with my friend on those animals. I took that time to let CJ stretch his legs in the indoor arena. Blog-readers, I have never EVER seen him be so athletic. He ran for the simple joy of it. Sliding stops, rollbacks, dolphin bucks, rearing and squealing. Halting, puffing up and snorting at me, then taking off again. I'm sure most of it was releasing all of that energy. But, I tell you what...not ONE misstep. Not one head bob. He ran like he was a colt. He ran because it felt good. So, he ran some more.


When he was bored with running for no reason, he stopped at the opposite end of the arena, looked at me, and perked up his ears. I asked him if he was done, and he just kept staring at me, stone still. I opened the gate and walked out toward him. As I got close, he dropped his head lower to the ground, ears still perked at me, eyes bright...his legs did a little shake/hop so he was sprawl-legged and low. I stopped walking, and crouched a little bit...he took off like a shot. When he stopped, I'd crouch again. His tail would flag, and off he'd go again. He was playing with me! My 10 year old navicular horse that hated moving was PLAYING WITH ME. Let me tell you something, all you skeptical folks out there...I'd pay double what I paid to do this again. Maybe triple...um, yes, for sure I'd pay triple. This was priceless.

Around this time, Toi's mom arrived, and it was almost time for Toi to have his reading. I'm going to let her type up what she wants to be mentioned. So, not intentionally leaving you hanging here, guys...I promise. My fingers are about to fall off, anyway...but I wanted to get something up here for you to chew on.

Thanks for tuning in. :)


  1. Really fascinating stuff - thanks for sharing! (If CJ pins his ears to leg pressure and doesn't want to move forward, it's possible that part of his tummy trouble is ulcers.)

  2. Fricken. Excellent.

    Gave me goose bumps, and yeah, had me get misty eyed too when he asked about family time.... Made me flash to Sonny Bunz and wonder... just wonder...

    Thank you for sharing this. And give CJ a smooch from me please, and tell him he has us pulling for him in this corner to fix those hooves ;)

  3. I had already planned to check into ulcers. I know the scope is pricey, but I would rather do that than dump the drugs in him for no reason. If he doesn't have them, I don't want to feed him that poison. I am currently awaiting a phone call back from my vet....THIS should be a fun one to explain! :)

  4. Mom, you snuggle on that Sonny boy of yours and I will for sure smooch the Big Guy for you. I forgot to mention...CJ wants to be BIGGER. I told him he was perfect just the way he was. :)