“You see a horse with your eyes, and you feel a horse with your soul.”
Standing in the shadows of the setting sun, I am drawn into the expression in your eye. One of fear, doubt and hurt. A reckoning that the life you knew, is no more. You have experienced being ripped from the safety of your routine, to being dumped at a facility with other horses, strangers to you at this time. Hurt, you do the best you can to stay safe within the new herd in which you find yourself, a herd filled with the same fear and confusion you are experiencing. All the while, wondering what did you do to find yourself here. Were you not a wonderful steed, there to carry your owner, to do his bidding, sturdy, willing and unwavering?
Is it because, due to the nature of what your owner asked, you have aged and the work has taken its toll, that you are no longer able to do the work you once did? Was your loyalty and service to your owner not enough, to secure you a safe, loving retirement.
Meet Stetson, dumped at auction, left to be purchased by a kill buyer and sent to slaughter. Thankfully he had an angel that day and was spared. We are blessed that his angel reached out to us and asked if we would take him in. We gladly and gratefully said “yes”.
I have spent the last several nights at quarantine with this massive, and broken boy. He is at least 16 hands tall and sadly lame, appears to have ringbone, a Horsemans term for osteoarthritis. I also believe he is in need of chiropractic care. He will be evaluated by our vet this week. We will make sure he gets the care he needs to live out his life comfortably. We can help him physically, the disturbing piece is the energy that emanates from this sweet soul. The overwhelming heaviness I can feel as I stand by him as I cradle his head and whisper to him that he is safe. The energy of defeat, of loss, of fear, of confusion and of sadness. His soul speaks to me, an old soul, wise and deserving. Time will heal, he will come to understand he is safe and loved. This will happen on his timeline. My experience has been for one that could be 90 days for others it can take 2 years to fully heal and trust again. I am grateful to share his journey, to be his constant and steady reminder that all will be ok.
My mission, my calling is to bring awareness to the gifts these beautiful souls have to offer, outside of being ridden and used as tools. These sentient beings are healers, they are our safe space, they offer unconditional love and zero judgement. They help us see ourselves, how we truly show up and help us to become better humans. They are our daily therapy. They do not have a voice, therefore you will continue to hear mine.
There are so many horses that do not get the second chance that Stetson is getting. The horse industry must change at the foundational level, for us to ever see a day when the inhumane treatment of these incredible horses subsides, and it will take a massive army of supporters to bring about the needed change.
To all the horses that humans have hurt, thrown away, starved and those that have been sent on the hell ride to slaughter: I apologize on behalf of the human race. My promise to you, is that everyday, I will do everything I can, everything within my power to make a difference, one life at a time.
One life that will get a second chance, one life that will heal and miraculously forgive us, and one life that will help heal human lives.
We all have the power to make a difference, to help the world see differently. Speak up and be a voice for what you believe in and for those that do not have a voice.
Horse rescue is not for the faint of heart, or those with lack of faith. The rescue world is vast, and not one philosophy remains constant from rescue to rescue. In itself, this is ok. Its not about being right, its about many ways to be right and to help make a difference. The key is to remain strong in your convictions, while not discrediting others. To not be swayed in your mission, despite the opinions of others….To stay in curiosity about the mission of others. There is room for all.
This journey has brought to the surface, the purpose I serve. It has not been with out bumps and bruises, and judgement, lots of judgement, and this is only the beginning.
I have refused to give up on my calling, in building an organization that will make a difference in the world of horses and in the world of man.
As you may find yourself on a journey, one that you know calls you, mind, body, heart and soul… be reminded you will be tested, right to the core. It will be different for all, each experience unique to the individual.
There are so many talented people out there that make success look easy. Behind the scenes it is simply because they have made a choice not to quit and not to complain. The have chosen to embrace that every failure is a benchmark toward their goal. They simply lean in, learn and move forward, quickly.
I recently experienced a month with a rash of emergency equine situations, many a night sleeping at the barn, walking sick horses for hours upon hours, even being rolled over by a sick horse, resulting in a torn MCL in my knee. All of this in the midst of starting new endeavors, ones that I had to show up for everyday, 4-6 hours of homework a night and the list goes on and on. There was a absolutely of moment of weakness in which I contemplated raising the white flag. The reality, too many lives depend on me, there is no room for giving up. I have been blessed to be a messenger in this fight for a better world and I will step up and serve, despite the challenges the may rock me to the core.
What did I learn from all of this, in the midst of some really ugly messes, miracles show up. The miracle of a horse that should not have survived, does. The miracle of a horse that wouldn’t be touched by a human for the last year, becomes a pocket pony. The miracle of amazing people stepping up to help you in your weakest moments, despite their own struggles. The miracle of the kindness and generosity of strangers, that support our cause. The miracle of the realization of how blessed one can be. The miracle of having faith regardless of the obstacle. The miracle of realizing who you are becoming because of the experience you are having. The miracle of believing in God’s path for you. The miracle of realizing there is no giving up. The miracle of realizing that my goals, don’t care how I am feeling….
We can’t choose what happens to us we can choose how we respond and what we learn.
Chasing our dreams, comes with a price, the price of being uncomfortable, a price many are just not willing to pay. It requires the ability to think big, regardless of those that fight to keep us average. Those that experience true success, do so because they refuse to give up, refuse to be told they can’t succeed.
My question for you is what speaks to your soul, what are you called to do, and what is holding you back? Stop looking in the rear view mirror. Change your story change your journey, don’t be a victim when challenges show up , and they will, they most definitely will. Breathe, step forward in faith and love. Look for the miracle just waiting to be born….. the miracle that may be the very one that takes you to the next level, the breakthrough you have been looking for. The very miracle, buried in the mess, that if you will just take the time to look for, will change your life and the lives of many around you.