How the Horses Saved My Life

I was blessed to become a single mom at the young age of 22. When I say blessed I say it because I was gifted a son; the single mom part was undoubtedly not easy.

As I raised my son mostly by myself my ultimate dream was to meet a partner at some point in my lifetime and share in the journey of having another child together. This was not something I readily admitted to folks, but the dream always lingered in the back of my mind. As I tend to be the picky type, I had high expectations for a partner, yet I knew eventually I would meet the right person.

Fast-forward 15 years: A handsome musician with two fabulous kids who were close to my sons age comes into my life. Could he be the one? His heart was open to possibilities and we seemed to be blessed with a divine connection of love, were around the same age and had a plentitude in common. We plunged full on in and within one year of being together were engaged and decided to blend our lives together. We joked that we were the modern day Brady Bunch and others named us the ‘perfect, golden couple’.

The Herd

We moved fast and within two years we were married and someone’s biological clock (mine) was ticking loud! Years passed in an ambiguous, seesaw conversation about whether to have a child or not. As we both had our kids young there were some layers to work through regarding past trauma of young parenthood. Through therapy and intense inner dialogue, I came to the place where I was clear that I was ready to have another child. At this point, five years into the relationship, three years into the marriage, us both already 42, tragically for me my beloved became clear he did NOT want another child. Let me be clear that I do not fault him for this I had my fair share of anger and for almost a year you could mistake me for a fire breathing, emotional wreck of a creature following this declaration on his part. In retrospect I own that I could have been much more direct with my husband about my need/want to have another child at the beginning of our relationship. NOW I tend to err on the side of being overly direct in my communication style.  Call it trial and error.

Imagine this: a seemingly picture perfect couple living in a cute house in the suburbs, both with good jobs, their creativity fulfilled and making a positive difference in others lives.  Imagine both of their lives crumbling from the inside out due to faulty communication of the most hormonal kind.

I had a successful Pilates and Gyrotonic studio that I had poured ‘blood, sweat and tears’ into building from the ground up for over seven years, with loyal, wonderful clients. I worked hard to create my reality, but sometimes one’s reality must fall apart in order for the next transformation to occur.  I dearly loved my husband, but we dwelled on opposite sides of a very fundamental structure for couples.

It all started falling apart: the relationship, my business, and my peace of mind.. How does one keep the façade of their life intact when her inner most dream is ripped away? It turned out to be impossible. I gradually slid into an empty abyss; I was depressed, angry, and shut out my husband who was doing everything in his power to heal the wound. There were points when I fell so low, I didn’t know if I would make it and my depression became like quick sand. I couldn’t understand how I had worked so hard to create the picture perfect life on the outside and it all could be ripped to shreds by my one most important need.

Comache in the sunset.. See Xaria the puppy? ;-)

I wallowed in intense self-pity and anger for about 9 months (get the irony there?) and when ground bottom was hit, I started praying for spirit to guide me. I knew I couldn’t sustain much more of this.  My life had crumbled to the extent that I had almost stopped working, my husband and I could not communicate at all and it was a sorry, dismal state. I fell on my knees, exhausted from the sadness and loss of my dream, and prayed and prayed and prayed some more.  The answer came…

“Be with the horses”

What??????

“Be with the horses”

The statement, “Be with the horses” made no absolute sense. I was so far down though that I would do anything to feel a light within my soul once again. When I was a girl I was fortunate spend to summers in New Hampshire with my cousins who had horses. I would occasionally take riding lessons while growing up in CA. I was a horse-obsessed young girl then and begged my parents for my own horse, but never had one. I had not been with horses for 26 years when I received the message to “be with the horses,” so you can see why it felt a bit bizarre.

I listened to the call and found an equine therapist. Through time with the horses it allowed me to find my way back to myself again and the grief slowly released. I was able to understand what the horses were reflecting back to me and started paving a pathway to my own self-growth and healing. I dove in deeper into my equine journey and recalled that Linda Kohanov’s books, ‘The Tao of Equus’ and ‘Riding between the Worlds’ had a profound effect on me a year before. At this point I had nothing left to lose on all accounts, my work was dissolved, my marriage was hanging on a thread and I could not afford the expensive lifestyle in an affluent area. I had lost everything so I did what any sane person would do in this situation: I saved my own life.

