“The horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves: strong, powerful, beautiful.” Pam Brown
Our herd is an integral part of our family. Each horse brings something unique and special into our lives. Each has taught, and continues to teach, great lessons in life and love. There are five in our herd. Four Thoroughbreds and a million dollar Quarter Horse mare. In no particular order, outside of seniority, I want to do them the honor of introducing you to each one of them. I am excited to share this next chapter in our story with you, utilizing the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method, as we step into our calling as healers. As I prepare to take my final exam and work to tie up any loose ends before graduating, I can feel the anticipation beginning to well up within me knowing I’m stepping into this work with some of my best four legged friends!
High Stakes Gamble is his Jockey Club name. He raced in New Jersey on the turf and though he won his maiden race, it was determined he didn’t have enough fire in his belly to go very far (I have witnessed plenty of fire over the years! Lol!). The breeders were quite disappointed in this well bred High Yield colt. I happened to be in the right place at the right time in connection with the right people. He was soon on a shipper’s rig, Colorado bound in the middle of a cold January winter in 2007.
We call him, “Kade“. His coat is the color of a copper penny, shining metallic in the sunlight. He has a big wide white blaze that runs down the front of his beautiful head and and a couple white bobby socks much like his great grandfather, Secretariat. The lessons this horse has taught me over the years are many. I learned to read the subtlest of body language in him. He has taught me to watch paint dry as, at times, I’ve waited the better part of 30 minutes for him to process something we were working on! He is, to date, the toughest horse I’ve restarted off the track and I’ve restarted more than I can count! I spent countless hours on the ground working with him building his confidence and his trust in me as his partner. Undemanding time took on a new meaning for me when he came into my life spending countless hours sitting with him out in the pasture as he grazed nearby.
Over the years as I nurtured our relationship, he became my go to partner. If cattle needed gathered, I teamed up with him. If my daughter needed ponied (a lead line attached to her horse as she was riding alongside me), he was the guy for the job. If I wanted to go relax with a friend on a trail ride, he packed me on his strong back. If my heart was hurting, he shouldered my pain. And as I went through my divorce, if I needed to saddle up, put headphones in my ears to drown out all the what if’s and ride alone for miles, he was the one to carry me.
A few years ago, my copper penny fell to his knees numerous times as we drove cattle the 10 miles to their winter pasture. It was discovered that an old injury to his neck, likely from the track, had manifested and he could no longer feel his front legs. Through a lot of tears and a dirty wrestling match within myself, accepting this shift in our partnership, I chose to retire him from any riding activity. Damn did it hurt! I’d come to rely on him in every way and honestly I wasn’t sure any of my other horses were capable of stepping up to the plate. I cried a lake’s worth of tears over the loss reminding myself as I wiped away the tears, “At least he’s not dead!”
Thanks in part to the shift in our environment and the shift within me (called ‘The Big D!’), his true nature has begun to shine as the cloud that had been comfortably settled over my heart has lifted. I was blessed with the opportunity to take him to a set of intensive practicums with me this past summer where he was able to begin experiencing the work we will be doing with clients. He was kind and gracious in the work that day and my heart was bursting as happy tears leaked out, falling down my cheeks. I loaded him in the trailer that afternoon to head home full of joy. I stroked his neck and thanked him for the work he’d done. He paused and I gazed deep into his chocolate kiss eyes. It was as if he cradled my heart and said, “I told ya kid, we’re gonna be okay.”
“Kade” is my heart horse. He has tenderly held space when my heart has been in turmoil and scattered on the ground in a million broken pieces. The epitome of what a gentleman looks like he’s polite, tender and full of grace. It’s hard for me to express in words what this fellow means to me. If he were a human he’d be that big ol’ teddy bear of a guy that is strong in stature and tender hearted by nature. That gentle giant of a man who only wants the best in the this world for those he loves. He would be that studious jock you sat with in class. You know, the good looking guy that was smart, polite to the teachers and athletic on the field. He’d be the fellow holding the doors for you, insisting you order first, offering you his coat when you found yourself chilled in the night air…that guy. He’d be the one who was perfectly content to sit back and watch your light shine as you brightened the darkness in this world with your smile.
I cannot wait to share “Kade” with all those who choose to partner with us as they begin clearing the rubble and debris from their lives and untether their hearts. All the support and love he’s offered me over the years is brimming over waiting to be yours too ❤
“You are beautiful, powerful, brilliant & brave”