Credit card in hand, I decided to fly to Arizona to attend an Eponaquest workshop, through Linda Kohanov’s organization.  I was curious to spend time and study with the teachers who embodied her work. This experience gave me something to hold onto. The horses gave me back the part of my soul, which I had lost when my dream of having another child was ripped away from me. Through the horses, I was given a second chance.

Blue's amazing half blue & brown eye

Time unfolded and while still trying to untangle the shards of my life, I volunteered for six months at a facility that works with developmentally disabled adults and kids with horses. All I knew was that I just had to be around horses so I went back to AZ to take another workshop, this time with Linda.

It became increasingly clear that I had to make a drastic change. I was not happy with life in the suburbs where my dreams had deteriorated. I needed to get out and be with the horses and embrace the new life that was calling me. I had no choice, it was literally do or die. I leapt even though it scared the hell out of me.

This is something I wrote in March, 2013:

“Structure falling:  So at this point I'm wondering what the hell am I doing? I am giving up everything I’ve worked so hard for. It wasn't working as it was, but I will be okay. Soon everything will become apparent or will it?  I am so scared but I must trust and have faith in it all!”

Marianne Williamson once said, “Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor.”  

Spirit, the Arabian

I knew my marriage unfortunately was going to be sacrificed but at that point honestly there was not much left. Within a period of a year and a half, I sold my cute little house in the suburbs and moved 3 hours away to a beautiful new community in the country. I was blessed within this time period to meet my soul mate of a horse, Comanche an eleven-year old mustang taken out of the wilderness near the Reno, Nevada area when he was a yearling. Comanche was indeed a gift from spirit who breathed the life back into my dismal heart once again. His grounded, calm and wise spirit gave me the courage to make these immense changes.

Out of the ashes of selling my home and business, I was fortunate to buy a 10 acre horse ranch and was gifted another horse, an Arabian whom I renamed Spirit. I jumped into a new life with a whole slew of duties, all the while scratching my head wondering, ‘Am I crazy for taking this all on?’   I had no idea how much responsibility I was calling in, but in retrospect it was perfect. I needed something huge to pour my energy into, something equal to the time and energy that a newborn baby requires.  Sometimes a bit of madness is what brings us to our new life and the only way to survive is to quiet the practical mind and jump with both feet into a new life with meaning.

It was through taking a leap of faith, trusting my intuition, and listening to spirit that gave me something to live for again. With this experience,  I can say with full conviction that the horses indeed saved my life.

In every misfortune there are gifts as long as we are able to dive beneath the surface and have the courage to find them. Thanks to the horses they gave me a pathway out of my sorrow to see the gift that came out of my pain.

Daisy, Blue & Spirit

Now I have four horses instead of a child in diapers. I am grateful, as I would rather have these wild, strong and noble creatures anyways. Besides horse poop smells much better than baby poop!  There is always perfection in the enfoldment in the divine, we just have to stick around long enough to find what that is.

I am happy to share that my ex-husband and I are great friends despite all that unfolded and have come to enjoy the profound understanding now between us. We have both mutually and individually grown from the experience. I have an amazing 23-year-old boy whom I am incredibly proud of and blessed to call him my son as well as two precious stepchildren from our marriage.

I bare my tender underbelly to you readers to share with you just how powerful these equine beings are. I have heard and seen the horses touch others lives just as profoundly as mine. It is not uncommon for women (and men) to be blessed by the path of the horse and then drop everything to learn and help assist others with this gift.

I believe the horses are unveiling their true abilities to heal and reflect back our authentic self at this point in history to help create the rejuvenative movement that is needed in society now. I don’t need to write about the seeming chaos in our society, as you are well aware of it. The horses are stepping forward to share their precious gifts with us humans at a time when it is most needed. 

Trust your heart. Listen to your spirit. You will be led. Maybe you will be fortunate enough to be touched by the equine guides. 

Do you have your own story about how horses have touched and possibly 'saved' your life? Please share if so, I would love to hear about it!